CHICAGO (CBS) — Over his summer vacation, Jake Mayer has been playing a little soccer, hanging out with friends in Barrington, and working on his second novel. Did we mention he’s still in elementary school?
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole caught up with a little guy who has very big plans.
“He’s the most unlikely author. He is just an incredible kid,” Kris Mayer said of her son.
If she wants to brag a bit, we’d have to give it to her. At only 10 years old, Jake already is a successful author.
His novel “A Tale of Friends, Enemies and Minecraft” has sold more than 14,000 copies on Amazon since it was released last year.
It’s listed among the site’s number one best-sellers in several categories.
“There are two boys that are friends, and pretty much what they do is they overcome challenges,” Jake said of his first novel.
So where does Minecraft come in?
“Minecraft is a computer game, and what you do is you can build things. You gather resources so that you can build things,” Jake said.
In his book, the boys use the game to build peaceful strategies to overcome a school bully. The novel began as a school assignment.
“I had to write a book with 15,000 words in it, so I decided that I should probably write a book about something I like; and that is Minecraft,” Jake said.
Students can publish novels using CreateSpace, a service that allows independent writers to customize their books and list them on Amazon.
“When we put it online, we were both thinking six. He’ll sell six books,” Jake’s father, Jim, said. “So, I’m a statistician, too, okay? So he did 16 the first month, then he did 36, then he did 50, then he did 100, then he did 300, then he did 3,000, then he did 7,000, and we were like, ‘Whoa.’”
Every author is concerned about reviews, but Jake has nothing to worry about, and he’s happy he’s encouraging kids to hit the books.
“I’m glad that there’s a lot of reviews saying that kids are now reading that … didn’t like to read before,” Jake said. “I am kind of proud of myself, and I’m happy that it’s sold a lot.”
Jake wrote the novel as a school project for National Novel Writing Month.
The sequel will be out soon.