The latest update from Susan Wiggs

Family Tree goes on sale August 9th. View this email on the web.
THE LATEST UPDATE FROM SUSAN WIGGS
Enter for a chance to win a Family Tree Book Club Pancake Party Pack!
Family Tree, the upcoming novel by #1 New York Times-bestselling author Susan Wiggs, is a perfect read for book clubs. The powerful, emotionally complex story of love and loss, heartbreak and healing, sets the stage perfectly for discussion–not to mention the irresistible recipes to inspire a menu for your club’s meeting!

25 lucky book clubs will each win a Family Tree Book Club Party Pack, including 2 copies of Family Tree, maple syrup and pancake mix, and a personalized note from Susan Wiggs. Winning book clubs will also be invited to a video chat with Susan. Enter here for a chance to win.

Eagerly anticipating the release of Family Tree on August 9th? Color while you wait! Click here to download a Family Tree coloring book page.

Pre-order your copy of Family Tree at the links below.

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I am posting this as a public service. Part of my revision process involves printing out my manuscript in Microsoft Word.

I work in WordPerfect because it thinks the way I do. But there’s one feature of Word that’s really helpful when I do a marathon sit-down and read-through with my editing pen in hand. You can print the ms with your comments and edits in balloons in the margin…so you know what you were thinking as you worked.

But the "new" Word, which comes as a subscription for 10 bucks a month, doesn’t want you to do this. After monkey around for way too long, googling "print showing markup" and all possible variations, I requested a call from Microsoft help. The phone rang immediately (boggle)…and the helper monkeyed for another 40 minutes (remotely) with no success. She promised I’d get a call from a higher power in 4 hours. That’s a long time to wait for a higher power.

So I monkeyed some more, and lo and behold:

There you go. You have to go to the opening screen of Word, then click OPTIONS, and then click DISPLAY. Look under "printing options" and check the box that says "Print hidden text."

Then CTRL-P, and there are your comments.

Simple, huh?

You’re welcome.

The You I Never Knew was written, sold to a publisher, and edited…and then it was orphaned. In publishing, this means the editor who acquired it moved on while the book was in production. This is usually not the best news for a book,  because that acquiring editor loved the book and was its in-house cheerleader. The project was handed off to a new editor. This is a bit like getting a foster child you didn’t ask for.

In my case, it turned out to be a mixed blessing. They were right in the middle of designing the cover, and it looked like this:

cover never used on the you i never knew

the art i never used on the you i never knew

literary collection of stories

Now, this is a fine piece of original art. The design and layout are Image result for the horse whisperer nicholas evansreminiscent of both The Horse Whisperer and a Nicholas Sparks cover, so those are pluses. It also looks a bit like Annie Proulx’s Close Range.

Does this mean the cover is right for this book? Probably not. First of all, The You I Never Knew would be a paperback original, not a hardcover book, so the art needs to “pop” on the shelf in order to stand out. The colors of this cover are muted and the mood is chilly. It might work on a hardcover jacket, but it doesn’t look instantly warm and inviting, like a “feel-good” novel.

The new editor came into the middle of cover design, knowing nothing about me or the book. There was a bright spot, though. The new editor was the extremely smart Maggie Crawford, and she was the kind of foster mother the book needed–an experienced editor who understood the market for this book. She’d worked with many bestselling authors and had a fine eye for marketing women’s fiction. She took on the cover art issue with aplomb, and came up with this.

The You I Never KnewIt’s one of the least-relevant yet most commercial covers I’ve ever had. Here’s my analysis: Splashing my name on the cover in huge letters gave the illusion that this was a big book by a big author. The lettering itself–big, graceful block lettering–was reminiscent of the font used for blockbuster author Sandra Brown. 22 Indigo PlaceAnd of course, it capitalizes on the galloping popularity of the biggest novel of the ’90s, The Horse Whisperer. Cover Image

So I’m back on track, right? My new editor rescued the novel from obscurity and now all I’d need to do is kick back and let the sales roll in. Oh, and I’d be working with Maggie on the next book, brainstorming the plot and building on the success of The You I Never Knew. Right? Right?

NOT.

The lovely and talented foster-editor for this book was so lovely and talented that another publisher hired her away. By the time my novel was published for the first time, there was no one home. My calls were fielded by hapless assistant. With no in-house cheerleader, no marketing budget, and no PR, my book was destined to die of slow strangulation in that publishing twilight zone known as “the midlist.” If sales were poor, the publisher wouldn’t want anymore books from me, and my days as an author were numbered.

BUT.

I had a secret weapon, and that secret weapon was YOU. The You I Never Knew, aka READERS.

One of the great things about publishing is that readers don’t care what a book’s marketing budget is. They don’t care how it’s positioned on a publisher’s list or catalog. They care about the story. Not only that, when they like the story, they tell their friends. And their librarians. And their hairdresser. And the next thing you know, the book is a bestseller.

Against all odds, the first edition of The You I Never Knew made the USA Today bestseller list. Thanks to readers, the book is still in print, in a fresh new edition this week.

The You I never Knew 2016

The latest edition – in stores now!

The You I never knew-SP

the 2010 edition

 

 

 

 

There are very few reasons to go to Orlando in June…but a writer would go to the ends of the earth to meet up with the nation’s librarians. The annual conference of the American Library Association gives us a chance to tell the most avid readers about upcoming books. Here are a few highlights of my visit:

1. Looking super official with badge swag and easel.

…but it’s always a good idea to read the fine print:

2. Where else do you need crowd control for meeting writers? In the #HarperCollins booth…

3. It’s not every day you get to tango with a #BerenstainBear.

4. #alaac16 had its serious moments. Check out this beautiful message wall. $5 was donated for every message that appeared on the wall. Really. Which is a big deal, when you consider how many writers were wandering around. I wrote SEVERAL messages in support of #Orlando.

5. My vote for most beautiful booth goes to #LibraryOfCongress.

I was on a panel with some of my favorite writers–Shelley Shephard Grey, Heather Graham, Meg Rusoff, Brenda Novak and Mary Kay Andrews.

Sometimes a conference hotel is better than it has to be. The Hilton had awesome pools and a spa.

#books #libraries #newfiction

…never to forget your anniversary.

it won't go well for you

it won’t go well for you

Really! I’m so happy to see my short story, The Key Ingredient, in that #1 Bestseller slot on Amazon. Being on the same list as Tim O’Brien and George R.R. Martin is no small thrill.

Thank you so much to all who downloaded this little tidbit. Just a heads up–it’s a short story. SHORT. It’s an introduction to the irrepressible Annie Rush, star of Family Tree…and there’s a bonus excerpt from the novel.

#bestsellers #newfiction #MondaySurprises #grateful #TheKeyIngredient #FamilyTree #Susanwiggs

My anniversary is coming up, so I thought I’d revisit and update a post for you. This was a fun assignment from my local chamber of commerce. I had to come up with ten romantic things to do in my town. My overachiever tendencies came out, and I listed 11. Comment below–what’s romantic about your town?

11 Most Romantic Things To Do On Bainbridge Island susanjerrybooth-162
compiled by Susan Wiggs
1. Watch the sunrise from Fay Bainbridge State Park.
2. Breakfast options-Café Nola-white table cloths, good coffee, luxurious food. Or if it’s a beautiful day, grab some pull-aparts from Bainbridge Bakers and take them down to Waterfront Park and share. If it’s a Saturday, buy fresh berries at the Farmers Market.
3. Recreation! Rent a two-person kayak and paddle around, even out to Blake Island if you’re feeling brave. Or get a Laser sailboat or dinghy and explore; you’ll probably encounter sea lions. Seeing wildlife up close together is inherently romantic. Landlubbers can bike along the south end, taking in Fort Ward State Park to watch the boats go by. Romantic walks depend on your mood and fitness level: It’s an easy beach walk from Lynwood Center toward Point White and back, offering matchless views of Mount Rainier and a bird-watcher’s dream at the estuary. Or you could hike a secluded woodland trail, like Peters Trail and not run into a soul. If you have access to a horse, go for a ride in the Grand Forest. (Good luck with that, sez Jay.) For the athletes-try a round of golf or tennis at Meadowmeer followed by a nice drink on the deck.
4. Get a picnic lunch from the New Rose Café at Bainbridge Gardens, or at Hitchcock Deli take-out and share at one of the shady picnic tables at Strawberry Hill Park.
5. Go for a stroll in the Bloedel Reserve. A really long stroll, and don’t take any shortcuts. Nobody will think less of you if you engage in naughty role play in the main house or the Japanese tea house. And do not ask me how I know this.
6. Stop in at Bainbridge Gardens because after Bloedel, you are going to want to bring home a fancy plant like Nightshade. Then go shopping along Winslow Way-don’t miss the original jewelry creations and vintage collection at Gilbert Thomas. At Eagle Harbor Book Company, you’ll find signed books from every one of the island’s 13,447 (and counting) famous authors.
7. Get dual massages at Spruce Day Spa.
8. Most romantic restaurant, bar none: A corner booth at Restaurant Marche. Lovely setting in a historic building, gorgeous food and wonderful service.
9. Catch an indy film at the historic Lynwood Theatre and afterwards, stop in at the Beach House for coffee or a nightcap.
10. Stargazing at Battle Point is a must.
11. Romantic places to spend the night abound. Our favorite, of course, is Point White Guest House.
Meet Annie Rush in The Key Ingredient. View this email on the web.
THE LATEST UPDATE FROM SUSAN WIGGS
Tune in for Susan’s Facebook Live event today at 11amET/8amPT!
images_wiggs-div.gif
To mark the publication of The Key Ingredient, Susan will be video livestreaming on her Facebook page today, preparing a pancake breakfast and answering your questions about her new short story and about her forthcoming novel, Family Tree.

Every great love story has a beginning. Annie Rush’s started at a food cart in a vibrant city park. Annie, then a film student, came across a ruggedly handsome, charismatic chef serving up gourmet street food to an ever-growing clientele lining up for his creations. Together, Annie and Martin Harlow conceived The Key Ingredient, a cooking show featuring Martin as the star while Annie handles production.

As they travel to Annie’s Vermont hometown to film their pilot episode, she realizes that she might want to create more than television magic with Martin. But does he feel the same way?

For just $1.99, download The Key Ingredient, a wonderful companion story to #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs’s upcoming novel Family Tree, on sale August 9th.

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This message was brought to you by HarperCollins Publishers.

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mu61eh8j?d=MTQxNTQxMDU3OTMzS0:53333950

Mabel, Mabel, strong and able! Get in here and set the table!

Those of you who are old, like me, will remember that rhyme.

And here’s something new–a fresh edition of The Beekeeper’s Ball. Ta-da! A very nicely set table awaits. And–BONUS–there’s a sneak peek at my next book, the long-awaited Family Tree.

Dr. Mack Roark said, "Our past informs our present and our future reaches back into our present to define who we are." In terms of our heroine this is very much the case; she has dreams for her future but until she can forget and forgo what happened in her past she will never fulfill those dreams. Her journey to do this makes for a very nice “beach read”.

Shout-out to Maggie Boyd for this thoughtful review. Thank you for the buzz!

what’s on my mind right now:

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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