Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sign of the Impending Apocalypse

I'm still catching up on everything, mostly because I got into the strange situation yesterday of wanting to write more than I wanted to do all the stuff I usually do when I'm trying to put off writing. So, I decided to go with it. I don't get into that mood too often and I need to take advantage of it when I do.

A few little newsy notes that I keep forgetting to mention:
Sorry, no word yet on book 5. There is no doubt that I will share word when I have it, whether it's time for virtual champagne or whether I need tons of virtual hugs.

It's official that if Damsel Under Stress goes into another printing, the cover will be the same kind of matte finish that were on the first two books instead of the glossy that was on the initial printing. No word yet on when/if another printing will be needed (it actually went into a second printing before release -- and before the goof was caught). Considering the piles of books I've seen when I've been out and about, probably not anytime soon. It was late June before Once Upon Stilettos went into another printing, and that was because of the Target order. It was sometime in October or November of the year of release before Enchanted, Inc. went into another printing. As I don't yet have sales figures, I don't know yet what the sales velocity of this book seems to be.

I've just realized that I'm almost completely out of copies of Enchanted, Inc. I'd ordered a bunch because my agent needed some for sending to film and foreign rights agents, to use for entering contests, to give away as promo items, and to have to sell at conventions. Now I just have my personal copies. I have one that's my "working" copy that tends to get marked up or flagged with Post-its so I can look up things as I work on subsequent books, I have the copy I take with me to talks as a visual aid, and I have a few "nice" copies, one on each major bookshelf in my house. Now that I've made friends with the bookseller who works the convention circuit, I haven't been as worried about having books to sell because I can just get people to buy them from him and then I'll sign them. That way, he gets the business, I get the royalties and the orders through the system, and I don't have to deal with money or invest in inventory. However, I've also just realized that this bookseller doesn't have A-Kon on his list of cons he's attending, and the con hasn't updated their vendor list since April, so I can't tell if there will be any booksellers there. The only ones listed seem to deal mostly in comics/manga and Japanese imports (which makes sense -- hey, maybe they'll have the Japanese edition!). I don't know if any booksellers I contacted now would be able to have inventory ready before the con.

Which means I need to come up with a plan in case someone who hears me speak actually wants to get my books. I wonder if Amazon could deliver a few copies before next Friday without me having to pay an arm and a leg in shipping (I don't have Amazon Prime and don't order enough from Amazon to make that worthwhile). I guess if I'm just hoping to turn around and sell them at cover cost and am more worried about getting the credit for a sale through the system than on making a profit, I could buy them via B&N using my member discount, and then I'm pretty sure I'd get them on time (I've heard too many Amazon shipping horror stories). The question then is how many I might need. I've sold out completely at conventions and I've sold all of two books at conventions. Is there anyone familiar with this particular event who has a sense of whether people will be rushing to buy books or if they'll just take note of things to look for later? I usually don't buy books at cons and instead collect bookmarks and postcards to add to my list for next time I'm looking for a book so I don't have to deal with the books while I'm at the con or when I'm traveling (books tend to get heavy).

It seems like I tend to sell a lot of copies of Enchanted, Inc. and Damsel Under Stress at events. Poor Stilettos is the middle child. Either people are already fans and want the new book, or else they're new readers who want the first one. I hope those new readers then go back and get the second book. I feel sad for it.

As I've mentioned, I'm working on a new project, but I'm not really ready to talk about it. It's something entirely different from what I've been writing, and in an area my agent has been nagging me about for years. It's a fun case of ideas colliding to create that sense of "click" that makes it all work. Part of the idea I'd talked about with my agent, but she thought it wasn't big enough and needed something more. Part of it was something that had been lurking in my brain for a while, but I couldn't really find a story for it. When I threw that idea into the other one -- something that came to me while I was driving across Texas -- it all came together and I knew I had the "something more." I wrote a whole chapter last night, and I think I can write the next two chapters of the proposal today. It's a good writing weather day.

So now I'm going to do something incredibly uncharacteristic and write before noon. This may be a sign of the impending apocalypse.

No comments: