by Suzanne Welsh
Have you ever read a book and just loved it so much you gave your copy to every person you knew so they could read it too? Well, I used to do that. In fact, I did it so much, I was my own lending library! But then I started writing, hanging out with other writers and learning about the business of publishing from my published author friends.
Guess what I learned? While passing around a book might flatter the author and give our friends a good read, it does little to help the author's sales numbers. Why should we as readers care about the author's sales? Because, unless they're a household name with a regular spot on the NYT bestseller list, each author's next contract depends on the percentage of sale-through their last book had. In other words, if they had a print-run of 30,000 books, they needed to sell a large percentage of those books to get offered another contract. Each time we give that brand new book we just read to someone else whom we know would just love it, we've taken a sale away from that author.
So what do we do? We want to get that author's book to as many people who read as we can. We want to make sure that author has lots of sales so she/he can give us more great stories to read. The answer is simple. Word of mouth.
I no longer hand out my copies of books to people. I show them the cover, give them my glowing verbal review, tell them where they can buy the book. Sometimes I buy them a copy and mail them off. Whenever my critique partner, Sandy Blair, has a new book out, I buy five copies. One for me to read, one for my mom, one for each of my girls and one for my two aunts, (they live in the same house so they share). Recently, Sandy's newest book, A Highlander For Christmas, came out and I was actually a character in the book! Needless to say, I not only bought my five copies, but challenged everyone I work with to buy the book and try to find me. It's been great fun having them not only tell me how much they loved her book, but that "Yep, I found you!"
Last year at National, Anna Campbell's Claiming The Courtesan had just come out a few months before. I'd read it before going to the conference, so when she was in the Avon signing, I took the time to stand a few feet off and recommend to everyone who came in that they needed to get a copy from her. These books didn't give Anna sales, but they did give her lots of new fans, whom are happily reading Untouched and salivating for her next regency noir!
I got Julie Garwood's newest book, Shadow Music, for Christmas. I read it over four days, (stretching it out because I knew it would be a while before I got another new book by her). I loved the story. Have recommended it to everyone on my e-mail list who reads. And today I went to Amazon.com and ordered another copy to send to my mom. She'll love it and it repays her for that copy of Julie's book,The Gift, that I "borrowed" years ago and never returned. It also helps my favorite author's sales numbers! Because I want to read more of her books for years to come.
So here's my list of books I'd like you to buy:
Untouched by Anna Campell
Shadow Music by Julie Garwood
Warrior by Kinley MacGregor
Hot Wheels And High Heels by Jane Graves
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritson
Does She Dare by Tawny Weber
Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath **the perfect romance novel**
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
A Highlander For Christmas by Sandy Blair **let me know if you find me!**
The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans
Scandal's Daughter by Christine Wells
Texas Princess by Jodi Thomas
Touch Of Texas by Tracy Garrett
Every Night I'm Yours by Christie Kelley
If you could give me a book to read to hook me on an author, new or established, what one would it be? Who would you buy books for to hook them on reading romances?
One lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of A Highlander For Christmas!