PRESSING THE FLESH

A very successful, wise, and kind bookseller once told me, “Nobody goes to book signings in December.” It was an offhand comment that took me aback, essentially because all of my books, up until now, have been released in December.

Had I been wasting my time and money making winter-time in-store appearances in support of my novels?

There’s another issue relating to December book releases. Are books released at the end of the year less likely to be included on a reviewer’s “Best of the Year” list? Those lists are often compiled in October and published in November.

While it’s true that ARCs, or Advance Reader’s Copies, go out before October, I suspect reviewers are more swayed by material (and the buzz surrounding it) that appears well before the end of the year.

Hence, I began to feel somewhat handicapped to be stuck with December release dates. I mentioned this to my agent who spoke with my editor, and, lo and behold! My new crime novel, Burnt Black, had its release date bumped up to November 19th. It’s not September, but hey, I’ll take it. And, of course, I’m very grateful to have my book published by a major publisher, regardless of the release date.

So my bookstore appearances this year will start earlier than ever. The question now becomes: Does anyone go to book signings on Thanksgiving weekend?!

Guess I’ll find out when I appear with fellow author Weston Ochse at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday, November 30th at 2PM.

The Poisoned Pen is a first-rate bookshop www.poisonedpen.com and owner Barbara Peters is all class. Her staff usually arranges seating in the round in the spacious shop and events are casual, informative, and intimate. If I lived in Scottsdale, I’d be a regular, because she features a never-ending lineup of world-class mystery and thriller writers. I’m lucky that she lets me sneak in through the back door and talk about my books.

For those of you far from Arizona who would still like to purchase first edition novels signed by your favorite mystery and thriller authors, check out Barbara’s Website or give them a toll-free call at 888-560-9919. The helpful staff will hook you up.

I enjoy making in-person appearances and wish I were able to do more. Input from the folks buying your books can be some of the most valuable input of all. In the next blog I’ll talk about the other bookstore appearances slated for this month. In the meantime, keep reading, and please support your local bookseller.

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