If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

What I’ve Learned as an Author About Being a Fan

 The publishing business still offers a steep learning curve to me. However, some of the things I’ve learned as a published novelist are turning me into a better fan of my own favorite authors. I’ve written on here before about pre-ordering and how I learned of its importance to writers. Instead of waiting for the books of my favorite author to be published, I pre-order now, knowing I’m contributing to their success as well as assuring I’ll have their book as soon as it’s available.

I thought I was already helping with reviews. On my blog, www.LindaRodriguezWrites.blogspot.com, I try to spotlight books by literary writers of color who might be hard for the average reader to find, as well as mystery novelists who are writing high-quality fiction. I do this with profiles, interviews, and sometimes reviews of individual books. However, I’ve learned that reviews on Amazon and Goodreads count more toward sales than those longer ones on my blog or elsewhere. 

I’ve always just given stars to books on Goodreads. I’ve read so many books that I didn’t think I had time for more than that. I was wrong. Those stars don’t do much good. It’s the reviews that make others decide to pick up the book to read. It’s the same with Amazon—reviews lead to sales. Even for authors who seem to have it made! Often even famous writers are just a breath or two away from tumbling down the slopes in the fickle game of publishing, and success is even more volatile for midlist authors. I try not to buy much on Amazon, so I’ve not done much except hit the ‘Like” button for a book/author I enjoy.

I’ve learned about how important these reviews can be to authors, and now I’ve set myself a goal to post a daily review of a novelist whose work I enjoy on either Amazon or Goodreads. I’m also going to learn how to link them so a review on my blog will post to Amazon or Goodreads. This is one thing I can do to make sure the writers I love don’t disappear on me.

I’ve always been a person others ask for book recommendations, primarily because I read so much in so many areas. Now that I’ve learned how important that word-of-mouth advice on books can be, I’ll be doing a lot more book recommendations and not just waiting for folks to ask me. I have occasionally requested my library system buy a book I want that they don’t have. Now, as soon as I know a book is coming out by one of my favorite writers, I will request my library system order that book—and my own pre-orders for those books will be through local bookstores because that helps them decide whether or not to order in that book to have on the shelves.

The publishing business is in deep flux right now, and authors are being required to do more than ever to promote their books. Every novelist I know, famous or unknown, is buried in a mountain of promotion efforts while still trying to write the books we fans love and wait for breathlessly. The influx of millions of ebooks by people who haven’t bothered to learn to be either good writers or good editors—and this is not meant to describe the many self-published writers who have worked hard at both—makes it hard for the potential buyer to find the writers who have worked for many years to hone their craft. Everything we, as fans of good writing in whatever genre, can do to make our favorite authors successful ensures that in the volatile atmosphere of publishing today these favorite novelists will survive and thrive—and continue providing us with our favorite addiction, their good books.

Do you know of other strategies we fans can do to help ensure the success of the book and authors we love?


Debra H. Goldstein said...

Linda, you make some excellent points - such as pre-ordering and taking the time to write the Amazon or Goodreads review for the book one enjoys - that I'll try to remember in the future. Thanks for your thoughts. Debra

Sheila Webster Boneham said...

Excellent post, Linda. As a reader, I often try books and authors recommended by friends whose taste I trust, and although I don't agree on every choice, I have been rewarded with the "discovery" many, many books and authors I might not otherwise have found. As an author, I hope that readers will buy my books, recommend my books, and ask their libraries to order my books. I'm going to share the link to your post on my Facebook author page - it's too good not to share with fans and potential fans! Thank you!

Warren Bull said...

Attending signing supports both authors and bookstores. I recently stopped by a small bookstore whose owners have always been supportive just to say, "Thanks." I discovered by book was in the section labeled "Staff Recommendations."

Linda Rodriguez said...

Hi, Debra! Good to see you here!

I used to think I was a strong supporter of writers I admired. It was only as I moved into commercial trade publishing and found that the things that counted for authors' success were things I never thought to do.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Sheila! I figured that most people were like I had been and didn't know all these best ways to support their favorite authors. Publishing is so nutty today that most authors (except the Steven Kings) are running just a little scared.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, but of course! If they'd read your book, they would naturally put it in "Staff Recommendations." It's a good book!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Which reminds me, Warren. I still need to get you to sing my copy of Heartland. (Which I've raved about to a number of people.)

Warren Bull said...

Linda, If I sing it to you will you write a review for me? :-) You'd probably be better off if I just sign it.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Asking our local libraries to order the books of authors we love is another method of support.

Jacqueline Seewald

Linda Rodriguez said...

Hah, Warren! That's what I get for writing a quick comment before I leave for a signing (or singing)!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Absolutely, Jacqueline! Even if we intend to buy it ourselves.

Reine said...

Linda, I've started pre-ordering, and I'm especially glad of that now. I'll have to knuckle down and write more reviews,

Linda Rodriguez said...

Reine, you're a terrific fan of writers! Can't wait until you're writing more yourself.

Reine said...

Linda, you are such a good cheerleader! It does help, doesn't it? Still working on that word count, but it's going up. I've learned a lot from writers' blogs and NaNoWriMo, mostly about getting it written. I'm still on the getting it written part, but it is coming. Funny how that goes, eh?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Reine, all good writing is rewriting. But first you've got to get it down to have something to rewrite and make good. Just keep getting it down!