The Writing Life.
Recently an author with a book that had not yet been released asked on the Sisters in Crime on-line website how it was possible that the book was on sale at Amazon before it was available from the publisher.
The question reminded me of when a copy of my first novel, Abraham Lincoln for the Defense, was on sale at Amazon before its release date. Out of curiosity I bought the book. Tucked neatly inside the front cover was a personal note I had written to a reviewer of the local paper, The Kansas City Star.
Before the book came out I met the reviewer after a talk he delivered and asked if he would consider reviewing it. He politely informed me that he got dozens of book for possible review every day. He explained that the paper mostly reviewed works by established authors and that the chances of me getting a review were extremely small. He said, although he could not promise a review, he would read my novel. He advised me that the newspaper had a policy of not accepting packages for employees and that I should mail him a copy with a note reminding him of this conversation. When the book came out I did.
Apparently he sold the book without even cracking open the cover.
I don’t believe the reviewer lied to me. I think he had every intention of reading the book when he spoke to me, but by the time he received it, he had forgotten our conversation. He probably has many similar conversations with new authors.
It was an early lesson in the relationship between writers and reviewers that I have never forgotten.