Recently, I attended the breakfast sponsored by Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter at the Florida Library Association conference. Sixty librarians had signed up for this event. We ate first, and then jumped into Author Speed Dating. Since there were five of us, we had the librarians spaced out at five tables. During the allotted time, we each gave a spiel about our books before the bell rang indicating our time was up. We hopped from table to table this way. The librarians seemed to enjoy hearing from us individually, and it was a great way for us to inform them about our work.
We gave a panel afterward on “From Cozy Cats to Crazy Killers…Investigating the Mystery Novel Genre” with authors Diane A.S. Stuckart, Ann Meier, Linda Hengerer, M.C.V. Egan, Nancy J. Cohen, and Robert Brink.
The following weekend, I gave a talk at an author luncheon at Temple Beth El Sisterhood in Fort Myers. This was a lovely event with a Chinese meal and a booksigning. I met a lot of nice ladies and enjoyed our conversation.
On the way home, my husband and I stopped off at Naples. We got our morning exercise strolling along Fifth Avenue with its historic buildings and tropical foliage. Then we headed home via Alligator Alley.
FLORIDA AUTHORS ACADEMY
If you’re in Florida, take a look at the schedule for classes this summer. Here is mine: Saturday, August 24, 10 am to 12 noon, “Agents, Query Letters, & Synopses” with Nancy J. Cohen, Florida Author’s Academy, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 104 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: 561-279-7790. $25 fee for class. Advance reservations requested. http://www.flauthorsacademy.com/
FACEBOOK BEACH PARTY – June 6th! SAVE THE DATE! Join Nancy J. Cohen & Maggie Toussaint to celebrate their recent releases at a Summer Beach Party on Thursday, June 6, from 7pm to 8pm. Fun and Prizes! https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty/
GIVEAWAY Enter June 1-18 to win a free mystery from the prize vault at Booklovers Bench.
This was my first time participating in the one-day Orlando Book Festival held on April 21, 2018 at Orlando Public Library in downtown Orlando. I got there by 10:00 am and listened to part of the opening speech by bestselling YA author S. Jae-Jones.
My panel came next, so I hustled to the second floor tech center where our table waited. Other panelists were bestselling thriller author David Hagberg, Amy Christine Parker, and Lori Roy with Jennifer Morrison as moderator. We discussed mysteries and thrillers and answered audience questions. It was interesting hearing what my fellow panelists had to say.
Although the library supplied a “green room” with snacks and water bottles, we were on our own for lunch. My husband and I bought sub sandwiches at a nearby fast food place for a meal. Then I attended an interesting workshop about writing tools by Dr. Roy Peter Clark from the Poynter Institute. He discussed the phrase, “The Queen, my lord, is dead.” Which parts of this sentence matter? It could have been written differently, such as, “My lord, the Queen is dead.” Or, “The Queen is dead, my lord.” Dr. Clark pointed out how in any sentence, the word next to the period is the emphatic word. Thus the word “dead” in the original phrase is the most important one. The second most important word would be “Queen” and this comes in the beginning. The lesson? Have the most important word or phrase at the end of a sentence and preferably also at the end of a paragraph.
The final speech of the day was an entertaining talk by bestselling thriller author David Baldacci. He’s a great speaker with stories about his adventures that kept the audience enthralled.
The entire event was well-organized with an on-site bookstore run by Writer’s Block Bookstore. Various local writing organizations offered informative materials at exhibitor tables. A mass booksigning followed the day’s talks. I was honored to be included in this year’s book festival.
Enter the audiobook giveaway from BookSweeps now through April 30th. You could win 20+ crime fiction and thriller audiobooks, plus a new eReader and free ebooks. Enter Here: http://bit.ly/crimeaudio-apr18
As 2013 is upon us, I hope to see some of you at my upcoming Author Appearances and Book Events. Stop by to introduce yourself, to chat about books, and to share your opinions. In some of these, I’ll be giving a presentation on my romance or mystery novels. Others will be writing workshops. Booksignings will accompany each event. Please come join us!
January 12, Saturday, 9:00 am, “Social Networking for Writers” with Author Nancy J. Cohen and Contributing Editor Barbara Vey from Publisher’s Weekly, Florida Romance Writers, Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel, 1825 Griffin Road, Dania, FL 33004. Advance reservations required
February 3, Sunday, 2:00 pm, Delray Beach Public Library, “World Building: Create a Sizzling Setting for your Novel” with author Nancy J. Cohen, Delray Beach Public Library, 100 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444; 561-266-0798
February 12, Tuesday, 2:00 pm, Florida Author Showcase Coffeehouse , West Regional Library, 8601 Broward Blvd, Plantation, FL 33324, 954-382-5860
April 17, Wednesday, 6:30 pm, “Marketing Strategies for Authors”, Writers Network of South Florida, Glades Road Branch Library, 20701 95th Avenue South, Boca Raton, FL 33434, 561-482-4554 http://www.pbclibrary.org/branch-gla.htm
April 20, Saturday, 11:30 am, “Promotion Strategies in Today’s Market”, MWA-FL, Doubletree by Hilton (formerly Deerfield Beach Hilton), 100 Fairway Drive, Deerfield Beach, 33441 (at Hillsboro Blvd exit, east of I-95). Advance reservations required.
May 1, Wednesday, Florida Library Association Annual Conference, Hilton Orlando, 6001 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819, http://www.flalib.org/conference_2013.php
11:30 am – 12:30 am, “New Possibilities in Publishing” with Authors Sandra Balzo, Nancy J. Cohen, Patrick Kendrick, Ron Farrington Sharp and Elaine Viets. Location: Lake Concord Room
Vendors will be set up selling fun gifts, and I’ll have a table along with two other authors. This is your chance to get signed copies of our latest releases for yourself or for holiday gifts. Don’t forget to add your beautician to your gift list! I’ll bring along some backlist titles, too, in case you need copies to fill in your collection.
To celebrate today’s release of Warrior Prince: The Drift Lords Series, I’m throwing a party on Facebook and on my Blog between 8 am and 8 pm. I hope you’ll join the fun.
Warrior Prince: The Drift Lords Series by Nancy J. Cohen
When mythologist and Florida resident Nira Larsen accepts a job as tour guide for a mysterious stranger, she’s drawn into a nightmare reality where ancient myths come alive and legendary evils seek to destroy her. To survive, she must awaken her dormant powers, but the only person who can help is the man whose touch inflames her passion.
After a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle cracks open and an ancient enemy invades Earth, Zohar—leader of the galactic warriors known as the Drift Lords—summons his troops. He doesn’t count on a redheaded spitfire getting in his way and capturing his heart. Nira has the power to defeat the enemy and to enslave Zohar’s soul. Can he trust her enough to accomplish his mission, or will she lure him to his doom?
Share or Tweet my posts or leave a comment on my Blog or Facebook Page this weekend and get entered into a prize drawing for a Warrior Prince T-shirt and magnet and a signed copy of Wicked” Women Whodunit.
To be eligible for a spot prize, leave a comment on any of today’sBlog posts or status updates on my Facebook Author Page.
The grand prize drawing for the weekend will close at midnight on Sunday and the winner will be announced on Monday morning. U.S. residents only are eligible for any mailable prizes. Non-residents will receive ebook copies or gift cards.
What’s on the roster here today: *Radio Interview with heroine Nira Larsen
*What to do if you meet a Trollek
*Movies featuring Trolls
So welcome everyone, and let’s get started. I may repeat this notice periodically throughout the day.
To get the ball rolling, how about sharing your weirdest “woo woo” experience?
What is the impact of the digital revolution on booksellers, librarians, and authors?A panel at the recent Florida Chapter of MWA meeting addressed this issue.
Panelists were Deborah Sharp, moderator and author of the Mace Bauer mysteries. The latest title in this humorous series is Mama Sees Stars. Other speakers included Joanne Sinchuk, manager and founder of Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore and current Director of the IMBA; Barbara Miller, Programs & Exhibits Coordinator from Broward County Library; and Stacy Alesi, who’s in charge of the Authors Live Program at Palm Beach Library and who blogs as the popular Book Bitch.
Stacy, Barbara, Joanne, Deborah and Neil Plakcy
Stacy, Barbara, Joanne, and Deborah
How is the industry evolving?
The speakers began by citing statistics showing the rise of ebooks in market share and in library circulation. For example, Stacy said the circulation at her library in 2009 was 542 ebooks. This increased to 11,855 ebooks in 2011. Ebooks went from 16% of total a/v materials in circulation to 73.8% in 2011. They’re not cutting back on print books in order to gain the funding to buy digital copies, but instead they purchase less audio books and music CDs for the library. Meanwhile, librarians often have to teach people how to download an ebook. Older patrons may not even know how to use a computer.
Barbara said that ebooks supplement, rather than replace, print books. And backlist titles in ebooks are popular.
Joanne remarked that it’s easier for writers to get published now, but the gatekeepers are gone.
They used to be editors and booksellers. This leads to a lack of quality control. “There’s a lot of junk out there. How does a reader plow through this?”
On the good side, 15% more indie bookstores opened last year. How can an independent bookstore survive? “You have to change with the times.” Her store does literary luncheons and runs workshops for writers at their Authors Academy. “We are constantly changing.” Joanne finds less publishers sending authors to the store for book tours, likely due to reduced budgets.
Can a self-published author get into the library?
Stacy said they have a selection policy. A book has to be reviewed in a specific list of journals, such as PW, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. Baker & Taylor is their main distributor. The Friends of the Library give them funds to buy books not on those lists, and this may include self-published works. Nor can an author donate a book for their collection. Likely it would end up in the Friends of the Library book sale.
Barbara claimed they invite local authors to speak at the library even if their book isn’t on the shelves. Ebooks go through the same selection process and are bought via Overdrive, which doesn’t take self-published works. One of the roadblocks to obtaining more books in digital format is that publishers either increase the price of ebooks, or else they’re not releasing their titles in digital editions.
Joan Johnston, a NY Times bestselling author, pointed out that a writer’s backlist might not be available in ebook because either the publisher doesn’t have the rights or else they offer to pay the author a piddling royalty and the writer refuses.
Joanne has taken to charging self-published authors a fee to do a booksigning at her store. It’s not an uncommon policy. There has to be some sort of filter, she says.
Donna Marie Mergenhagen, proprietor of Well Read Books in Fort Lauderdale, said she won’t stock books for a signing but instead sells them from the author’s stock on consignment. She’s found that indie booksellers are acting as the gatekeepers these days. If a self-published book has errors, she will not recommend it to her customers.
Another author suggested booksellers ask the self-published writer, “Who’s your editor?” before accepting their work to read. This would help weed out the bad stuff.
What about collaborative efforts?
Libraries may order books from local bookstores for an event. That way, the Friends make money if they buy the book at a discount and sell it at full price. The bookstore hands out flyers to help advertise the event, while the author shares the responsibility for publicity and for bringing in their fans. An article in the local newspaper helps draw attention to events. Announcements on Facebook can also attract readers.
A brief discussion ensued about signings with ebooks but the technology, while present, isn’t widely used yet. Plus what is the psychology of getting a book signed? Is it to meet the author in person? To make a connection? Will this meaningful interaction be the same with a digitally signed copy?
Joanne surveyed her customers as to how they decide what ebook to buy. Answers were:
1. It’s their favorite author in the print world
2. They go to B&N and browse the shelves then order the ebook
3. They read independent reviews, not the ones on Amazon
4. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends
Then Joanne posed this question for you to answer:
What do you see as the bookseller’s role going forward in relation to authors?