March 4, 2010
It's about a month before the publication of THE FALLEN, the third Derek Stillwater novel. I'm having a launch party on March 20th (man, is that only 2 weeks away?!!!) at Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor (if you're in the area at 1:30 PM, stop by, there'll be cake!).
My publisher's publicist has been busy arranging book signings, with a total of 3 scheduled so far, but many more to come. A local bookstore isn't doing anything formal, but they want me to contact them before I swing by to sign stock so they can let people in the store know.
I'm arranging a blog tour.
The reviews are starting to come in, and except for a slightly snarky Publishers Weekly review, they've all been raves so far.
I know ITW Report (or The Big Thrill) will be running a piece on me for the April issue. Jeff Ayers is running a podcast interview and online piece in Author Magazine.
Yesterday, John Scalzi, whose Whatever blog gets 40,000 unique hits a day, topped his mailbag feature with a mention and cover art of THE FALLEN. (Really, that made my day).
As an author, sometimes you get a sense of momentum. Sometimes you don't. Quite honestly, my publisher, Oceanview, it seems to me, is working their ass off to make this book a success and I hope I and the book hold up our end. I suspect most writers who've been publishing novels for a while, have had a real mix of experiences with publishers.
Although I thought my last publisher was quite supportive for The Devil's Pitchfork, they seemed to lose interest before The Serpent's Kiss came out. Not much support, few if any advanced reading copies sent out to reviewers, no advertising, only a mention in their catalogue.
I have a friend who, years back, got great early reviews, lots of pre-orders, and her publisher got all excited and responded by shifting the publishing date around, screwing up the pre-orders and putting a paperback deal in jeopardy, essentially killing the book's momentum.
Weird shit just happens. There has been a tendency for publishers to really push certain books and treat the rest like pasta--they fling it at the wall to see if it's ready, but otherwise don't bother to promote them. Stephen King, in an essay he wrote about his early Bachman books, described them as being like cannon fodder. There have been some big publishing ventures lately where they publishers have decided to limit the number of books they publish and spend much more time trying to turn each book's publication into an event, backing them with promotion efforts and generally trying to shepherd them into the marketplace.
At the moment, THE FALLEN is getting that kind of treatment, and the whole experience just feels different. And it feels good.