Monday, August 10, 2009

Kinder, Gentler Blog

Because yesterday's post came across as bitter and angry (well, I WAS) I should update it with a kinder, gentler post about the book I read. I did not mean for yesterday's post to come across as an author bashing. Not at all. If there was any bashing going on, it was all on the publisher's handling of the marketing of this author.

Once you click the "Enter Site" button on Toni McGee Causey's home page, it does mention that SMP decided to rerelease the books as books one and two of a trilogy (as I quoted from her website yesterday). It also mentions, in tiny print on the copyright page of the mass market paperbacks, that the books were originally published as trade paperbacks under another name. However, I did not go searching for that information, it wasn't blatantly obvious, so I feel cheated.

I'm positive that the author had absolutely nothing to do with this marketing ploy. She was an auto-buy for me before this experience, but now I'm going to proceed with caution whenever I see a book with her name on it. I'll check the copyright page before I rush up to the cash register with a big, excited grin on my face. Don't get me wrong, I'll still by TMC's books because she's a talented writer. I'll just double-check my facts first.

It's actually a really good deal for the author, because her books are being released one a month for three months, so it increases her name recognition among people who've never read her before. I wish her only the best, really I do, but I did not like feeling tricked by her publisher.

There, does that sound better? I'm still a fan, just a once burned, twice shy kind of fan.


Toni McGee Causey said...

I wanted to thank you for this blog (no, really, I'm serious -- thank you). As an author, we rarely (if ever) have a say in how a book is marketed, and this decision was done by St. Martin's--new titles, new covers, shelving it in a new area of the bookstore. The positive reasons for this was as you said--getting into more places like WalMart, Target, grocery stores. But the negative was also a very big deal: how will fans know the first two are the same? How will fans find the third book? How do we avoid confusion?

I truly wish we could have put something like, "Bobbie Faye's 1st Adventure" or "Book 1" or something similar on the covers.

I had put the "splash" page up in June--the original page that you "click through to" had been up since March as the front page. I'd blogged about the title change in a few areas (most prominently here: in the hopes that it would be seen by fans and I linked and twittered it. (It just now occurs to me that I should have made that article a permanent feature on my own blog, too. I will go do that now.)

But I realized early on that a lot of readers don't check out an author's web page first, nor do they necessarily go read blogs. So getting the word out? As an author, I'm not sure how to do that effectively.

All of this is to say that as a reader, I completely empathize with how you feel. I've felt the same way when a marketing strategy goes awry and I've spent money on something I had not intended to buy. As an author, I *very much* appreciate that you realize I had no control over that issue.

And you know what? I honestly appreciate that you loved the books enough to care. That is a huge compliment, and I think your letter was classy and kind and, in the long run, incredibly helpful.

The newest book is the latest Bobbie Faye adventure, titled: WHEN A MAN LOVES A WEAPON. It is *not* a re-release. I honestly believe it's the best of the three and I hope you and your readers will give it a try.

Teble said...

Thanks SO MUCH for commenting and letting my blog readers (all both of them!!) hear the author's side of this. I can't wait to read the third book in the series because I've enjoyed the first two immensely (twice, even). LOL!

Usually I pay better attention when I buy a book and research it a little more if it sounds familiar so that I don't make repeat purchases. This time, however, I just wanted to pick something quick that would cheer me up while I recovered from surgery. In that aspect, your books hit the spot.

Keep up the good work of entertaining your readers.