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Life is so hard for Sonny and Barkis.

After the Daisy question, probably the most frequent query I’ve had from readers this month is this:

so many books, so little time

so many books, so little time

“Why did you publish the latest ‘Lakeshore Chronicles’ book, Lakeshore Christmas, in hardcover, after hooking readers into the series with paperback originals?”
A: I’m glad this question has been asked (and asked and asked) by readers. It is annoying to get hooked into a series at once price point–pocketbook-friendly paperbacks–and then to find the next eagerly awaited book as a hardback that costs more than twice as much.
The explanation is, it’s a balancing act. Having low-cost paperbacks available is a great way to build a readership. A reader is more likely to take a chance on an author she’s never read before if she only has to invest $8 or so in the book.
On the other hand, the lack of a hardcover edition creates huge problems for the public library. With their dwindling budgets, libraries can’t afford to buy many paperbacks, because they tend to fall apart. So that creates problems for libraries with tough choices to make.
When I decided to write a Christmas book about saving the library, the best choice seemed to be a hardcover edition, followed by a paperback edition a year later.
It’s not a perfect solution, and it doesn’t thrill me to ask paperback readers to wait. But anyone with a library card can read the book (or audio) for free by taking this form http://susanwiggs.com/library_form.html to the local library and asking them to acquire the book.
That said, I should point out that the decision about a book’s format is made by the publisher. Sometimes the author is consulted, sometimes not. The publisher makes the call based on their goals and marketing research.
Question for readers–does your library provide a “patron request” service? I’m happy to say mine does! Thank you, Kitsap Regional Library!

Q: “Why did you publish the latest ‘Lakeshore Chronicles’ book, Lakeshore Christmas,* in hardcover, after hooking readers into the series with paperback originals?”

A: I’m glad this question has been asked (and asked and asked) by readers. It is annoying to get hooked into a series at once price point–pocketbook-friendly paperbacks–and then to find the next eagerly awaited book as a hardback that costs more than twice as much.

The explanation is, it’s a balancing act between fulfilling the mass market needs (individual readers) with the hardcover market reads (libraries and hardcover fans). Having low-cost paperbacks available is a great way to build a readership. A reader is more likely to take a chance on an author she’s never read before if she only has to invest $8 or so in the book.

On the other hand, the lack of a hardcover edition creates huge problems for the public library. With their dwindling budgets, libraries can’t afford to buy many paperbacks, because they tend to fall apart. So that creates problems for libraries with tough choices to make.

When I decided to write a Christmas book about saving the library, the best choice seemed to be a hardcover edition, followed by a paperback edition a year later.

It’s not a perfect solution, and it doesn’t thrill me to ask paperback readers to wait. But anyone with a library card can read the book (or audio or large print edition) for free by taking this form to the local library and asking them to acquire the book.

That said, I should point out that the decision about a book’s format is made by the publisher. Sometimes the author is consulted, sometimes not. The publisher makes the call based on their goals and marketing research.

Question for readers–does your library provide a “patron request” service? I’m happy to say mine does! Thank you, Kitsap Regional Library!

*Note: All the links in this article will take you to WorldCat.org, or Better World Books.  Both are book sites with a social conscience and library-centric attitude. 🙂

Here’s what I love about  book shows.

a sack of not-yet-published books

a sack of not-yet-published books

And this:

making new friends: Paige Mitchell from A Good Read in Sumner, WA

making new friends: Paige Mitchell from A Good Read in Sumner, WA

…and this…

fanmail, hand delivered by Paige

fanmail, hand delivered by Paige

…and this…

signing copies of my new book

signing copies of my new book

…and this!

Amy Fosters debut novel

Amy Foster's debut novel

an amazing, inspiring memoir

an amazing, inspiring memoir

Amy is as talented as she is gorgeous. I inhaled this book, a magical story in the tradition of Alice Hoffman. It’s getting starred reviews all over the place. Amy’s a songwriter (“Everything” by Michael Buble, anyone?) and a poet, and she brings her artistry to this novel. When you finish reading it, you’ll want to go on a quest to find the town of Avening. A fairy tale filled with a sense of wonder. Not to be missed. In stores October 6th–put it on your must-read list.

I’m a tough sell on memoirs, but this one is just so remarkable. Kevin‘s voice and point of view as a writer are as incredible as his personal story.

It’s a guy’s book by a guy’s guy, but you’re going to love it anyway.

Another one to put on your must-read list. In stores October 13.

Ready, set, read, people!

Sorry, couldn’t resist. I love saying g’day. And I just love the look of the Australia/New Zealand/Malaysian edition of Just Breathe.

ahhhh

ahhhh

I like it so much, I think I’ll give away an extra copy. Post a comment–tell us what you’re reading now–and I’ll do a random drawing.

it’s 100 degress F today…barkis said no to a walk…

it's hot outside

it's hot outside

I don't feel like a walk.

I don't feel like a walk.

I'll just keep napping, thankyouverymuch.

I'll just keep napping, thankyouverymuch.

[photos courtesy of Jay’s cell phone]

What’s on your list? Mine is ever-changing, but here are a few of the latest and greatest. Reminder: books are free from your local library.

  • Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. See my earlier post about the cover art on this one. It’s now a bestseller. 🙂
  • South of Broad by Pat Conroy. I’m also a huge fan of his wife, Cassandra King, who is fun to hang out with at festivals.
  • Lisa Tucker’s The Promised World
  • Barbara Bretton, Laced with Magic
  • The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells, and Sherrie, Carol and I will be at her book launch event next week, 7/14!
  • While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky (plus I want the top she’s wearing in her author photo)
  • Alice Hoffman, The Story Sisters
  • Luanne Rice, The Geometry of Sisters (whoa–are “sister” books the next big thing?)
  • Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
  • new untitled books by the members of my writers’ group: Anjali Banerjee, Carol Cassella, Sheila Roberts, Suzanne Selfors, Elsa Watson
  • Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
  • Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase
  • Russell Banks, The Reserve
  • Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
  • Dark of Night by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Re-read a classic – Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. Prepare to be surprised. It’s shockingly excellent. The prudish attitudes remind me of the…of the former administration.
Sound off! What’s on your list?

We have a winner! Thanks to http://www.random.org, it’s Judy H! Judy gets the book & the aromatherapy bath stuff. Ahhh! I loved everyone’s replies. 

Next givaway question–let us know your favorite flower in the Comments. 

 

tulips, sound, ferry...ahhh...

tulips, sound, ferry...ahhh...

The prize is fabulous! You get a signed copy of Love In Bloom by the incomparable Sheila Roberts, and of course a signed Just Breathe

Front Cover

Avalon and Willow Lake are made-up places. But if they were real, they’d look a bit like this:

Romantic Times BOOKreviews. The Magazine for Fiction Lovers

[zoom]

http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=romantictimes-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0345476131

FIRESIDE
by Susan Wiggs

RT Rating: http://www.romantictimes.com/images/books/star_full_whitebk.gifhttp://www.romantictimes.com/images/books/star_full_whitebk.gifhttp://www.romantictimes.com/images/books/star_full_whitebk.gifhttp://www.romantictimes.com/images/books/star_full_whitebk.gif½
Publisher: MIRA
Published: February 2009
Type: Mainstream Fiction

 

Worth a look for the often-hilarious dialogue alone, the latest installment of her beloved Lakeshore Chronicles showcases Wiggs’ justly renowned gifts for storytelling and characterization. A keeper.


Summary: After a public fight, P.R. specialist Kimberly van Dorn loses her basketball star lover and her job. Going home to Avalon seems like a plan, but things have changed even there. Kim’s widowed mother, Penelope, has turned the family home into a boardinghouse and is dating one of the residents. Then Bo Crutcher and his son AJ move in. After years of hard work and no joy, Bo’s about to get his big break pitching for the Yankees — but the possibility of his ex’s deportation has left AJ in his custody.

Bo’s never had the chance to be a father to AJ, and wants to do right by him, but he’s expected to report to Fame School before the Yankees deal is finalized. So Bo compromises — by hiring Kim to do her thing instead. It’s a sweet deal for Bo; he’s been attracted to Kim since the first time he saw her. But Kim claims she’s done with athletes for good! (MIRA, Feb., 416 pp., $7.99)

—Catherine Witmer

A few random Qs from my publisher… What's your fave?

What is your favorite flower?

Magenta cyclamen. In the dead of winter, I can always find a few secretly blooming in my garden.

 
What are you reading now?
Identical Strangers by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein. It’s a memoir by twins who were separated at birth and adopted by strangers, and never found out until they met for the first time as adults.
 
Who is your favorite Harlequin author?
That is SO not fair, because my favorites change along with my moods. When I have a rotten cold in the middle of winter, it’s tea and toast and Betty Neels. For a feel-good girlfriend book, I love Debbie Macomber, but when I need a sexy cowboy, it’s Linda Lael Miller all the way. If I’m in the mood for an alpha male, Nora Roberts or Linda Howard fills the bill. Jennifer Greene for a good cry. If I have a hankering for military guys, it’s Merline Lovelace and Suzanne Brockmann…see what I mean? I could go on like this all day. 
 
How many books have you written?
30-ish. I stopped counting after thirty because it was making me feel old.
 
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Right here, right now. It’s a boring answer, but I’m really lucky to live where I do. There’s a pristine beach about ten yards from my window, a dead-on view of Mount Rainier, sailboats, kayaks and motorboats on the premises, a pool and deck, a big garden twined with pathways, a primeval rain forest 1/2 mile down the road, a cafe in the neighborhood with great lattes and pizza, a vintage movie house within walking distance and all the fishing, birding and beachcombing, sitting and reading and dreaming you could want. Provided I’m doing a good job with my deadlines, every day feels like a vacation.
 
Before becoming a writer, what did you do?
Wrote and illustrated long, angsty unrhymed poems, skied in the Matterhorn, rode the Orient Express, played center on my field hockey team, spoke French, played the cello, drank pastis in a cafe in Trieste with dangerous people, sneaked into a Rolling Stones concert, flirted with my master’s thesis advisor, taught Euclidean geometry, Calculus and long division, stole my sister’s boyfriend and married him, became a vegetarian, learned to dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe, made the first cut of the Teacher in Space program, taught myself Fair Isle knitting and counted cross stitch, faux finished every wall of the house, campaigned for John Anderson, ignored my mother’s advice, gave birth without anaesthesia, read Georgette Heyer’s complete oeuvre, gave my hair to Locks of Love, rode a bicycle down the volcano Haleakala, sang in a church choir, told my sister sorry about the guy and had a laugh, became an adult literacy volunteer, lived in a tract home in the ”burbs and read romance novels aloud while nursing an infant, because I was trying to teach myself the craft while bonding with the infant. Then I sold my first book, and everything changed…
 
Do you have a new book coming out?
Always. My latest is Fireside. I’ll have several historical reissues this year, and then Lakeshore Christmas in October.
 
What is your favorite food?
Pizza with melanzane (eggplant), served in a tiny cafe in Amalfi with a view of the sea and a glass of San Pelligrino, shared with the abovementioned laughing husband.
 
Do you have any pets?
Barkis the Wonderdog, a young Doberman with floppy ears and a stubby tail and a desperate need to be petted at all times.
 
What is your favorite romantic movie?
It’s a tie– “Harold and Maude” and “Last of the Mohicans” (the Daniel Day-Lewis version). Runners up: “Terminator” and “Speed.” Really.
 
This year is Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary. Do you have any special message you’d like to pass on?
Girl, you are lookin’ hot for a sixty-year-old! Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working well for you.
 
Your turn! How would you answer? Click “comments” and post there!
What’s your fave?

what’s on my mind right now:

  • RT @JP_Books: "The only advice anybody can give is, if you wanna be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything." – Stan… 3 hours ago

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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