Monday, January 28, 2008


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 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!


Jennifer Y. said...

Great Post Suzanne! And I am like you...I always encourage people to buy the books through my blog, e-mails, and through word-of-mouth...I have many of the ones on your list, but I will have to try and get the rest!

Again, great post! As a reader you don't always realize how important sales are to an author, but having gotten to know more authors over the last few years I have learned a lot!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, man, just pipped at the post! Congratulations, Jennifer! Hope you've got some more good reading material for him.

Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, and I forgot to name the authors I would recommend...of course, Sandy Blair (which is how I "met" you), but also Heidi Betts, PJ Mellor, Julie Garwood, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Lucy Monroe, all of the Banditas, Jodi Thomas, Stacey Kayne, Susan Lyons, Diana Cosby, and so many more! I love to spread the word about books.

As for one book...that is much harder...maybe because I just read her and it is her debut book but Her Captive by Diana Cosby. Or Mustang Wild by Stacey that book. Or Enchanting the Lady by Kathrynne Kennedy (another new author).

My sister is the one I actually buy books for the most...her and my mom...but my mom will only read Harlequin/Silhouette books with babies, children, or pregnant heroines. But both my sis and my mom are the ones who got me hooked and I would love to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and try new authors and books.

Jennifer Y. said...

Thanks Anna! And yup, I have great reading material for Christie Kelley's for him to finish...LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, great post! And not just because you featured my books so prominently! As I've told you many times, I was so incredibly touched by you forcing, uh...suggesting to everyone through the door at the Avon signing that they'd better get my book or else. The writers on either side of me were clearly thinking, "Who is this chick? She's got a line out to the whazoo and I've never heard of her!" See? Contacts, contacts, contacts ;-) In fact, the lovely writer signing next to me asked me what was my secret. I told her it was a secret agent, not a secret! Actually I still lend books to people - it's part of friendship and if it's a great book, often my friends will either buy their own copy or chase up the backlist or buy the next book. Often all three. Sometimes the book never comes back - grrrr - so I'm stuck buying another copy. Which isn't meant to discourage you lovely people from buying new books. As Suz so persuasively points out - if nobody buys new books and new authors, there will be no new books or new authors to buy. Publishers may love books but they're running a business when all is said and done. Books that I've talked up a storm and therefore gained sales for include:

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
The J.R. Ward vamp books - ooh, la la!
Nalini Singh's psy/changeling books

Anyone who visits my website will also know I usually recommend a book or two in my latest news. It's nice, frankly, to get a break from talking about myself. I mean, you want to get your news across but it's always nice to have a bit of variety in subject matter ;-)

Jennifer Y. said...

oops...that should be His Captive by Diana Cosby...darn typos

The GR distracted me!

Anna Campbell said...

More books I've recommended:

Kathryn Smith's historical vampire series
Shana Abe's Smoke Thief (an amazing read)
Annie West's Presents
Scandal's Daughter by Bandita Christine Wells

Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, and again...promise I will be quiet and take the GR off to read or sleep, but reading Anna's comment reminded me of actually meeting Suzanne in person in Atlanta at the RWA Literacy signing. We had met online through Sandy Blair's fan club and the RWA signing was my first big signing. I was literally a deer in the headlights...Suzanne noticed me standing by myself at one point and dragged me around to meet some of her author friends...I was very grateful and yes, I did end up buying books by a few of them (already had the others)...LOL. Suzanne is very good at promoting authors...LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Suz is really, persuasive and charming. Very hard to say no to. But she's got great taste in writers, Jennifer (even if I do say so myself!) and it's all in a good cause. Did we meet?

Donna MacMeans said...

Great post Suz! I tend to give a lot of books away and encourage folks to pass along Mrs. Brimley because I'm hoping if I can hook them with the first book, I'll increase my numbers for the second. I'm sure the publisher would love high sell through on both books, but I think they're a bit forgiving on the first book (at least I hope so).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, just checked out Suz and Kate's witty post over on Romance Novel TV's Bandita Invasion space. It's all about the first time (and no, I'm not going to elaborate). Get over there and comment - you might win a hardcover Julie Garwood novel!

Aunty Cindy said...

Jennifer, I hope the GR wasn't too tipsy from the lovely Santa Barbara Chardonnay I bought him. There were no fresh mangoes to make a daiquiri, and as Mme D-W says, it's just no good with tinned fruit.

GREAT POST, Suz! And of course, she's a bit scary Foanna, it comes with the nurse's cap. :-)

As for what book I'd recommend... MINE of course! But since you'll have to wait a few months for it, we have some other Bandita books that are/will be SUPER!

As for a non-Bandita book, Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn is a terrific Victorian murder mystery that is the first in a series. Jo-Mama gave it to me for Christmas and I read it on the plane. A most excellent read. Thank you, Jo-Mama!


Annie West said...

Suzanne, what a great attitude. There should be more of it!

You're so right about encouraging people to buy. Sometimes people forget we writers do need the income, even if the amount per book is very low indeed. I do still lend books, but only to a very few whom I trust to be willing to buy their own in future.

Books I've recommended recently include ones by
Christine Wells (historical)
Anna Campbell (ditto - surprise!)
Abby Green (Harlequin Presents - another newbie like me)
Tolstoy (and yes I did buy it for my daughter)
Michelle Douglas (Harlequin Romance) and
Fiona Lowe (Harlequin Medical).

One of the things I particularly enjoy is seeing a book I enjoyed on the shelf when someone is browsing and mentioning it to them as they search for something to read. Those conversations have led to me discovering some terrific books.

Thanks for the post.


Helen said...

Congrats jennifer on the GR

Loved the post Suzanne I buy lots of books I have just put my order into Rendezvous in Melbourne for another 5 the Feb releases including Christie's (can't wait to read it) last week I ordered another 4 and last months releases saw me with another 5 then when I was shopping at Big W ( like wal-mart I think) I picked up another 3 my TBR pile is gigantic at the moment but you can never have enough books.
I do lend my books to my sister but she also buys them as well so I don't feel bad.
Authors I would recomend include
Julie Garwood, Anna Campbell, Christine Wells, Donna Macmeans, Julia Quinn,Stephanie Laurens, Sara Bennett, Shana Galen, Jenna Petersen, Jess Michaels,Lorraine Heath, Anne Gracie Mary Balogh, Jacquie D the list goes on and there are many more.
As you can tell by the list reading is a passion for me I love it.
Have Fun

Christine Wells said...

Hi Suz, love your work;) That's a wonderful philosophy you have. Maybe the crunch of sales hunger hasn't quite hit me yet, but I don't mind at all when people lend Scandal's Daughter around. I have always been a voracious reader and couldn't always afford to buy books, so I'd borrow, either from a library or from friends and relatives. I think the really horrible thing is having your book sell on Amazon and ebay second hand when it's still a relatively new release. I wish we could do something to stop that. But then again, I hope to reach a wide audience, so as a debut author I can't be too picky about how I do that. I think it's all a balance.

I think pretty much everyone I usually recommend has been listed Bandita authors, Annie West, Shana Abe, Loretta Chase -- Foanna put me on to all of these, actually.

I always recommend Elizabeth Peters. Fantastic Victorian historical mysteries set in Egypt as well as her other mysteries.

Gillian Layne said...

Christine, you beat me to Elizabeth :), so I'll say the other author I'm always pushing is Laurie R King. Her Holmes/Russell series is beyond compare.

My mom reads romance now! And she's hooked on the books on CD. It's really sweet.

I kinda push books like food--in the mood for truffles and Merlot? That's Anna C. or Betina Krahn. Hot tea and English muffin? Mary Balogh. Coke zero and lemon cookies? Lisa Kleypas, Cristina Dodd, Kathryn Caskie.

Way to go, Jennifer...and you got an actual paragraph in, too :)

Caren Crane said...

Suz, great post! Gillian, I love your books + food recommendations. Spot on with English muffins/hot tea and Mary Balogh!

I have a new-to-me author I'm hooked on now: Karen Rose. I am not usually a romantic suspense reader, but have wanted to try Karen for a while since she is a fellow Goddess to my Goddess Blog friends Sabrina Jeffries and Claudia Dain. I love Karen! I picked up one, Claudia gave me another, and now I'm about to glom on her backlist (as we have discussed here before).

Finding a new author is such a treat! I am a bit scared to try JR Ward, as I hear she is seriously addictive as well.

So many books, so little time!

Caren Crane said...

Don't forget, if you get in a mood to order through Amazon, just click on the book covers on our blog's main page and it will take you right there! (How's that for pushing the books, Suz? ;-))

Christie Kelley said...

I'm fine with people passing around my first book too. Hopefully that will hook them into buying book 2(the book with no name).

I actually hooked my mother on romances when she came to visit me a few years ago and then got sick. She finished her mysteries and needed more to read. I think I gave her a Victoria Alexander book. Mom is now hooked for sure.

tetewa said...

Me and a friend often suggest new authors to each other. She got me hooked on The Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I did likewise for her with The Gardella Chronicles by Colleen Gleason. We're both always looking for new authors to read.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning Jennifer, congrats on the GR nab! Keep him warm over there.

I love your blog and all the guests you have over there on Jennifer's random musings. You've become one of the in people to talk to about books!

And yes, you did have the deer in the headlights look about you at the Atlanta book signing. 4-500 authors and nearly 3000 readers milling about is waaaaaaaay overwhelming to us veterans, let alone a newbie. It was my pleasure to help you meet some great authors!

You know we'll be in Washington D.C. in 2009. Maybe you could come and hang out with us some. Great PR for your blog!

Gannon Carr said...

I agree with so many of the above mentioned books and authors. I love sharing new finds with others and vice versa.

My recommended read for everyone is THE SPYMASTER'S LADY by Joanna Bourne. It is absolutely brilliant!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...


Diane Cosby is a logn distance member of my local Dallas chapter. We're all excited about her new book! She even did a signing on the east coast and one of the other authors signing was Nora. How cool is that for a debut author?

AndreaW said...

Great post, Suzanne!

I actually got my sister (who used to roll her eyes when I asked her if she would try a romance novel) hooked with The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. Not only did it get her hooked on romance, it also made her want to read about the rest of the Bridgerton family!


Suzanne Welsh said...

Anna,you authors give away lots of copies of your books. It's all part of the PR of being published. Contests, raffle baskets, book signings for charities. And only a few of those come from the publishers. Most of the rest the writer has to buy to send out.

Since I learned that fact, I have no qualms about pointing out to people they need to BUY their favorite authors. I've sometimes bought them their own copy, just to prove the point to someone.

brownone said...

Great post Suzanne! Lot's to think about. My sister is usually the one who passes her books along to me. She usually buys the paperback editions first to decide if she wants to invest in the hardcover editions, etc. What usually happens is that she'll end up passing over her paperback copy to me and then she'll go buy in hardcover. If it's a series I'd say 9 times out of 10 I end up hooked and end up buying the rest of the series. So it's not always a bad thing when it's passed along (although I understand the financial technicalities of it) because in some cases (like my sister and I)the author ends up with longtime fans.
As for me, as well as the wonderful authors listed by everyone here, I'd add Diana Gabaldon and Sylvia Day. (I keep coming here and finding new authors!) :-)

Buffie said...

Fabulous post Suzanne!! In my earlier reading days I did the same thing. I had several neighbors who would come buy and see what they could borrower from my library. But now that I have gotten to know so many authors and aspiring authors, I realize that I need to gush about the book and convince my friends and neighbors to go buy the book themself.

I have to say that I did not realize that Sandy is your CP. I absolutely love Sandy! She is fabulous. I went on and on about her book A Highlander for Christmas. Now I guess I need to re-read it to see if I can locate you in that book :-)

As for your list -- I already have 8 of them and am looking for 2 more of them. I just finished Texas Princess last week. It was my first ever JT book and I really, really enjoyed it.

See over at RNTV!

Beth said...

Hey, Suz! Great post *g*

I tend to recommend authors to my sister and got her hooked on Suzanne Brockmann and Nora Roberts :-)

Some other authors I'd recommend:

My fellow Banditas *g* (Of course!)
Terri Garey
CL Wilson
Kathleen Long
Janice Lynn
Stacey Kayne
Rachel Gibson
Stephanie Rowe
Cindy Gerard
Virginia Kantra

Okay, I'm going to stop there but the list could go on and on :-) So many fabulous books - so little time!

doglady said...

Congrats on the GR, Jennifer!!

This was a great post, Suzanne. Anna C will tell you that I LOVE to tout her books! My BFF did not read historicals until she met me. I gave her Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched for Christmas.

I have a great forum for pushing romance novels as the owner of our local little book store is a friend, the dealer of my drug of choice (books) and she is a member of our local writers group. She just hands me the romance sells catalogue every time it comes out and says "Tell me what to order." Those of us who are regulars have a shelf behind the register where she holds books we've ordered, books we are going to buy when we get paid - that kind of thing. Her historical romance customers are always asking "What's on Pam's shelf?" Now she has a list posted of what I am reading and what I recommend.

I do NOT lend books anymore because several did not come back. I do buy books and give them to people to get them hooked on my favorite authors.

Caren, is Karen Rose not a terrific romantic suspense writer?? That is normally not my genre, but through the Goddess Blogs she asked me some questions about working in a funeral home and I ended up buying one of her books and have since devoured them all. Ask her about gurney races at night in the mortuary.

I'm with Gillian. I recommend Mary Balogh to everyone.

I recommend Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series to my friends who need a laugh.

Diane Gaston's books are rich and marvelous. The Mysterious Miss M is just a treasure.

For something that will make you keep the lights on at night read Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Pendergast series.

Kathryn Caskie's characters are fabulous!

Karen Hawkins on her third series now and I highly recommend all of them.

Books at the top of my Pam Recommends list at The Book Basket?

Claiming the Courtesan
The Education of Mrs. Brimley
Scandal's Daughter
To Catch A Highlander
Lord of Scoundrels
To Pleasure a Lady

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, Donna! I guess for a first book, and most of our published bandits are just getting their first books into the market, it's great to pass on the book. Getting people to read it and clammor for more is part of the fun for the newly published. But we as readers need to recommend to people to buy copies for ourselves or as gifts to others as much as possible.

In fact, the people who asked me about your book, I told them, "You've got to get a copy of this...You'll never believe the things you can learn to use paintbrushes for!"

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oooooooo AC, I'll have to add that to my list to buy my next trip to the bookstore.

Last week I bought two Anne Gracie's The Perfect Waltz and The Stolen Princess, because of her blog with us.:)

I also bought Kay Hooper's newest Blood Dreams; Two by a non-romance author...Steve Berry's The Romanov Prophecy and The Templar Legacy; and one American Romance by kara Lennox...Good Husband Material.

Kara is a chapter mate and we had a few conversations about pregnancies for her use in this book!

Eva S said...

Great post, I'll have to buy more books instead of lending them to my sister..If I should recomend a new author it would perhaps be Jillian Hunter, I love her Boscastle family.Or in paranormals Lara Adrian, her Kiss of Midnight and the other books in her series are worth reading!
I'm trying to get my daughters to read more, so far they have read all Judith McNaught books...

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey there Annie! Boy you Aussies are bright and early this morning. :)

I always have two or three books in my bag at work and frequently people will ask me if they can read one. Sneaky person that I am, I say, yes but you have to give it back at the end of the shift. Almost always, they go out and buy a copy to find out what happened!

I might have to order a Fionna Lowe from Amazon as I can never find Halequin Medical Romances in the States! GRRR

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hey, Suzanne--

Great post! A real eye opener to those of us who don't think yet in terms of sell-throughs, advances & print runs. I guess I never thought about giving away my waterlogged paperbacks (bathtub reader, sorry) as taking away from sales. I thought of myself more as a diabolical drug dealer. ("You can have the first taste for free, then when you're good & hooked, I'll point you toward the book store...")

Here are the authors I usually give to non-romance readers to get 'em started:

Nora Roberts/JD Robb
Mary Balogh
Julia Quinn
Suzanne Brockman
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Jennifer Crusie
Janet Evanovich

And I hand sell the Bandita Books every time I set foot in the bookstore. Go, Banditas!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Helen, your passion for books is magnificent! Like you I tend to pick up books while doing the regular shopping. I used to tell my kids, "a trip to the store without stopping at the book section is a total waste of time!"

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Christine, I know what you mean. It breaks my heart to watch my friend's and CP's books appear on E-Bay or as a used copy on Amazon. I have a very good friend who is a voracious reader, but she buys brand new books at the half-priced book stores in town. I explained the need for her to buy brand new authors at regular book stores and back lists of other authors at the hal-priced places. Hopefully she's listened.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ooooooo Gillian, I love your books/food idea. I have one, but you'll have to wait until August to get a copy. Salsa and Tequilla...Jo Davis' Trial By Fire. OMG...y'all I can't tell you how much I loved this book. (I critiqued it)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Caren, I love me some Karen Rose! You know I picked up her first two novels at a publisher sponsored book signing in Dallas. She was seated next to Kathleen Givens, a friend of mine, and I was waiting to say hello. Karen was quietly sitting there and I picked up one book and read the back. It sounded great, so I asked her to sign it. While she did that, I read the back of the other. Well, I had to have it, too! Imagine how thrilled I was when she was not only nominated for a RITA the next year, but won! I've been hooked ever since.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Christie, I'll make sure everyone I know sees your book and knows they should go buy a copy!! How's that for pushing your book?

It's great fun to walk into work and have people say, "Oh I got a copy of that book you were reading! It was great! What else should I buy?"

Suzanne Welsh said...

Tetewa, I've hooked lots of people on Sherrilyn, including my two daughters.

Did you know that her Kinley MacGregor book the Dark Knight is being serialized in comics? Yep. And once the whole book has been made into a series of comics, they're going to combine them into a graphic novel. Ahem....the reason I'm telling y'all this is, my girls both love comics and graphic I'm thinking I may have to get them copies!

And can you imagine the market she'll open for herself among comic book enthusiasts? Smart woman, our Sherrilyn!

MsHellion said...

I would recommend: Leslie Langtry, author of 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy *and* Guns Will Keep Us Together.

It's about a family of assassins; a bit like screwball comedy...and she pretty much sums it up when she says, "And you think your family reunions are bad." When they usually have family reunions, they pop off one of the relatives for being a slacker.

MsHellion said...

Knight of Darkness by Kinley Macgregor is one of my favorite books by her. I adore that particular series--and I thought it was hysterical when she did her "own" quote on it. Very tongue-in-cheek; and I thought very like her humor.

flchen1 said...

A terrific post, Suzanne--thank you for that pointed reminder!

I think my list of authors to recommend looks much like many of yours--the Banditas, Stacey Kayne, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Jennifer Crusie, Suzanne Brockmann, Susan Elizabeth Phillips...

One other author that hasn't been mentioned yet (I think) is Sarah Mayberry--she's written mostly category (Blazes, mainly) stuff, and is fantastic!

And yes, I've gotten hooked on many new authors through Banditas and Jennifer's blog and a few others--my to-buy and to-read lists are enormous!

And BTW, congrats on the GR, Jennifer! He's got plenty to read, for sure! :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Now Brownone I have to love your sister. She buys both the hardback and the paper back! That's a great way to pass books along. Good for her and you!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Buffie, yes Sandy is a sweetheart! She loved her time on RNTV as the guest author and the Mystery Author and being interviewed last July.

And believe me, you'll know me when you find me in A Highlander For Christmas! In fact, now that you know, I'll be hard to miss. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good for you Andrea! It's great to have family and friends enjoying the same books we do. My Mom and I spend lots of times talking about books and seeing who can get the first copy of our favorites. Sigh, now that I live 1100 miles away, I can't "borrow" from her too much!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Gannon, is The Spy Master's Lady a historical? If so, what time period? (must add to list)

p226 said...

I've given away a bunch of non-fiction books to folks. Books that enumerate a philosophy, political position, or contain generally useful or enlightening information.

A couple of examples include Freakonomics and Culture of Fear. Culture of Fear by Barry Glasner is probably one of the most eye-opening books I've ever read. I passed out many copies of that one.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Beth, a friend hooked me on Suzanne Brockmann by giving me 10 of her Seal Team temptations to read. them all in one week! Then she came to the Dreamin' In Dallas conference as a guest speaker, where I got to meet her. WOW! I've bought everything she's written since.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Eva, if they like Judith McNaught, they might like Julie Garwood or Amanda Quick.

There's another writer I recommend people to. Jayne Ann Krentz...I love her in all three of her presonas, JAK, Amanda Quick and Jane Castle.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Pam...what I wouldn't give to have a bookstore owner for a friend. While I do have an in with the local Borders romance section leader...he does sales at our local chapter meetings a few times a month!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Susan, you are such a sweet looking little thing, and yet there is this diabolical side to you. Soggy books and drug dealing! One would never know by looking at you that such evil exists! LOL

jo robertson said...

Great post, Suz. I just discovered Deanna Raybourn's debut book Silent in the Grave and, honestly, she's one of the best new historical writers I've read.

My good friend Kelly bought the book for me and I, in turn, bought a copy for Aunty Cindy -- who loved it -- so we're following your advice, Suz!

Raybourn's series, touted as A Lady Julia Grey mystery, is subtle in historical detail. And you'll love the darkly mysterious alpha male, Nicholas Brisbane.

Check her out, readers. She's amazing! Her second book in the series is now out in trade paperback -- Silent in the Sanctuary.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey there Ms. Hellion! A family of assassins? What a unique twist. Will have to look her up. (Oy the list is growing again!).

And yes, Sherrilyn's quote on her Kinley book was too funny!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Flechen... I'm afraid I'll never be able to get through my TBR piles...yes the plural. My addiction is a sad, sad thing. Will probably need and intervention soon.

Suzanne Welsh said... the way, congrats on starting your first book! (I saw that yesterday on the blog.)

My oldest reads a lot of philosophy books, when she isn't reading fantasy or romances. The girl reads about 4 books at one time! I'll have to recommend your recommends to her.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, Jo! You're up early. Buying a book for a friend is sort of like paying it forward, huh? I love historical suspense books. Will add your recommendations to the ever expanding list.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, gang, I have to grab a nap...(work tonight), but let me ask you this...

If a person from another planet came to visit, (and knew how to read English), what book would you give them to read first?

Jennifer Y. said...

I love your blog and all the guests you have over there on Jennifer's random musings. You've become one of the in people to talk to about books!

I don't know about that, but I do enjoy having guests...I have discovered a lot of authors and have "met" other readers through the blog.

Blogging is my way of giving back to the authors of the genre that have given me endless enjoyment...if I hook a reader or two on a book, author, or even the genre then that's even better!

If a person from another planet came to visit, (and knew how to read English), what book would you give them to read first?

If you are talking romance then probably Saving Grace by Julie is one of my all-time favorites...that and The Gift by Ms. Garwood.

But I would want them to try a contemporary too...hmmm...that one is a bit harder...maybe Dead Silence by Brenda Novak...I don't know though. I have only been reading contemporary romances for a couple of years now so it is harder to pick that one.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks to everyone who mentioned my books! Gillian, loved the merlot and truffle reference although I've never actually had a truffle - unless you're talking the chocolate variety.

Suz, you're right about us having to buy most of the books we send out. The publishers give us some freebies but they go in the blink of an eye, sadly. But I really do feel that getting someone to read my work is the best advertisement I can put out there.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, I'm hoping you're going to come to San Francisco so I can thank you in person for all the wonderful, promotion you've done for me!

Suz, I bet you LOVE Anne Gracie. She's a wonderful writer - I wish Harlequin would republish her early historicals. They're just magic - as Gillian will attest!

Kate Carlisle said...

Great post, Suz! I'm always trying to explain to my brother why he should always buy NEW books by his favorite authors. From now on, I'll just direct him to this post so I won't have to tear my hair out anymore!

And good job, straddling your duties here and at Romance Novel TV today!! You're my idol!

Congrats on the GR, Jennifer! Maybe you should let him rest quietly for a while ... ::cough::sober up::cough

Aunty Cindy, I read "Silent in the Grave" by Deanna Raybourn and loved it! Can't wait to read her next one. I'm also enjoying Tasha Alexander's Victorian series, the first was "And Only To Deceive."

Gillian, I love your books and food recommendations!

Jo Davis said...

Great post, Suz!

I can see both sides of your point. The percentages we earn are make or break. However, there are always other factors involved where handing a book to a potential new reader is a good thing.

For example, I read around 300 books per year in addition to writing full-time. Let's say you hand me a book by "Author X", who has 5 releases out. I love the book, so I will not wait for the others to be passed to me. I'll rush out and buy the other 4 immediately. So, "Author X" gained 4 sales she/he would not have had if I hadn't been given a heads-up about the books. Just my .02.

My recommendations, other than the JR Ward series... Try Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series. Great paranormal stuff! Anna Campell, I love your historicals. My CP, Tracy Garrett, as well, for western historicals that will remind you of why you fell in love with romances. Try Cindy Gerard, Lora Leigh, or Shannon K. Butcher for HOT, action-packed romantic suspense. Jane Graves and Lori Foster for humorous, hot contemporary romances.

I could recommend books forever... :)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Jo. And super good luck with your new release! Sounds fantastic! I'm avoiding all the 'burning hot' jokes, you'll notice. I hope you appreciate my forbearance.

Jennifer Y. said...

Jo Davis: I have done the exact same thing...received a book (either as a prize or from someone) and then went out and bought the author's backlist...and often with books I may not have tried had I not gotten the book from someone. With so many books available, it is easy to overlook a gem.

That is why, I admit, I enjoy giveaways...both entering and holding those that win a chance to check out and get hooked on an author they may not have tried before. And even if you don't win, you learn about a book you may have overlooked.

I do realize that many of the books authors give away they buy themselves (same with some that I give away on my blog...I have bought several of the prizes), but I am grateful that they would take the time (and money) to do it.

Of course, I am still in shock that authors talk to me...even if it is only online...LOL.

Oh, and for those interested...the GR is currently nursing a hangover and reading Christie Kelley's Every Night I'm Yours...which I highly recommend...the book, not the hangover!

Jo Davis said...

Thanks for the well-wishes. :) I'm excited about this series and it's great to see it finally coming to fruition. Been nearly a year since it sold and August will be here before we know it.

Bring on the "burning hot" jokes- I'm wearing my big girl panties, so I'm ready. he he :)


Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, and Jo Davis...I just noticed your picture and visited your site to learn about your book...I can't wait to read it!!! Lately, I have had a thing for firefighter books...LOL. Adding it to the wishlist! See, blogs are good for word of mouth too...that and cover pics...LOL.

Sorry I have been chatty today...blame the rooster...LOL

jo robertson said...

Wow, Suz! How are you managing two blogs the same day? Not that Foanna and others haven't done that before.

Hmmm, alien reading English. A single title. Man, girl, that's a hard question. I think I'd have to choose the complete works of William Shakespeare. Ya'll know I'm such a Willie fan (NO PUN intended, ladies). That way the reader would have lots of stories -- well 54 plays, isn't it?

Okay I'm such a nerd, but really Will's got it all -- revenge, justice, mercy, jealousy, pride.

Anna Campbell said...

Jennifer, never apologise for being chatty. We love people to talk back to us - we writers are a pathetic lot *g*. And Jo's books sound absolutely awesome. Smokin'! Incendiary! Flamin' bonzer as we say down here. There you go, Jo. Enough hot jokes?

Jo Davis said...


Even though authors are notorious introverts, we *love* to talk to our readers! Don't be shocked. Open a discussion about books and we're SO there! Want to talk about the kids and car pool lines? We've done that, too-- still do, in fact! :) We're regular folks here for one reason--our love of a great story that will sweep you away, get you out of the daily grind for just a little while.

The first romance novel I ever read was The Lord of Far Island by Victoria Holt, when I was in high school. I thought back then, "I can do that..." It only took 24 years, a side-trip into a teaching career, a hubby and two kids, but here I am. :)


Trish Milburn said...

Okay, I'm going to leave my good friends off this list because I recommend so many of them and I don't want to accidentally forget someone. So, the people who I would recommend other than my pals are:

J.R. Ward
Rachel Caine (the Weather Warden series)
Pamela Morsi (esp. her historicals)
Nevada Barr
Dana Stabenow
Rachel Vincent
Janet Evanovich

Jennifer Y. said...

Thanks Anna and Jo D. Now you may never get me to be quiet...LOL...kidding!

Sue A. said...

I discovered Deidre Knight from a book giveaway. I was instantly hooked and the good news was that the book was part of a book series. Five books so far in the Parallel series.

Keira Soleore said...

Suz, I was one of those you coralled and tried to convince I needed to buy Foanna's book. Then Foanna herself intervened and said that I already had an autographed copy from her, and I was stopping to say, "hi." :) Met Joan at Foanna's table, too. It was great to see the support from the Banditas!!

If I were to recommend a new-to-you author whom I really, really like, I'd say, read: "Lady Be Bad" by Candice Hern and "Innocence and Impropriety" by Diane Gaston. OK, so that was two, not one. :)

Jo Davis said...

Anna, those are great "hot" jokes! My jokes aren't printable here-- just ask Suz how terribly unruly I can be. :)

Jennifer, thanks for going out to my website and checking out the goodies! My new series trailer is up (talk about hot!), designed by author Jane Graves, and a trailer for Trial by Fire will be up this spring.

I share your love of firefighters, too. Writing the series is fun, but the research is even better. My firefighter guys I use as my contacts for important questions are truly fabulous. Real-life heroes all the way.

I'm honored to be on your wish list. :)


Cassondra said...

Great post Suz. And I dunno if I could make a list or not...
Sheesh. There are too many.

One of the most rewarding things I've gotten to do in the past year or so is--and I've mentioned this before--teach the romance part of a genre fiction-writing class at our local university. In that, I got to pick the books for them to read..I chose five books I think. And I hooked a class full of new readers. Which was very cool--that they got hooked on new authors. Specifically Suzanne Brockman and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Up and down the halls at that university now, you can hear discussions going on in corners...and every now and then I'll hear Brockman or Kenyon's name being bandied about. In sort of hushed tones...and "you know, because I had that genre writing class, Dr. ________ is letting me write a genre piece for my portfolio. NOBODY is allowed to write genre fiction unless they've had that class." It's kind of rewarding to know that I'm hooking a whole bunch of people..hmmm...that makes me a bit of a pusher doesn't it? And well, I don't feel a bit guilty....

The dilemma comes when I have to cull and clear my own shelves--and having a small house, I do have to cull. I don't want to throw those books away. So I do give them away--to shelters or libraries or somewhere I think a little happiness and light might come of it. And where I don't think I'm taking away from future sales.

Buffie said...

p226 -- I bought Freakonomics for my nephew (who is a senior at Georgia Tech) for Christmas. Also bought him another book, I think it was called A Long Way Home or something like that.

And yes, Suz, you really must go buy The Spymaster's Lady. Several of the gals were raving about it on RNTV so I went and bought it. I'm reading it now and man Bourne is one fabulous story teller!

Jane said...

I would recommend Julia Ross. Start with "The Seduction" and work your way through her backlist. Another great author is Allison Brennan.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Thanks, Kate! You're being on RNTV with me has been loads of fun, and also eased some of the pressure on me!

Send your brother my way and I'll set the poor boy on the path to righteousness! LOL

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jo, you and I've talked about this a few times over lunch. And while I know new authors want people to hand their books to others to read so they'll hook them in for the next book, I used to lend every book by an author out. Now I just tell everyone I know to go buy book "so-and-so". Since I'm usually a good judge of good books, well, let's just say I sell a LOT of books that way!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jo Mama....(got to keep my Jo's straight)... Shakespere? Can you imagine an alien talking after that? All those thees and thous? LOL And he might be looking for a Capulet or two, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Grinning sheepishly to Keira. Moi? I'm such a shy, retiring little thing. Have never "corralled" anyone...well, okay, but it was a great book, wasn't it?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Cassondra, you're my hero! To be able to introduce Romance stories into the hallowed halls of higher learning? And make an impact for both the readers and the genre with a new generation! You go girl!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jane, Allison Brennan is fantastic, isn't she? A friend hooked me on her a few years ago when her books started hitting the shelves!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Alas, I'm having to leave for the night. Work calls. UGH! And I can't get on blogger from there. BUT, if big brother hasn't caught me yet, I can still chat with y'all over at RNTV...and yes I outted myself with the JG story....blushing.

So if there are no patients for me tonight, I'll see you there in a few hours. And Kate is keeping things going nicely! Yeah Kate!

Aunty Cindy said...

OOPS! Blogger ate my previous post. GRRR!

Let me try again: Allison Brennan is a chapter mate of mine and she will be guest blogging with us next week! DO NOT miss her!


Jennifer Y. said...

Very cool about Allison Brennan! I actually got my sister hooked on her by loaning her one of my Brennan books.

Joan said...

Wow, so many favs, so little space.

Off the top of my head:

Suzanne Brockman
Michelle Rowan (LOVED Fanged and Fabulous)
Jane Graves (LOVED Hot Wheels and High Heels)
Shana Abe. If you like Smoke Thief, try Dream Thief...fantastic. I've got her latest waiting for me to finish up...get ready Caren....the JR series which I have devoured in less than 2 weeks! The woman takes deep POV to a whole 'nother level.

Also, CL Wilson, Robin Owens, Gena Showalter, Susan Grant, Pamela Clare, Kathleen long is this blog?

catslady said...

40 years ago when I first started working I bought books like crazy but I did lend them to my sister who was home with children and my mom. I still lend them to my mom but my sister can now afford to buy her own. My oldest daughter and I sometimes share too. There are times in some people's lives that they just can't afford new books. Although I do pay attention to word of mouth, when it comes to new to me authors sometimes it takes a borrowed or won book to try someone new and then if I enjoy it I'll buy backlisted and new books.

My daughter introduced me to Jodi Picoult and now we've both bought up all her books. I just finished my first Linda Jacobs book and want to look for more of hers.

Oh and I always buy books as gifts or GC's so they can pick their own :)

doglady said...

Kate, Silent in the Grave and the sequel to it are on my TBR pile right now. And I get to meet Tasha Alexander on February 10th at our library fundraiser Murder on the Menu luncheon. Can't wait!! Love anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon / Kinley MacGregor. Oh and somebody mentioned Jillian Hunter and the Boscastle series - LOVE 'EM!!

doglady said...

Oh hey! Anna C says I am a pimp! Do I get a really big car with a purple fuzzy interior and lots of gold jewelry?? Stacked shoes? A really cool hat?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, don't you have that already, Pam? And Jane, so agree with you about Julia Ross. She writes so beautifully, doesn't she?

Cherie J said...

Some of my favorite authors to try and hook people to are Nalini Singh, Robin Owens, Christine Feehan and my newest is Stephanie Meyer. My sister and I are always hooking each other on to new authors. We lend each other books all the time.

Caffey said...

I love book shopping! I just got back from the bookstore. Its so much fun going there finding so much new and there's no way I can leave without buyint a couple of books, at least, LOL.

I'd tell you to read Julianne Maclean! Gosh her books are music to my mind! I get so caught into them! Her new series just started, so its out now, IN MY WILD FANTATIES. I'd love for you to read that and many of my friends!

I've already bought about 4 or 5 so far on your list! Now i'm checking up others I didn't know about! Thanks.