Ah, the lovely month of November.
This is my least favourite month of the year ... well this month and February because of the crappy weather and early darkness. But on we go ...
Not a great deal to report this week. I spoke with my Dundurn publicist Tabassum for a while by phone earlier in the week as we plan the Turning Secrets release in May. The book went up on Net Galley the same day - this is the place reviewers (usually blog) go to read an advance copy and give their assessments. Tabassum said that the newspaper reviews are being given less and less space in their respective papers and reviews in mainstream media are becoming harder to come by as a result, something of which I was well aware - just look at the book section in The National Post and the Ottawa Citizen. The infrequent reviews or even stories about authors are tragic for writers. Many readers buy based on the reviews and unless people hear about a book or an author, sales stay low.
I've been fortunate to have started in this industry when newspapers were still a prime source for getting the news, and my first Stonechild and Rouleau books were reviewed in The National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Globe and Mail as well as local community papers. These reviews definitely helped me to build an audience. Whenever a review came out, sales skyrocketed on Amazon. Happily, Margaret Canon still reviews crime fiction for the Globe and Mail on quite a regular basis and the book section is updated constantly so a good paper to read for book news and recommendations.
So, now us authors have to get creative and look for new avenues to get the word out :-) the best way though, remains word of mouth because readers only recommend books they like. I've been fortunate here as well and am forever grateful to everyone who mentioned the books to friends or gave a copy as a gift.
I've got two signings coming up: Coles Carlingwood on Saturday, November 10 from 1l:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Indigo Barrhaven on Saturday, November 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as part of the store's Mystery Weekend. The Mystery Weekend will see a number of local crime fiction writers and I'll be spending the first few hours with Jim Napier and wrapping up my last hour with Barbara Fradkin so I hope you can come by one store or the other!
One good thing about this rainy, grey weather - I'm spending a lot of time at my keyboard working on the latest manuscript. I should have the first draft wrapped up in a week or two and then the first rewrite begins. I might just make that January deadline yet :-)
And thanks to Courtney Mellor, librarian at the Emerald Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, who took this photo from our presentations last week to the new Canadian women's group. A nice memory from a lovely afternoon.