Monday, October 22, 2007

Hearing the shouts of "Hallelujah" erupting from the DiGenti household several weeks ago you may have thought we were in the midst of an old-fashioned tent revival. In actuality, it was only me expressing my exuberance at completing WINDRUSHER AND THE TRAIL OF FIRE. I even hand-delivered it to my publisher who expressed a few hallelujahs of his own.
The plan is to have the third Windrusher installment out in late spring/early summer of 2008. The exciting news is my publisher wants to release it at the mammoth Book Expo America in Los Angeles the first weekend in June. So if you're on the West Coast, you might be able to get an early copy. I hope to do several signings while I'm out there and will keep you informed through my blog and on the Appearances page of my website.
With Windrusher behind me, I'll continue marketing my current books while taking another swipe at my mystery, MATANZAS BAY, and hopefully finding a home for it in 2008.
Speaking of marketing books, the pressure to attract audiences to books is a never-ending proposition for the vast majority of published authors. Writers with small or mid-size publishers are expected to continually promote their books with signings, talks, book tours, and conferences. Even those authors with major houses can be found on the road for a good portion of the year promoting their newest release.
It's only the top 10 percent of popular authors with large followings who can afford to enjoy the fruits of their labors without worrying about constantly flacking their books. I've heard a statistic that only about 200 authors make a living from their books. That's not very encouraging, but it keeps the dream alive for thousands of starving writers who hope to gain admittance into that exclusive club.
Most of us can only dream of seeing dozens, if not hundreds of people lining-up to have their book autographed. I've seen that phenomenon with James Patterson and former president Jimmy Carter, and it's mind-boggling. A recent NY Times story had a picture of Donald Trump arriving at a 5th Avenue Barnes & Noble where several hundred people gathered outside to greet him. At first blush, this looked like another of those phenomenons of a mega-celebrity's drawing power as he was there to autograph copies of his new book co-written with Bill Zanker, president and founder of The Learning Annex. Upon reading the story, however, we learned that The Learning Annex had placed a large ad in the paper announcing it would give away $30,000 to people in line that morning.
The plan called for the first 100 people to receive $100 bills, the next 200 would get $50, and $10 to the next 1,000 . This was certainly a unique way to call attention to a new book — but not one most authors could afford or endorse — although it wasn't clear how many people used the money to actually buy the book.
With promises you won't receive any cash from me, I still hope to see you at one of my future book events:
  • Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Saturday, October 27 at 1:00 p.m. 11112 San Jose Boulevard in Jacksonville. Book signing.
  • Florida Writers Association Annual Conference – November 9 - 11. 6th annual Florida Writers Association Conference at Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World.
  • Cat Writer's Association Annual Conference – November 16 - 17 – Crowne Plaza Hotel Mid-Peninsula, Foster City, CA. Book Autograph Party Saturday at 3:00 p.m. It's open to the public.
  • Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Friday, November 30 at 5:30 p.m. Book signing. Town Center Shopping Center, Jacksonville.