For a while now, I’ve run book discussions on the two Facebook pages. On the JD Robb page, we take each book and novella in the series in order — slowly. I started this in the fall of 2018 and we’re only up to Imitation in Death. There are pauses for new book information, Nora’s travel, my own travel, but on the whole I stick to the discussion Monday – Friday.
On the Nora page, with a far larger scope of books, I’ve bounced around through the backlist. Shelter in Place was our last discussion and that one took about 6 weeks.
How does it work? I choose quotes from the books, post them — with a comment or question — and let readers chat. It’s not really a book club, more a discussion session.
I recognize there are blog readers who choose not to use Facebook and thought maybe it was time to institute some discussions here.
Share your thoughts in the comments and we’ll see if there’s interest. Once that’s done, I’ll figure out the best way to do this — one post per book with quotes added regularly? Individual posts? The logistics are my area so I’ll consider all the angles.
In the meantime, I did a Facebook live from Inn BoonsBoro the other day and thought you all would enjoy.
For the rest of the year, I plan to compile a weekly round up of social media goings on, photos that appeal to me and tidbits of info that just don’t fit into other posts. So, not a Cranky Publicist post (like the one I’ve drafted in my head about how can you be an In Death fan if you misspell Roarke???) but a neater way to keep you all filled in on what’s new and what’s not.
First up: theInn BoonsBoro package featuring an Evening with Nora sold out within hours. I’m pretty sure if it goes smoothly, there will be another one in the future. Stay tuned.
Next, St. Martin’s continues to be super excited about their first book with Nora/JD — Echoes in Death. They will release small bits — one liners really — over the weeks to come to whet appetites even more. Here’s the first one.
Continuing on the St. Martin’s Press theme (they are more excited than anyone about working with Nora!): they have an ongoing sweepstakes tied into Echoes in Death. The last two prizes are up for grabs soon — the last one is an Eve style leather coat! Details and rules* are here.
They also created an amazing pop-art poster for Echoes in Death and will giveaway to readers in the US and Canada (ex. Quebec)** who upload their pre-order receipts before midnight, Feb. 6, 2017. All details are listed here.
And, because excitement this big can’t be contained, they’ve revealed the cover for September 2017’s Secrets in Death.
I’ll have more information about it next week. Pre-order links are coming on line, but it’s still a little too early for some. Will list all the pre-order links next week. Promise!
Finally, at Saturday’s signing two readers (names escape me right now) told me all about one of their phones that took photos by saying “Cheese!” “Shoot” or “Capture!” It was a Samsung 7 and I have a 6. Nora will attest that I pouted about not having that amazing capability — which just made us laugh.
Back at the Fortress of Solitude that night, I googled voice triggered photos and found out that I could make my Samsung 6 do it. And it did! Here’s the evidence.
Then we set BW’s Samsung up as well. So happy faces all around, except for Nora’s pout that her iPhone didn’t take photos by talking to it.
Still she smiled for the photo.
OK, that’s week one of The Register.
Comments, questions, things you’ve found on your own? Share in the comments.
* While we love our worldwide readers and hate they have to miss out on the fun, there are varying rules and regulations regarding contests and sweepstakes in countries outside the US and Canada making it problematic and extremely difficult to create global contests.
** Canadians in Quebec can’t enter due to their own tight rules on sweepstakes. All other Canadians must answer a math question to make it a test of skill rather than chance.
Today we tried something brand new: Create & Sip. We actually left Command Central in the late afternoon to try our hands at painting while drinking wine. I’d done it here in January with our pal Nicole. and we had such a good time we used the tried-and-true method of peer pressure to make it happen.
I’d herded the squirrels to a group decision on what to paint beforehand so our instructor was ready to guide us through the process. Two hours of laughter, self-critiques and stepping outside 11 comfort zones later we stood back and admired the results.
Then it was back to the suite for dinner and games. I won a small prize for bonus bowling.
I didn’t think I’d pull out the Cranky Publicist so soon, but there’s an uptick in two questions (mainly on Facebook) recently:
“Who is Laura?”
“Why doesn’t Nora write her own posts?” * Most recently, the questioner implied Nora owed readers original posts.
I get that first question, after all readers come to this blog or Facebook and someone who is not Nora signs the posts.
There are helpful, long time readers who answer that I’m Nora’s assistant. That appears to be a simple explanation but it’s not the case at all – I’m Nora’s personal publicist (as opposed to the publisher publicity team). My background is in PR and after years of promoting consumer goods, then health insurance where I tried to prove the benefits of the eu health card system, I moved to talking about my favorite thing in the world: books. I put in time as publicity chair for New Jersey Romance Writers, I worked as the Community Relations Manager for a local Barnes & Noble, I organized visiting author events at my kids’ schools.
I started reading Nora in 1982-83. Can’t quite remember the when, but I remember the book. The Law is A Lady was condensed for Good Housekeeping Magazine, and once i read it, I searched for the whole book. When I figured out the Silhouette category publishing schedule and that this fabulous author gave me five books a year, my allegiance was hers.
One of the things I do with Nora is help out at signings. I stand near her, chatting with readers, taking photos, moving the line along. I love recognizing the first timer — the person so beyond thrilled to meet Nora that she/he is speechless. Sometimes teary. Always shaking.
I met Nora at the 1989 NJRW conference. I didn’t really know what she looked like because her photo still wasn’t in her books (that changed within the year). I was nervous, but determined to say hello. So I did.
Afterward, I was completely positive what came out of my mouth was along the lines of “Your perfume smells like dead fish” or something else equally socially horrifying. It was a blur and I’d ruined my chance! Nora doesn’t remember anything like that (she doesn’t remember the moment at all)– but she’s met a lot of people, so I forgive her for not recognizing how momentous the occasion was.
But I remember every single emotion the first timer feels and I do my best to make sure that even if they converse mainly with me, with Nora chiming in, they walk away thinking they had a great conversation with Nora. That’s the job.
Let’s move onto the “Why doesn’t Nora write posts?” question. Nora and I started working together in 2005 on the very cusp of the social media revolution. Since then it’s taken over our lives and changed the way we interact. Nora understands the role social media plays in publishing or for public figures, but as we saw in the recent Price Points, Discounts, Sales! post, she just wants to write books. Everything else distracts from that goal.
But me? I can make small talk for days on end. I can ask questions. I can see the value in strengthening a community of readers who gather for one reason: they love Nora’s books. Since I started the Facebook page in 2010, I’ve signed every single post because I believe in transparency. No, it’s not Nora asking a question, but in certain ways you’re getting fairly close to it.
So we’ll leave it at the standard answer: I’m Nora’s personal publicist. She handles writing the books while I handle the social media. So far it works out for both of us.
*Nora writes all her blog posts, I just format and publish them.
Remember Nora’s posts about her whole house purge and the brand new closet? Not only did it make Nora very happy, it brought to life an idea to benefit others.
Nora generously shares recaps of her trips to the Kentucky Derby — one of her favorite annual events. (Click the links to refresh your memory of the 2013 and 2014 races. ) Many years she’s worn gorgeous, custom-made hats by Penny Rieck that add even more flair and elegance to the experience.
As she cleared out and moved her closet, Nora realized that her collection of Derby Hats was just too big for the space and thought it might be fun to raise some money for charity by auctioning them off. Over the next week or so she is partnering with Turn the Page Bookstore on eight ebay auctions of the hats to benefit the Shepherdstown (WV) Public Library.
Ever dreamed about owning a fabulous hat? Well now here’s your chance. The first two hats are up and bidding is open! Click here to see all 8 hats. And if you win, we’ll want photos!