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Penguin: Putnam Trade Spring 2019

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The Master Plan
My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose
By (author): Chris Wilson By (author): Bret Witter Foreword by: Wes Moore
9780735215580 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Feb 05, 2019
$36.00 CAD
Active 6.3 x 9.3 x 1.4 in 432 pages B&W PHOTOS W/ TEXT THROUGHOUT Putnam G.P. Putnam's Sons
The inspiring, instructive, and ultimately triumphant memoir of a man who used hard work and a Master Plan to turn a life sentence into a second chance.

Growing up in a tough Washington, D.C., neighborhood, Chris Wilson was so afraid for his life he wouldn’t leave the house without a gun. One night, defending himself, he killed a man. At eighteen, he was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole.

But what should have been the end of his story became the beginning. Deciding to make something of his life, Chris embarked on a journey of self-improvement—reading, working out, learning languages, even starting a business. He wrote his Master Plan: a list of all he expected to accomplish or acquire. He worked his plan every day for years, and in his mid-thirties he did the impossible: he convinced a judge to reduce his sentence and became a free man. Today Chris is a successful social entrepreneur who employs returning citizens; a mentor; and a public speaker. He is the embodiment of second chances, and this is his unforgettable story.

Story Locale: Baltimore, Maryland

A TRUE STORY THAT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART: The Master Plan is an absorbing memoir that takes readers from the depths of despair to the pinnacle of self-transformation. Chris Wilson’s life is full of difficult moments, but his determination to overcome is inspiring and the story’s ending is satisfying: today, Chris owns two businesses and speaks to and for thousands of disadvantaged people each year.

A PERSPECTIVE THAT WILL OPEN YOUR EYES: Chris’ story offers a fresh first-person perspective on the crucial issues of mass incarceration, the trauma of poverty, and the importance of second chances.

AN AUTHOR WHO CONNECTS PEOPLE: Chris’ list of friends includes Taylor Branch, Dave Chapelle, Alicia Keys, DeRay McKessen, Van Jones, and Ben Jealous. He was featured in a Bernie Sanders campaign video, speaks four to five times a month, and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including an NPR “Stoop” Story.

A CATEGORY THAT SELLS: Books on criminal justice and the African-American experience have been well received in recent years; this books takes the problems exposed in Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and shows, from the inside, what it’s like to live with them.

A BESTSELLING CO-WRITER: The writer of 8 New York Times bestsellers, Bret Witter has brought Chris’ voice to life on the page.

A MOVIE IN THE MAKING: Anonymous Content (The Revenant, Spotlight, True Detective,The Alienist) bought the rights to Chris’ story.

A FOREWORD BY WES MOORE, bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore and The Work.

Chris Wilson lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and works as a visual artist and a social justice advocate. Through his work, he investigates societal injustices, human relationships, and public policies. His artwork is collected and displayed internationally. He is also the founder of the Chris Wilson Foundation, which supports social entrepreneurs and prison education, including re-entry and financial literacy for returning citizens, as well as art-related programs.

Bret Witter has co-authored seven New York Times bestsellers since becoming a full-time writer in 2007 (plus one uncredited in 2003), including two #1 bestsellers. His books have sold 3 million copies worldwide and spent almost two years on the New York Times bestseller list. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Author Residence: Baltimore

Author Hometown: Washington, DC

Marketing: National author tour

National print and broadcast campaign

Op-eds and author essays

NPR Interviews

Pre-publication events

Online advertising

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Influencer campaign

Author Website:

“An incredibly moving book that will change the way you look at the criminal justice system.”—Senator Bernie Sanders

“A philosophy that we should all take to heart.”—Wes Moore, bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore

“A brutally confessional indictment of mass incarceration America.”—Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Parting the Waters

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