CONVICT'S SWORD among Uncle Edgar's August bestsellers.

From time to time we talk about the specialty bookstores and their gracious way of hand-selling mysteries. A few years ago, Jeff Hatfield, one of the owners of Uncle Hugo's/Uncle Edgar's bookstores in Minneapolis, wrote a wonderful review of HELL SCREEN in the store magazine. It was long, detailed, intelligent, and insightful and appeared together with a review of one of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels. I felt greatly honored. Now, several years later, Jeff Hatfield's customers apparently still remember and buy another Akitada novel. Never say, bookstores can't make a difference.

It happened once before at the Poisoned Pen store in Arizona. The owner reviewed my novel and selected it for the book club. That month, I made the bestseller list there. My thanks to both stores for their generous support.

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Comment by I. J. Parker on September 15, 2009 at 12:42am
Jack, you should apply for a panel anyway. They really have to have a reason for rejecting you. Best not be late, though. That's the most obvious reason to keep you off. And I don't think you can pick your panel. If the book seller is that small-minded, he has no business being on the board.
Comment by Jack Getze on September 14, 2009 at 10:10am
Ha ha. It's true, IJ. I'm generally pretty good with people, but I've made some mistakes -- done a little harm too. One book seller I pissed off is on the board of a big mystery convention -- don't think I'll be on a panel there anytime soon. :-)
Comment by I. J. Parker on September 14, 2009 at 4:49am
Oh, thank you, Donna. What a very nice thing to say. I have a niche following, I think, a small but loyal group of people who buy every book as it comes out. Then we add maybe 2 or 3 new people to that every year and -- well, you can see where that doesn't really work for a publisher. :)
Comment by Donna Carrick on September 14, 2009 at 2:26am
OH, I.J., my favourite sales people are the ones who try to discourage me from spending my money. I'll almost always spend it just because I like them! BTW -- I have Hell Screen on order as we speak!
Good for you on all your hard work. Obviously it is making a mark!
Comment by I. J. Parker on September 14, 2009 at 1:03am
Ah, yes. You're both right Jack and B.R., but I'm an absolutely lousy saleswoman. I think I probably do more harm than good at selling appearances. Frankly, I keep wanting to say, "Why don't you get it at the library to see if you'll like it first?"
Comment by B.R.Stateham on September 13, 2009 at 1:11pm
The book should be a major factor in any decision to buy--but never underestimate the power of personality in convincing hesitant buyers to take a chance.
Comment by Jack Getze on September 13, 2009 at 9:28am
I agree it's the book, IJ, but there are SO MANY books. Meeting someone in person can help get a writer pushed up on the TBR pile.

But this is why authors go to stores, not to sell five or six books and move on. Make a friend out of that bookstore owner!
Comment by I. J. Parker on September 13, 2009 at 7:52am
Oh, goody! Thanks much, Pepper. I'm wondering if I should let the publisher know. They're being slow about the next book. :)
Comment by Dana King on September 13, 2009 at 5:21am
The good news is coming faster and faster. Congratulations!
Comment by Pepper Smith on September 13, 2009 at 4:06am
Have you checked out yet? You're on their list for trade paperback for August.

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