Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Speakers Wanted--Murder In The Grove

Murder In The Grove goes "Thriller."

Our 2008 Guest of Honor is J.A. Jance, NY Times best-selling author of two well-established series, and three inter-related thrillers. Ms. Jance will also be receiving the Bloody Pen Award for her outstanding contribution to mystery fiction.

Instructing our Full-Day Master Class on Writing The Thriller is David Morrell, co-founder of the International Thriller Writers, and also a NY Times best-selling author with over 18 million books in print. Previously an English professor at the University level, Mr. Morrell's books are noted for their research, outstanding writing, and...of course...thrills.

We're expecting this conference may be our biggest yet. (The Master Class is co-sponsored by the International Thriller Writers, Inc.)

Authors and Experts--if you'd like to be a part of this "thrilling" line-up by giving a workshop or being on a panel (we offer compensation to presenters) please send us an application by going to and clicking on the "Invitation to Speak" link. The deadline for applications is SEPTEMBER 30, 2007.

If you have any questions about the program or participating in it, please write to programs08@murderin thegrove. com. If you have general questions about the conference, you can write to info08@murderintheg or feel free to contact me at any time (joanne@joannepence. com).

The conference will be held in Boise, Idaho, June 6-7, 2008. Idaho is a beautiful state. If you love the outdoors at all, come and stay a while. You won't regret it. Also, if you'd like to find out a bit about the conference from those who have attended, check out www.murderinthegrov htm to see what others have written about it.

(Permission to forward this message is granted.)

Joanne Pence
www.joannepence. com
THE DA VINCI COOK, Avon, March 2007
The Angie Amalfi Mysteries

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vitual Book Tour Coming 9/1/07

October 5, 1736
They stopped her once before, but they’ll all fail the next time. . .
from Dark River: A Novel of Suspense

Find out what these cryptic words mean during the months of September and October 2007! You are cordially invited to visit with me, the author of Dark River: A Novel of Suspense. This blog kicks off a 6-week discussion leading up to the “death” of Celeste Fontaine, the “unknown” woman buried at Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church.

During this Virtual Book Tour, I will answer your questions about Dark River’s intriguing characters, including Isabelle Fontaine, Dr. Michael St. Vincent, Josie, Ned, Celeste Fontaine, Jacques, Louis and, of, course, Douglas. I will also discuss my 10 years’ work on this book. If you haven’t had a chance to read Dark River yet, you can still join in on the discussion, as I’ll also field questions on the suspense genre.

In addition to a fun discussion, there will be giveaways (free books, a “Celeste” candle, etc.) We’ll also post free excerpts. Look for photos of Dark River discussion groups. Let’s keep it easy—there are no set times for discussion online—post when you want, read when you want.

When your book club makes Dark River an official selection on your reading list, you can get discounted shipping on orders of ten books or more, as well as a free book discussion guide. Michigan book clubs are eligible for free delivery.
See you on September 1, 2007 at !

Monday, August 6, 2007

What's a Publisher?

August 6, 2007

Last week this guy, Jerry, said to me, "I would think that with computer technology these days anybody could get published."
Well, yeah. I answered a little bit about POD and iUniverse, including my experience several years back with it, but really, that's not what I'm talking about today.
Just a footnote, though. A few years ago I gave a few talks about how to get published and one of the things I said was: A publisher is a person with money who wants to publish books. Period. There's no school; no license; no certification. Just money and the desire to be a publisher.
Yes, but...
I learned something important from my iUniverse experience. This was reinforced by my publication experience with High Country Publishers, a small press in North (or is it south?) Carolina, who did such a fine job of publishing DIRTY DEEDS.
Distribution is everything.
In fact, when I interviewed author David Morrell last year, he commented that the way in which publishers were doing so little promotion these days, leaving it up to the authors, and how technology was such that the actual manufacturing of the actual book was so inexpensive and easy to come by, that the only thing publishers really do is distribute. (David was making a point to me, in a musing way, how publishers were doing less and less for writers, I think).
Distribution is getting your book into bookstores. Not Amazon, but all the other bookstores, Sam's Clubs, Wal-Marts, etc.
And here's a not-so-big secret. If you're self-published, if you're published by iUniverse and other PODs, it's damned near impossible to get your book into bookstores for a number of reasons, including but not limited to "no return policy" and "no standard bookseller discount."
A discussion of both of those would go on and on today and I'm up at Higgins Lake contemplating the beach shortly, but let's just say that if you're an aspiring novelist and you don't understand what I mean, you need to do some research on how bookselling works in the United States.
And here's a little-bigger secret: even if you've got a publisher with seemingly good distribution, your book may not automatically be distributed to bookstores, chains or otherwise, and if your publisher isn't behind you in a big way, you can pretty much kiss goodbye the notion of having your book at Wal-Mart, Sam's Clubs, airport bookstores, and the book section at your local Meijer store. I've had this hit home a little harder recently when I paid some visits to very large independent bookstores hoping to sign stock. These were bookstores where I had sent flyers and postcards regarding my books, as well as them being included in my e-newsletters. The Tattered Cover in Denver and Horizon Books in Traverse City. Neither of them had my books. (In fact, in Denver, I didn't see any books by my publisher, Midnight Ink, a division of the rather large publisher, Llewellyn. I forgot to do that thorough a check in Traverse City).
The fact is, I don't know how to convince them to carry my books. If my publisher's catalogue doesn't inspire them, my postcards, newsletters, author blurbs, or reviews don't inspire them, I just don't know how to get them to carry my books.
And here's the Catch-22. The way to get them to carry my books is for there to be demand. For people to be looking for them. And for that to happen, particularly on a nationwide business, there needs to be bigger sales. And how do you get bigger sales? Well, partly by having books show up in bookstores. Ideally on end-racks, on front tables, in front windows, in local author sections, etc.
Nobody said this would be easy, did they?

Mark Terry
email if you would like to be a blogger here. email to list books in our amazon store