Unlike many on the East Coast pummeled by the latest nor’easter, New York City didn’t have it too bad–about 8 inches.  Just enough to give the city that beautiful pristine coating…for a few hours.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t use “Bizzard 2010” as a great excuse to hole up and read a lot this weekend.  If you’re looking for some recommendations for fresh voices, check out the current poll for best historical debut at The Season. Both Caroline Fyffe and Leanna Renee Hieber made the list!


Speaking of great debuts, Rose Lerner is giving away a copies of the absoultely amazing historical IN FOR A PENNY.  Get the scoop on where to enter at her blog.  If you’re a fan of Sherry Thomas, Lisa Kleypas, Georgette Heyer and any of the Regency greats, you will not want to miss this book.



Hope everyone had a wonderfully fantastic Labor Day weekend. 

mayhem-in-high-heelsFor those still looking for a little relaxation time, check out the Stress (Way) Less article at Shecky’s, which suggests pampering with  some luxe lotions and a copy of Gemma Halliday’s MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS.  According to the popular fashion and beauty site, it’s “totally indulgent!” 

This week, MAYHEM is also the Romance selection at DearReader.com.  Sign up on their site to get a week’s worth of preview, and join the conversation on their forums.

Congratulations to Victoria Alexander, whose THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA is on this week’s New York Times mass-market bestseller list.



where-the-wind-blowsAnd it’s been a busy week for Caroline Fyffe.  Her debut novel, WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, has recently been optioned for film, with production slated to start this fall.  The Lonesome Dove-meets-Little House on the Prairie story was also featured in this month’s Horse & Rider magazine.  Caroline will be signing books tomorrow at the Wal-Mart in Lodi, CA.


Even if you weren’t able to visit the Dorchester authors at DragonCon this weekend, you can still win a Kindle loaded with your choice of books.  The winner also gets a Kindle edition of the highly anticipated fantasy debut by L.J. McDonald, THE BATTLE SYLPH, which won’t be in stores until March.  Click here for details.

Some of these actually gave me goose bumps.


STOLEN HEAT by Elisabeth Naughton – August

WHERE THE WIND BLOWS by Caroline Fyffe – August

board-meetingEvery month the entire staff gets together and the editors officially present their titles to folks in Marketing, Sales, and Production. Tomorrow we happen to be going over August 2009.  We typically start with any updates from the previous meeting – changes in titles or scheduling, updates to ISBNs and page counts.  Ooh, I can sense your excitement. 

Then one by one the editors present the titles they’ve acquired for the month that we’re discussing.  Tomorrow I’ll be talking about STOLEN HEAT by Elisabeth Naughton and WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, a debut by Caroline Fyffe.  I usually tend to start with a reminder of the author’s previous books (if there are any) and how they’ve performed.  If it’s a new author, I try to give a sense of whose work the book will appeal to.  Then usually I give a brief plot summary of the new book. Next comes some of the author’s background, if relevant, and a generalization of what I like about the writing and why I think it will appeal to readers. Basically, it’s my five-minute pitch.

If we have preliminary cover art, a printout is passed around the table.  If there are any major objections (man nipple seems to be a constant problem with some accounts, though obviously the readers never seem to mind), we talk about how they might fixed.  And then we open discussion for promotion and sales ideas.   if the author has strong sales, we discuss ways to try to bring her to the next level.  If the author’s initial draws have been slipping but sell-throughs remain high, we try to figure out whether an incentive at the sell-in level will help – extra discounts, a matching program, or something of the sort. If the sell-through is the issue, we talk about the best way to reach readers – advertising, buzz campaigns, in-store placement, preview excerpts in similar books and other tactics.  Then we go over any other marketing ideas.

When we’ve exhausted everything we can think of, our sr. v-p of sales gives a budget number–the number we must get out to meet the annual budget numbers–and a target number–what we want the sales reps to shoot for in the field.  And that signifies that it’s time to start all over again with the next book. 

What’s most important for authors to note is that their book is constantly being pitched:  from the agent to the editor, the editor to publicity and sales, publicity and sales to media and booksellers, then media and booksellers to readers.  It’s why it’s so vital that a book have a strong hook and a great pitch line.  The more authors work on honing that from the very beginning the greater the dividends will be down the line. 


Art from Pop Portraits.