Some non-story reader questions popped up during days leading to Obsession in Death. Now that it’s in stores, I thought I’d address some of them here. Nora adds her own thoughts at the end.
The wait between books
Nora addressed this perfectly in this post about trilogies (http://fallintothestory.com/quick-note-from-nora/) but since the first question about the fall In Death release (Devoted in Death out in September) appeared a mere 24 hours after Obsession hit stores in the US and Canada, it bears a re-read.
Waiting is part of the game of being a reader, isn’t it? And Nora’s one of the most gracious writers out there in that she doesn’t make her readers wait all that long between books. (Please see George Martin. Or Harper Lee.) I’m always honestly stumped by people who say they spend the six months between In Death entries re-reading the entire series for the X amount of time. Or readers who favor Nora Roberts books saying they only read her over and over. We have a limited time here on this earth and, for me, not exploring other reading options seems to be setting limits on your fun.
So I will post the “what are you reading?” threads a little more often as we wait for the next Roberts or Robb so we can all share in the fun.
Releases outside the US/Canada
Much as I’d love to say that a book is a worldwide release on a particular day, that’s not going to happen. Nora has over 20 different publishers worldwide and they dictate what will be released and when based on reader trends in their country. For example, I know that Brazil only released The Bride Quartet in the last year – to great enthusiasm from readers there.
Little Brown UK has worked hard to have releases in the UK, Ireland, AUS, NZ and SA nearly simultaneous with the US. Germany lags just a bit behind.
I only hear about those publishers’ plans when they have a need to interview Nora. If I have a decent amount of head’s up time, I’ll post it here. But let me be frank: Nora is a writer based in the US and most of the information I provide will be US-centric.
There are readers who feel that the author – or an author of Nora’s stature – can influence any and everything that has to do with her books beyond the writing of them. That’s just not the case.
I know of authors who need to approve everything from covers to publicity campaigns. I also know that those authors don’t produce books for their readers nearly as often and as well as Nora does.
Nora writes the books, it’s just that simple and complicated. And I know from experience that she will hand in a book to her publisher then get to work on the next one within 2-3 days.
And since the result of her focus on the work means we have books to anticipate up to 5 times a year, I think it’s a win for everyone.
On the questions/complaints about formats/ scheduling here in The States, in Canada, in Europe and pretty much everywhere: I understand the cost of books can be an issue, and God knows I love a sale as much as anyone.
Some readers believe I can influence when a book comes out–wherever–and in whatever format. I can’t and don’t. I write the book–it’s just that simple and straight-forward. It’s what I do, it’s my job. It’s the publisher’s job to publish it, to schedule it, to design the cover. I work hard at my job and leave everything else to the people who work hard at theirs. I don’t know how to do their jobs (and really, really, REALLY don’t want to know). They don’t know how to do mine. So it all works out for everyone.
On pricing: The publisher publishes, and the venue–bookstore, Amazon, iTunes, WalMart, etc, can discount the publisher’s list price, or not. They can run specials, or not. I’m in no way involved in that process. Writers write. Bookstores sell.
I have absolutely no control over what Amazon or B&N or Target or your local indie bookstore sell my books for.
Bottom line: In a way, it’s flattering that some readers think I have that much power, and such varied skills, and that much time and energy. But the simple fact is, my power, skills, time and energy go into writing the book.
It’s not only all I do, and all I want to do, it’s all I can do.