Some questions/some frank answers

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 ( 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.

From Nora:

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.


42 thoughts on “Some questions/some frank answers”

  1. Thank you for allowing us to continue to be enchanted by your stories. That being said, I LOVE Laura’s assistance in posting what else are you reading? It has allowed me to dive into another new author and continue to enjoy a variety of reading. I trust the comments from Laura and other readers because we all are passionate about our reading.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dear Lara,
    I’d very much appreciate seeing what other fans are reading between JD Robb’s 2 releases per year. While I don’t spend all my free time retreading the series, I admit I’m spoiled by JD’s books and most of Nora’s. Any other authors with a similar style? Who comes close?
    Thank you!

    1. I like those threads, too. I can’t remember which but between those threads and the books that are free for Kindle, I have found a bunch of authors that I wouldn’t have read otherwise.

    2. Jayne Ann Krentz (AKA Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle), Linda Howard, and Sandra Brown are all fabulous.

  3. I am an avid Nora/he fan. I have just finished her entire Nora collection on my kindle. I have read most of the jd books, think I am several behind due to reading Nora lol. I can’t say I have a favourite book as each one is my favourite until I start the next. I adore Eve and roarke and always want more. I’m so pleased that Nora doesn’t keep us waiting between books, I’m glad that she has so many stories in her head that she can keep everyone satisfied. I will continue to read her books always, I have recommended her to many friends over the years, some I have found are an either or, they either like Nora or jd, I’m just greedy and enjoy each and every one. Keep up the fantastic work Nora, from one of your biggest fan in Yorkshire, uk.

  4. I’m still in shock over people assuming you’d WANT to be involved in the publishing! Writing and publishing parted ways in the 15th century with Gutenberg and I’m sure more than one writer breathed a sigh of relief even then. Loved Laura’s examples of George Martin and Harper Lee, and have enjoyed the ‘what are you reading’ postings. Another author’s fan page started a ‘where is your book taking you?’ and it’s been great fun. I rejoice every time a new Nora/JD book arrives and am eternally grateful you only concern yourself with the writing and giving us so much fun each year – many thanks!

  5. I just want to say THANK YOU Nora for the amazing stories you write, for sharing your amazing talent with us all, and for the hours and hours of pleasure and escape you have given us with your amazing stories! I have many authors I read and enjoy very very much: Heather Graham, Carla Neggers, Janet Evanovich, Jane Ann Krentz and others, you are however my FAVORITE! Thank you for not making us wait long between books! And I can’t wait for the ” What are you reading” thread!

  6. For the “what are you reading?” threads, do you post them here on the blog, or on Facebook?

    At any rate, I have a number of authors I read, however, that being said, I had just gotten a whole bunch of Nora’s books that I didn’t have on e-reader previously, that I haven’t read in a very long time (love those $5 and under, or $2.99 and under sales on Barnes and Nobel) (which is why I just re-read Birthright, but before that it was the Eclipse Bay trilogy from Jayne Ann Krentz, and I found a new series author whose books were on sale (the majority of them in the series) were on sale on Barnes & Noble for $2.99 and less, so I downloaded HIS books and am ready to try him out. I also have a pile of more Jayne Ann Krentz (and HER pseudonyms) to read. I also LOVE Patteron’s Women’s Murder Club series, but compared to Nora, we have to wait so long before we get another installment.

      1. Happy that you will do one here. I have just about weaned myself off of Facebook and found that I have a whole lot more free time. Maybe I should say reading time.

  7. I love Nora’s/JD’s books. She is far and away my favorite author, and has been for several years. But her books have never been and never will be the only ones I read. I must read. It is an addiction that I have had since I was old enough for my first library card. From Honey Bunch, The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, the Sue Barton series to Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and-yes-Mary Stewart. I also read biographies, had a Regency phase in high school that included Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I read a lot of Harlequin and Silhouette in college because they were quick reads that I could squeeze in between classwork. I discovered Helen MacInnes and Alistair Maclean when I was pregnant for the first time. Now it’s James Patterson, John Grisham, Sandra Brown, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Harlan Coben on a regular basis, but I’m always open to someone new. I love Nora’s writing, but even she can’t keep up with my need to read.

    1. Tess Gerritson is a great auther…also Michael Connelly. Another favourite of mine is writes about “Kay Scarpetta” (a Chief Pathologist) but for the life of me, I can’t recall the name of the authour…anyone else heard for her?

      But I love JD first and foremost…downloaded it from Amazon on my Kindle on the 10th Feb!! It was an anniversary present to myself after 33 years of marriage 🙂

      And it was very, very cheap! Lucky me!!

      1. I love Tess Gerritsen and Michael Connelly! Also
        James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. It’s helpful to google “If you like JD Robb, you might also like…” to find other authors to enjoy!

  8. I am one of those who re-read and re-read JD and Nora and this is by choice. I think and know what I like having lived long enough- there are so many books out there and here I shall criticise some authors who have a plethora of characters- but the star of the book spends three quarters of the book working and solving stuff on her own- with him/her even having long drawn out thoughts that run up to three chapters. Life is short enough and I do not want to feel that I have wasted it on a book that irritates rather than one that gives me pleasure. I tend to read other books for work and research but for the good feel factor there is JD/Nora. So thank you and maybe I felt that little sting from Laura on those who re-read.

    1. There is nothing wrong with rereading-I do it myself. I will be reading a newer book by an author, and it triggers a memory from an older story. Sometimes I have to go back and refresh my memory. It’s like visiting an old friend. I think the point Laura was trying to make is that there are a lot of good stories out there. When you limit yourself to only one author, you miss out on some great stuff.

    2. I reread also but not just Nora can’t reread JD as I’m still reading most of them for the first time I started last year and I’m on I think the 20th or so I take breaks in between read other authors in between

    3. I re-read regularly. I do it for work and I do it for comfort and pleasure in my free time. But if I limited myself to only one author, I’d have missed some real surprises and delights along the way.

      Rereading Nora/JD to the exclusion of other authors is certainly a personal choice. My personal response to readers who say they only read Nora is why? And you outlined very well why you do.


  9. I am very grateful that you write and leave the rest to others. We get better books to read faster when you do what you do best. I am amazed that you release so many books during the year. I enjoy them all! Thank you for the books and your time on the blog and Facebook.

  10. Just keep doing what you’re doing! I’ll save my pennies and buy your books as soon as they are svailable! In fact, because I have the preorder option on my nook I usually buy them months in advance! Sometimes I think the internet brings out the absolute lowest common denominator of humanity. Don’t let them get you down. By the way, LOVING Obsession in Death! Now it’s time for me to get back to reading!

  11. I love the incredible talent presented in all Nora/JDR books. Regardless of price or release date no one else I have read can so consistently draw me into a story. I confess to several re-reads of the In Death series, and will continue to do that. But there are quite a few really good substitutes out there that serve well between Roberts/Robb books. As long as there is a book of some kind in my hand, life is good.

  12. I’m just happy you are still writing. I don’t have that ability, my daughter and I’m amazed at your imagination and your stories. Even though the wait is tough, please please keep writing. I just keep reading the old ones over and over!! re-listening to in Death. stopped in the middle of Creation in Death to listen to the new one.

  13. I just loved obsession, keep up the great work.
    Already ordered down the rabbit hole

  14. I just finished probably my 10th reread of the series right before Obsession. I read Obession. Then reread it 🙂 Then reread Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. Next on the list is Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper for a first time read. There are many, many authors I read. But, Nora/J.D. Robb’s are part of the very few that I read the day they come out.

    And if a book is out of my budget range at a particular time, then that book has been reserved at the library so I can enjoy it that way.

  15. First, let me say a hearty Thank You for being such a prolific and interesting author. I am never disappointed when I read or reread Nora or JD. On that note: I read a lot of different authors in different genres and some are paranormal, others historical, time travel.
    I have been reading a series of books by Belle Andres and I read Christina Dodd to mention two of the authors I read, but am always on the outlook for anything by Nora/JD.

  16. I love the books, My only problem is not on Nora at all, but people who get the books early and then spoil them for people who haven’t read them yet. I’ve read all of the In Death series and have all the hard backs and some of the paperbacks. I thank her for the fantastic stories she writes and how fast she writes.

  17. I’ve been hooked since I picked up my first Nora romance. Each story is a joy and each character becomes almost a member of the family. Some I spend a lot of time with, others I visit occasionally. When I met Eve and Roarke I knew this was a series I just had to follow. I have just about every one of the In Death books (Obsession ordered and on its way…..YAY).

    I love to read but never have enough time. Then I discovered you could get them on audio and now I can listen and enjoy my JD Robb books anytime, even at work!

    Thanks Nora for all your hard work. You are amazing,.

  18. I too reread Nora’s books but enjoy a boatload of other authors, too. Donna from Kentucky must have been channeling me because her lists were identical to mine. Lol! I would add the Trixie Beldon books and all things Agatha Christie when I was a child, and now as an adult add James Rollins and Nevada Barr. Just started Lost Lake due to Nora’s recommendation! Thank you for that!

  19. I love Nora’s books truly I do. but I also read books from not only varied authors but also genres. from historical novals to thrillers. to set your panties on fire romance and suspense. I like all varieties. that’s what makes each of us different. And saying that, Nora is one author that I still don’t mind getting down and rereading over and over again. Gone With The Wind is my all time favorite and I’ve probably read it 10-12 times. Lol! there’s no method to the madness.!!! I just love to read!!! Thanks Nora for giving us a chance to escape into your reality even if it’s only temporay.

  20. I am very glad that Nora sticks to writing, and leaves all the other details to her editors and publishers. Releasing 4 books a year (2Nora/2JD), means we are blessed to not have to wait a year or longer for even one book. I have all the Nora & JD books in paperback, and up to three years ago, had reread them all many times. But now, due to eye issues, can no longer read the print. Thank goodness we live in any age where technology has advanced, and the Kindle App on my iPad lets me read books with an enlarged font size. I wish I could afford to download all of hers, but do watch for sales and a few months back was able to get the first 8 of the In Death series at an amazing price. So hope springs eternal. Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading! Thanks Nora and Laura for keeping us up to date on all this.

  21. For In Death readers in withdrawal, try Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid series or J.T. Ellison’s Taylor Jackson series or Erica Spindler’s Stacy Killian series. All are excellent. The Taylor Jackson series is my #2 series, right behind In Death.

    Thank you Laura and Nora for all of your insights.

  22. i will admit it and not ashamed to, but Nora set the bar so high, after I discovered her, that I am very choosy in the contemporary authors I read. There is Linda Howard, of course as well as Anne Stuart/Kristina Douglass. At one time there was Tami Hoag, Jayne Anne Krentz/Amanda Quick, and Sandra Brown. But I stopped reading the last three because well, I WANT ROMANCE in my stories along with the suspense or mystery and they veered more to the latter and I would get only a smidgen of the romance. Nora and JD continue to give me both, which is why she remains my number one favorite author.

    Here’s a question for you Laura-I’ve emailed the particular publishers since they are the ones who are converting Nora/JD books in e-format about some really bad and egregious typos and misspelled words, not to mention attributing dialogue to the wrong characters. Is there anything you or anyone else can do to make sure they stop doing this? Or trying to correct them and reissuing them would be too cost-prohibitive?


    1. Most of the complaints that come past me are about the Bantam ebooks. I don’t really have a contact there since Nora hasn’t written for them since my 24 year old daughter was born, but I can inquire.


  23. JD Robb is one of the few I buy in hardcover. Most others I wait for the paperback. I read everything but horror. Thank you Nora/JD for many hours of reading enjoyment. I re-read too.

  24. Love Nora,/ JD. I love to reread books too. Some of my other favorite authors are Diana Gabaldon (Outlander series), Julia Quinn (great romance that will make you laugh out loud), Jayne Ann Krentz, Dick Francis, Anne McCaffrey, etc!

  25. Thank you so much for your J. D. Robb series. I so love them! You make the folks in the book come to life and I feel like I have watched them grow in their characters. Having a Kindle is so great, as the minute 12:01am arrives, if you have per-ordered the book, it’s on the Kindle and you can start reading it. Thank you Ms. Roberts for giving all of your readers a wonderful part of you with your wonderful writing abilities. Keep up the great work, and God Bless!

  26. If you go to the author page on amazon they have a listing of similar authors on their page so you will not have withdrawal while waiting for that aurhors next book. With ku and fictfact I could never get another book and my tbr pile will never empty. Love you Nora/J D Robb. I have everything you have written that is in ebook format. There are your first five that are out of print that don’t have. But maybe you will reprint 🙂

  27. Any thoughts or comments about the Harper Lee book discovery? As excited as I am to read another work by the author of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, I worry that this may be against her wishes. Since her sister passed away, I’m concerned that this discovered book is a way for publishers to make big bucks while the author is too infirm to give consent.

  28. We are planning a visit to Maine this fall I was wondering which island there Three sisters was based on. I would love to visit it if possible.

Comments are closed.