DON’T BELIEVE HER

Sue Grafton is one of the most respected authors today. She’s written the Kinsey Millhone series of books set in California. I’ve read five or six books in the series, which I found underwhelming. And now she’s making THESE statements? No.

“…I’d like to remind you that a book is a perfect gift.”

“One size fits all and no calories…”

BOOKS ARE NOT THE PERFECT GIFT. NO MATTER WHO SAYS SO. And signed books are meaningless in today’s world. The only positive from this post is that the books are free, but even then I wouldn’t force any book onto any other person.

Ugh. I’ll keep saying it until I no longer can. Books are terrible gifts. THE END. Especially books that have been on bookstore shelves for more than a year.

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Autographed Books? Think Again

One of the things that all major presidential (and also some Congressional) candidates do is write books. Lots of memoirs and autobiographies. This year was no different. Both Trump and Hillary have published multiple books. When you have millions of supporters, selling autographed books at a significant markup seems like a good move, right? Right. Unless it comes out that you never signed them in the first place.

I’ve seen authors in warehouses full of books signing away. Literally thousands of them. Donald Trump was thought to have done the same and sold the books through his campaign. Except he didn’t. He never actually signed the “autographed” books he was selling to his followers. A machine did. 😂

Welp.

On Signed Books

Harper Lee was known for shying away from the spotlight. And for living a rather normal lifestyle for someone so renowned. But in 2012 a kid became paralyzed after a hockey injury. And Lee was asked via personal letter to sign first editions of her book to help with his future medical bills.

Over the course of several months five signed first editions of her book were sent to the player and the family is just now revealing what happened.

You see, there’s so much that’s been said about Lee in her final years. But THIS one thing tells me more about her than any of the others. She kept to herself, but she wasn’t oblivious of the outside world. She may not have liked the spotlight, but she was still a human being just like the rest of us. And I’m afraid that fact is sometimes forgotten.

PS: the family asked several authors for the signed first editions, and at least one author refused completely.

Which 2015 Releases are you most Looking Forward to?

My answer to this question is so easy. None. That’s because I never buy new releases. Why? Because that would usually mean buying an overpriced ebook or buying a hardcover. No thanks. I actually know the last two new releases I bought. I bought Misery Bay (Alex McKnight #8) by Steve Hamilton in 2011 and The Jaguar (Charlie Hood #5) by T. Jefferson Parker in 2012. I just said I never buy new releases and here I’ve mentioned two books that I bought fairly recently. Well, I bought them from the indie bookstore here that hosts all the major authors who go on tour. This place gets them all. And I attended an event for each of these two authors and decided to buy the new release so I could get my other books signed.

Was I particularly happy about having to buy these two books? Nope. They’re more overpriced than even Barnes and Noble is. At least they usually have discounts on new releases. But I decided that paying $24.95 or whatever it was was okay to get some autographs.

Anyway, so this means that I am not looking forward to a single 2015 release. I’m not sure I even know of any forthcoming books this year. I mean, I know James Patterson will release more books than anyone, but that’s about it. So which 2015 releases are you most looking forward to?

Ever Been to an Author Signing?

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I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been to a couple of author events. They were for authors T. Jefferson Parker and Steve Hamilton. Now you may not know either of them, but they have both won two Edgars. I’ve written about the Edgars and they are a HUGE deal when it comes to mystery writing. And both of these guys have won an award twice. Not an easy feat.

Let me tell you about the actual events. They were both held in a small indie bookstore by the name of Murder by the Book here in Houston. And let me tell you, ALL of the big mystery authors who go on tour come to this store. There are a couple other indie stores in Houston who have author events, but I’d have to think that this is the most successful. Anyway, the events I attended were pretty much exactly the same. Both times the author spoke for maybe 20 minutes or a half hour and then started signing everyone’s books. The 20 minutes may not seem like much, but if you listen you can learn quite a bit about them. I know I did.

The best part for me was definitely when they signed my books. I think I got four signed by both. I don’t feel like snapping pictures, but trust me that they’re signed. AND another great thing that I learned was that both of these famous authors who have surely sold millions of books are no different from anyone else you might know. T. Jefferson Parker helped me get my hands on a couple of his books that were unavailable from any of the major retailers. And Steve Hamilton snapped a photo! How freaking cool were they?

I have some minimal experience as an author on the other side. Maybe some of you know that I had a signing at my university all the way back in November. It happened just a couple of weeks after my book was released and I had a lot of fun. I sold all but four of the books I’d taken with me. And I’d had classes with a bunch of the guys who were pretty happy to see that I’d written a book literally right out of school. Of course, I never heard anything from any of the 21 people who bought one that day. So who knows what they thought of the actual writing.

The point of this post is to tell you all that I think author events or signings are actually pretty great. I don’t think they necessarily drive many new readers the author’s way, but I’m certain that plenty of his or her regular readers will attend events year after year. And it gives the author the opportunity to interact with readers in a manner that social media or other public appearances just don’t allow.

Two things: Have you ever been to an author event? Or have you ever had one of your own?

This was from my signing. It was CJ Majors Day.

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This is NYT bestselling author Steve Hamilton. Oh my goodness. This was three years ago, I was teeny tiny with braces and just ugh.

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