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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Gladiator's Honour in WHS

I went into Hexham today to get my haircut. Now my local WHS ever since Tesco appeared on the scene has been putting out the M&Bs when they are supposed to be published. However, before that they put them out a week early. I went into WHS more in hope than expectation, and saw the pile of Gladaitor's Honour. Other historicals had sold but there were still ALL the copies of GH. Then it really hit. The terror of the whole thing. I know most people are exhilerated, but I looked at the books and thought -- oh help, what if no copy sells.
Things to remember at times of massive crisis.
1. I am a first time author which means people are taking a gamble on me. It takes seven books to become an overnight success story.

2. It is a new time period. People have to take a gamble on that. I think eventually it will prove to be a popular time period, but it is going to take a few books (aka at least seven)

I have had some nice feedback and have seen a sneak peek at a review so I know if people buy the book, they will have a positive experience or at least I hope they will.

My mantra is that the editors saw something, so hopefully the public will.

It is also a signal to me that I need to contact the local newspapers as they have very short lead times. Hopefully that will sell a copy or two.

My photo that I took with my new phone did not come out very well, so I will go back with my digital camera on Tuesday sans children. My middle stood there with a burning red face as I moved books about to put me more in the middle, instead of out at one side.

13 comments:

Kate Hardy said...

Oh, honey - sending you big hugs.

Of COURSE you will sell copies! Yes, you're a new-to-readers author and yes, it's a new time period, but think how many people submit manuscripts to publishers every year and how few actually get their books on the shelves. M&B accepted you because your ed liked the book AND believed it would sell.

Now, stop focusing on the scary bit and think about your huge achievement: a book on the shelves, published by THE top romance publisher.

And definitely contact the local papers. You are NEWS.

Julie Cohen said...

You will certainly be selling some copies in Reading! I plan to buy mine tomorrow. :-D

Be PROUD!! I know I'm proud of you!

And yes, hit the local press. I think there were 5 copies of FA left in Smith's in Reading by the end of March--but BABG sold out within two weeks, after I was in the local papers.

Anne McAllister said...

COngratulations, Michelle! How wonderful to see your book in shops. What you need at first is someone like my dad who used to stand in the Safeway supermarket and hand copies of my books to unwary shoppers and say, "My daughter wrote this. It's great! You'll love it!" Believe it or not, it worked.

Anyway, you'll be fine. You'll sell lots, I'm sure. And I have no doubt it's a brilliant book (will be deputizing Kate to get me a copy so I can read it myself). As soon as people discover you and your books, they'll be clamoring for more.

Michelle said...

You'll do just fine, Michelle. Definitely contact the press. Good luck!

Michelle Styles said...

Many thanks one and all!

I will not panic. I will contact the local rags (several)

Your story about your dad made me smile Anne and remember that my very lovely sister and one of my aunts have both gone out of thier way to tell people. I think my mil has well.

I think it was just that moment when suddenly faced with the utter reality, the crows of doubt started screaming... My reaction surprised me. I had thought I would be giggly and excited but I was more stunned and terrified.
But I am better now.

Kate Walker said...

Congratulations Michelle! And don't panic - people will buy it, I know they will

Seems like I have to go and buyu one for some woman called Anne McAllister -

Enjoy this moment - you deserve it

Love

T'other Kate

Alex Bordessa said...

I got my copy on Friday in York, from WHS. Your books were placed at eye-level height, and to one side. But, as I hoved round the corner looking, it meant that they were the first M&Bs I saw. So being at one side, isn't necessarily bad, depending on the layout of the shop and various entrances.

btw, Borders in York, is notoriously slow, and on Friday it looked like they were re-arranging stuff but I couldn't see GH. I'm off to Tescos on Tuesday, and will see if I can see GH there. They always have their M&Bs on the bottom shelf.

Your Sister said...

Whenever Kevin or I are in a bookstore, we always move around the books so the Star Trek anthologies that he is published in, can be easily found by eager fans.

My poor niece, almost 13 and dying of embarrassment by her lovely mother. Ah well. I'm glad I'll never be 12-13 again.

Loved the photo you sent me of the books in the shop. I can't wait until they show up over here. Hmmm, maybe I'll stand in K-Mart or Borders and pass them out, "My sister wrote this, and it's fabulous." I know I plan to give a bunch of copies to friends. After all, Lizzie and Jenn have to read it. Caroline will need a copy, and a few other of my wine night friends. My sewing teacher wants a copy too; she's already written down your name and the title. It's going to be a big hit in the U.S., and around the world, and you'll make lots of money, so you can visit me more!

Donna Alward said...

MICHELLE. Editors do NOT buy books unless they think they will make money for the company. So get out there, shake your money maker and then reap the rewards! LOL

I'm sorry I'm not there to flounce in, buy it and exclaim very loudly how excited I am that a brand new author is writing such a splendid period. I had to do it online. Which reminds me, what IS taking that package so long?

Kate Allan said...

Hurrah! Valens lives.... readers of M&B Historical romance better steel themselves for a hero of heros... Congrtulations!

Jenb said...

WHS in the Metrocentre did not have GH on display today. They have it boxed until pub. day, as it is against the law to sell in advance and their electronic tills would record the sale as exactly that. I persuaded them to winkle one out for me, and told them you were a local author. Paperbased stores don't have the same problem, evidently.

Jessica Raymond said...

Hi Michelle! How about approaching the store manager and telling him you're the author and would be happy to sign their copies? They might do a special extra display (Waterstones where I live did that for a local author) and I have heard that if a book is signed it cannot be sent back as a remainder if there happen to be any left at the end of the month!

Michelle Styles said...

Jen --

Many thanks for doing that.

Interesting about the electronic v paper stores.
And Jessica I am afraid -- it is an urban myth about not sending signed books back -- as long as it is just the author's signature distributors will take the book back

And yes, Kate, Valens lives. Kate very kindly found me Valens's name way back when. And thus far it has been the only hero's name I haven't had to change...