Just got the news. It looks like I need a publisher again. I haven't quite absorbed the implications of this, and I'm sitting here looking rather foolishly at the notes for the nearly finished manuscript of novel number eight. Number seven is still unpublished, and I'm being told that I need to write a different series if I want to sell any more of my work. Pity poor Akitada, cut off before his prime.

Any publishers out there who'd like to continue the series???

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Glad to. I absolutely agree on the marketing problem, but that is also affected by how many authors and titles are clamoring for attention. It's hard to make an impact that lasts until Jo Public is in the book store.

No, in my case, the only thing that works is word-of-mouth advertising, and I haven't been getting that. Sure, people write me about how much they love the books, but they don't pass along the word, not even via amazon reviews. And then, of course, most of them may be getting the books from their library. My library sales, I suspect, ar better than my store sales. And my readers aren't the types who read Brown and Patterson. :) (Bless them!)
Word of mouth, in my opinion, is based on how many people talk about what they like, or who are the most important people who talk about what they like.

A friend of mine was recently featured on NPR. His sales did not exactly go through the roof but at least in reading the Amazon list, which I think I understand or at least have an idea about, his sales seemed to have improved considerably.

Dan Brown's popularity, I believe, is that his publisher gave away a ton of Arcs of DaVinci Code at Left Coast Crime and that several important and respected readers brought it to the attention of the rest of us.

I had the Arc for over a year before I broke down and read it.

No, not written wonderfully, not as thoroughly researched as it might have been, but he put out an interesting premise and took out all the slow parts (I can't say that for "Angels and Demons," which I thought had far too much description.

To quote Donald Maass in "Writing the Breakout Novel," the breakout novel must be a page turner, and that "Davinci Code" was.

It takes a lot to hit it big. After 44 novels and almost 450 stories--under 14-17 by-lines, I still haven't hit it to the point where I'm making a living only on my writing.

No sour grapes. I may not be good enough, but I'm hanging in there and giving it everything I have, as I am sure you and many other ning writers are doing.

Jack Bludis
Trust me, old girl. . . I pass the word along as much as I can to fellow readers about your books. And what did you say were the sales of the book now out? A thousand and counting?

I telling you, someone like Midnight Ink. or somone of that caliber is going to jump at the opportunity of taking you on if you approach them.
Thanks, Jack and B.R. I'm working on it. Today I bypassed my agent to write to an editor direct. What do I have to lose? At this point, I'll make the money deal, too. And Jack, I don't make a living off this either, but I love what I do and I guess I do need the validation of being published. I also work for fan letters. :)
Being a novice to writing I see the common thread in all industries. In the medical sales field thses things happen routinely. But the one thing that separates a good salesman from an average salesman is perserverance. I like you love to write and no matter what transpires I will write. So keep on keeping on and good luck to you.

P.S. Iv'e only been wtiting for 9 months so I'm really green
Thanks. Reid. Well, you just have to make a start and persevere.
Hello, I.J.!

I've been away here for so long. I'm sorry to hear about the bad news about the series. Have you gone to Kodansha, Tuttle, Stonebridge, all the Japan-related publishers? I think Akitada might find a home there.
A million thanks, Naomi. I've added them to my list. One must hope.
So sorry to hear this - my condolences.

I've registered with the Poisoned Pen Web Con, which happens October 24th, billed as the world's first virtual mystery convention. I'm organizing two "virtual panels" and connecting with authors from all over the U.S. I think the old way is dying, but there are alternatives out there. The phrase "there's more than one way to skin a cat" comes to mind, but jeez, that's a horrible expression - I have two cats whom I just fed, and I can't stand animal cruelty.

But there's still time to register. Go directly to the Poisoned Pen Web Con or visit my blog for the post describing the event and why I registered.

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso
Thanks, Julie. I'm enormously tempted. Anything I can do via e-mail is a winner!
Let me preface my statements by saying I don't know what I'm talking about, but....

Could there be a way to offer the books electronically? Radiohead offered their last CD from their webpage and asked that downloaders pay what they thought was a fair amount. The result was that the average price paid was about 5 pounds. Normal CD's sell for about twice that, but there's not many middlemen to pay, so the band came out ahead.

I read recently that Donald Harstad was having difficulty for his sixth in his series about the Iowa sheriff, which I adore. Any authors out there experimenting with electronic distribution?
Electronic publication reaches only a very small readership. I'm willing to bet that my readers are firm believers in holding a book in their hands. So, electronic publication is an additional, not an instead-of. We'll be offering both print and electronic rights of the next novel to whoever the new publisher is and will sweeten the pot by adding electronic rights for HELL SCREEN and RASHOMON GATE to the pot.


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