Saturday, May 06, 2006

Publication day - I think?

I love writing for Harlequin Mills and Boon. I really do. I’ve always enjoyed reading the books, I enjoy writing them (well – sometimes – when the Sicilians aren’t being bolshy!). I love chatting to readers, working with writers. I’ve even learned to grit my teeth and smile through the ‘don’t you want to write a proper book?’ or the ‘pink and fluffy’ comments. A long time ago I got used to the fact that the books are only out on the shelves for a month. That has both advantages and disadvantages – the audience of readers out there (is it possible to have an ‘audience’ of ‘readers?) know when the books are out. They’re looking for them. When the new books come in, they grab them. The shelves are always being refreshed, the readers are always coming back . . .But of course you only have that month in which to sell.

Or do you?

Sometimes you have more. Sometimes less. It all depends on the whim of the book distributor, the shopkeeper and the staff they employ to actually put the books on the shelves. If the books have a publication date – as most Modern Romances like mine have - of the first Friday of the month (that’s the official publication date) then you can find the books in the shops any time from the previous week (so pushing off the shelves the previous month’s titles) or – if the shop hasn’t got round to organising it – any time in the next 21 or so day. Why 21 – after all a month has about 30 days doesn’t it? Ah yes, but there are those books that arrive ‘early’ - ie in good time for the next month – and so they take this month’s off the shelves to put the new ones on. So in some places you might just get a fortnight in which to have your book on display.

And then there are the books like my current USA release – The Married Mistress. This is not in the general run of Presents but in a special set of Promotional Presents – a selection of six books that appear every quarter and which are given a different publication date to keep them separate from the regular monthly run. Confuzzled? Yes - I know I was. And heaven alone knows what the bookshops think and when they put them out. I just have to pray they will put them on the shelves sometime.

But then there are the on-line stores, aren’t there? They make it easier – don’t they? Don’t they? They list the books and you can order them and – even better – the books stay in their stock long after the ones on the actual physical shelves in actual physical bookshops. Well yes – but when do they release them? Publication day – or some other day of their own choosing? This morning I had a quick browse in the online bookshops for TMM. The eHarlequin web site has had it listed and has been selling it for a month or so. lists it as being published on May 9th – so it is ‘not yet released’. In fact, it’s so ‘not yet released’ that someone I know who tried to order it via – where it’s also listed as Publication date May 9th – put in their order when it was ‘not yet released’ – and then found that that order was cancelled because – apparently – publication of the book had been cancelled. Er – no! It’s ‘not yet released’ – not never released. And they now have it as available secondhand! Duh??

Meanwhile Barnes And Noble has been selling the book for the past 4 days – so much so that when I looked this morning TMM was actually at #1 on the B&N list of top-selling Harlequin Presents novels. (Pause for small shout of celebration – Yeah!!) And BAMM has it happily on sale too.

So what do I conclude from all this – nothing much except that somewhere, some day, somehow, The Married Mistress is supposed to be on sale in America some time in May. If you’re reading this from America and you want to read it, I hope you find it without too much trouble. It is out there – I think!

If anyone actually sees a copy, will they please let me know? I'm beginning to wonder . . . .


Anne McAllister said...

I will check for it the next time I'm in Borders, Kate!

Anonymous said...

Yay on the B&N news. (Mind you, so it jolly well should be.)

Publication day seems to be all over the place. I notice in our Borders that the M&Bs only seem to be out for a fortnight. Sigh. We need a strategy for world domination of bookstores :o)

Anne McAllister said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Kate! Have LOTS of Fat Rascals for me.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Kate! Can we have some cake, too? Pleeeeeeeeeeeease????!!!!

Anonymous said...

It was my birthday Saturday, Kate! You almost had yours on an even better day (mine!).


Anonymous said...

Dear Madam,
It has been brought to my attention that today we are celebrating the occasion of your birth. I, for one, am most happy to celebrate such things as they pertain to the humans who feed me and keep my flabsack nourished and provide me with books to lie on and sunlight in the windows and little smackerels of things at TEATIME, or breakfast as the case may be, which it is, by now, I'm sure.

So, let us celebrate. Bring on the food.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from the king of the cats.


Anonymous said...

Wishing you a double wonderful birthday, from doubly wonderful

Anonymous said...

I'd a rit a pome 4 u but I bin bizy catchin' meece.

yr fiend,
Dyl the vil

Danica Favorite said...

I have a copy on its way to me from :)

Danica Favorite said...

Oh, I love those cats! Give them a big scratch for me, especially that Sid.

Michelle Styles said...

Happy Birthday Kate

Have a wonderful one surrounded by your human and feline family

Anne McAllister said...

Gunnar says, "Where's his comment?" Which is something we all want to know, of course.

Hope you had a happy day in York, Kate, and that you raised a Fat Rascal to all (and then ate it of course, and yes, we know it's not Sid).

love, Anne


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