HARD V. SOFT
(My apologies that the above sounds a bit like a soft core porn version of "Law & Order.")
When my figure skating mysteries, "Murder on Ice," On Thin Ice," "Axel of Evil," "Death Drop," and "Skate Crime," came out, my publisher printed the book, shipped it to warehouses around the country, and confirmed that it had landed on the shelves of various Barnes & Nobles, Waldenbooks, Borders, several independent book stores and on-line at Amazon.com.
And then we all waited for people to buy it.
But first, the people had to find it.
And even though a moniker like Alina Adams does mean at least I'm one of the first names browsers see as they peruse the mystery shelves, the odds of my book sticking out in the public consciousness from among the literally hundreds of thousands of other titles available (and we're not even talking about all of the books that have been published since the printing press was invented; I'm talking about the books available just that day in just that space) was always rather slim.
Original paperbacks (as opposed to paperback releases of books that were a hit in hardcover), even if they manage to sell out their print-runs, rarely become huge, best-selling hits. (There are, of course, notable exceptions, but I'm referring to the average romance or mystery novel).
On the other hand, my upcoming novel, "The Man From Oakdale," will be promoted on television, as a tie-in to the soap opera, "As The World Turns." It will get front of the store placing in many book-stores and (we're hoping) maybe even make a best-seller list or two.
Its predecessor, another ATWT tie-in called "Oakdale Confidential" was #3 on the "New York Times" best-seller list for two weeks and on the accounting overall for more than a month.
What's interesting is that, as the author of each of the above books, it's not like I worked harder on one tome than I did on another. It's not like I spiked one with secret bestseller sauce and left the others to languish.
To me, their fundamental literary quality is the same.
But the difference is soft v. hard.
One is a paperback and one is hardback, which means, when it comes to promotion, one is the unloved stepchild, and the other the belle of the ball.
To read more about "The Man From Oakdale" and "As The World Turns," click here!