Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly -- and the Beautiful

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

I recently sent out a letter to the readers on my newsletter list outlining my good and bad fortune.  You see, the good was that my publisher paid to have my most recent book, The Walled Flower, get special placement in Barnes & Noble in February when it debuted.  (In the "step" displays at the front of the store.)

The bad?  That despite their best efforts, the book did not sell as well as it might have.  After all, most of my readers know me as Lorna Barrett NOT Lorraine Bartlett (which happens to be my real name).   It was the 2nd book in the series, while the next Booktown Mystery, Murder On The Half Shelf, will be #6 in the series.  I've had far more time to build readership in that name.  (And have had a terrible time trying to let those readers know that Lorraine and Lorna are one and the same.)

The ugly?  The books that didn't sell were likely to be stripped.  Stripped means the booksellers rip off the covers, throw the books into their Dumpsters, and then return the covers for FULL CREDIT.  Meanwhile, the author is (financially) penalized for the books that didn't sell. 

I went to every Barnes & Noble store I could and signed all the copies they had in hopes that the books would have a second chance at selling, simply because they were autographed.  But there's just one of me, and I only managed to hit 10-12 stores.

Thankfully, many of my readers around the country came to my rescue.  They went out and bought extra copies of the book from their local Barnes & Noble.  In fact, one of my readers, her sister and mother, bought FIFTEEN COPIES and gave them to friends.

FIFTEEN COPIES.  And gave them to friends.

I cannot fathom the kindness (and the financial sacrifice) behind such a generous act.

I am very, very grateful for the loyalty of my readers.

If you liked the first book and are still on the fence about buying the second, I hope you'll take the opportunity to do so soon.  Thank you for all who stepped up to rescue my book.  You will never know how your kindness has affected me, and I promise I will pay it forward.

Meanwhile, if you bought a copy of The Walled Flower and would like an autographed bookplate, I would be very happy to send one to you.  Just send your request to me at LLB(AT)LLBartlett(DOT)com, along with your snail mail address, and I'll pop one (and a few bookmarks) in the mail.

Thank you!