Sometimes A Fan Makes It All Worthwhile!

 

When you run into the sort of problems I've had with my three publishers, you begin to question your masterplan for the series.  Thank God for fans who'll write to tell you that you are not to blame.

 

 

Dear Ms. Parker,

I just finished reading the “News and Events” page on your web site and was shocked to read that your publisher has done such a dismal job promoting such a wonderful series. I ran into the first book accidentally a year or so ago at Barnes & Noble, bought two, finished them in four days and ended up buying the remaining books in the series. I was very excited when The Masuda Affair was placed on Amazon for preorder and then to have The Fires of the Gods published not long after was almost more than I could stand!

Since reading the first book, I’ve been an ardent fan. These are books in which I can totally lose myself. Mystery series are often formulaic and can become repetitive and even annoying (the kiss of death for me) if the characters cease to change as their stories develop from book to book. You have, however, managed to keep Akitada Sugawara, his family and his retainers interesting and true through many books. Your main characters go through changes in each of your books, they are not just one-dimensional. Those changes, for better and for worse, keep this reader’s interest peaked and wanting to know more.

It would truly be a shame if this series ended for want of a publisher and I sincerely hope you find one quickly for the book on which you are currently working. Given the state of publishing these days, it is not a surprise that quality is often under-promoted. You are a terrific storyteller and your stories have certainly enriched my reading life. Thanks so much,

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Comment by I. J. Parker on March 15, 2011 at 4:08am
Thank you, O'Neil.  I hope things are going well for you.  These are tough times. I notice you do quite a bit of promotion online.  Good for you!
Comment by O'Neil De Noux on March 15, 2011 at 2:07am
"... enriched my reading life." That's as good as it gets.
Comment by I. J. Parker on March 13, 2011 at 8:44am
Oh, how very nice!  Thank you all!  Is that a typo, Dana?  About making a living?  I made 12,000.00 (before taxes) last year, and that included the sale of two new titles and foreign royalties. Each of the two new novels took me a year to write.  That's one reason why I'd really like to get some of my books on Kindle.  In all these years, I've never had a year when I made a "living".
Comment by B.R.Stateham on March 13, 2011 at 6:45am
I count myself as one of those 'ardent' fans.  Love this series.
Comment by Dana King on March 13, 2011 at 6:41am

IJ,

We've traded a lot of messages here, and I think I know you a little. I know you're making a living doing this, but I have to believe that letter touched and encouraged you in a way no check ever will.

I'm happy for you.

Comment by Jack Getze on March 13, 2011 at 6:03am

Wow, what a great letter, I.J.

I'd have that puppy blown up large and pasted on the wall.

Comment by I. J. Parker on March 13, 2011 at 5:25am
Yes, Dana.  These days, I don't even get much encouragement from my agent.  It means a lot. Thank you.
Comment by Dana King on March 13, 2011 at 5:16am
Kind of makes it worth all the bull, doesn't it? Congratulations

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