So, the book is out there now. Just from a quick online availability check, it seems like things are still hit and miss with B&N (oddly, stores located in shopping malls don't seem to be stocking it, even when it's a full-sized store in a mall). Only one of the nearby Borders stores has it listed as in stock, and that's the store that doesn't seem to have any of the other books in the series. So, unless their inventory system hasn't been updated, it looks like we're where we were last year with trying to find it. Ah well, I'm not sure I'd know how to cope with smooth. But remember, I have absolutely zero control over distribution. I don't even have a way of contacting anyone who has any control over distribution. If I had any control at all, every store in America would have a pile of books just inside their front door when they opened for business this morning. Based on early reports, it would seem that most stores are just shelving books in the general fiction section and are not displaying them on front tables (since the publisher didn't spring for any co-op money). I have a whole rant ready on that particular aspect of the publishing industry.
I think I've figured out what to wear to the signing tonight. I'm not sure if I should prepare for a reading or a talk. I e-mailed the store contact several weeks ago to suggest some ideas for the event and never got a response, so I don't know what to expect. Picking a reading excerpt out of this book will be a challenge because the really good scenes all contain big spoilers. You wouldn't want to hear that part of the book without having read the parts up to it. I guess I'll wing it and be ready to do whatever they want me to do.
There's a sort of Easter egg in this book. Katie's hometown is inspired by and loosely based on an actual Texas town. Can you figure out which one it is? What you'll need is to read the book, which includes some rough location information, then know about a few of my obsessions (which you'd pick up from reading my blog on a regular basis), then you'd need a Texas map, and you might be able to put it together. The source of the name of the town in the book should be reasonably obvious, and that's a clue to the name of the real town. No prizes. This was just something I did for fun.
Now, since I'm already getting e-mails, here's a quick FAQ:
Is this the last book in the series?
It's not supposed to be. I have a fifth one planned and partially written, but at this time the publisher isn't interested in publishing it. That could change if this one sells well enough. I'm stubborn and optimistic and haven't given up hope yet.
Why can't I find the book in my store/why is it taking a long time to get to me after I ordered it?
I don't know. I don't have any control or influence over that part of the process. This is a question for the bookseller because I can't do anything about it other than get frustrated.
Will this book be available as an e-book or for the Kindle?
Again, I don't know because I'm not the one who makes that decision. However, the previous books were all available as e-books and for the Kindle, so it stands to reason that this one will be, too. I don't know when the electronic edition will be available. That usually seems to come at least a few days after the print version.
Where can I find the book shelved?
In most stores, look in the General Fiction or Fiction and Literature section. Yes, I know it's fantasy, but the publisher doesn't think so, so it's general fiction. If you can't find it, ask someone who works at the store. They can look it up on the computer and tell you if it's in stock, and they can order it for you if they don't have it.
Will there be an audiobook or a graphic novel version of any of these books?
Not that I know of. Those are expensive to produce, so they have to expect to sell a lot more copies than my books usually sell before they invest in audiobooks or graphic novels.
Should I wait for the mass market edition?
Don't hold your breath. My agent and I have been campaigning for a mass market reprint to be marketed as fantasy, but the publisher doesn't think that's worthwhile.
When is the next book coming out?
Right now, there is no next book. I have written a book, but my agent is still looking at it to see if it's viable, and it hasn't been sent to publishers. I've just started playing with a new idea, but I don't know if it's an idea that will turn into a book. Stay tuned for more news.
And now I need to start looking for something to read, since I plan to head out early and sign books at stores along the way to the signing.