Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Calling the Guinness Folks...

Advance Reading Copies of RUSTY NAIL will be coming out next month. Bound into the front of each book will be a letter from me:

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To my Friends in the bookselling biz—

Lt. Jack Daniels and I want to thank you for kicking so much butt selling WHISKEY SOUR and BLOODY MARY. Your enthusiasm has been the key to the series’ success.

For this book, Hyperion and I are doing something special—something never done before—to show our appreciation.

During the summer of 2006, I’ll be visiting 500 bookstores across the United States.
I’d love to stop by your store and say hello.

If you’re interested in having me drop in, please contact me through my website, JAKonrath.com.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you again, and to meeting many of you for the first time. Now I’ll open the floor to questions.

Q: Did you really say five-hundred bookstores?

Yes. I wish it could be more—there are so many great stores and great people in this business.

Q: How long will you be on the road?

All of July and August.

Q: Do we find out what happens to Jack’s mother in this book?

Yes. Many characters from WHISKEY SOUR also return, like Phin and the Feebies. Plus, it appears that the Gingerbread Man is back.

Q: But I thought…

Shhh. Don’t spoil it for new readers.

Q: So if I want you to drop by my store, I just have to email you?

I’ll try my best to honor all requests. I love booksellers. That’s why I thank so many of them in my acknowledgements. In fact, two of the main characters in RUSTY NAIL are named after booksellers.

Anyone who sells twenty or more copies of my novels gets mentioned in DIRTY MARTINI, the fourth Jack Daniels novel. The one who sells the most will get to be the villain in FUZZY NAVEL.

Q: What does “JA” stand for? Are you a woman or a man?

I’m sorry, no more questions. See you this summer!

All best,

JA Konrath

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Is 500 stores in 61 days really doable? That's only about 8 stores a day. In densely populated areas, I can hit 15 a day. In rural areas, I can visit at least 5. These are drop-ins, not full-fledged events. Half hour schmoozing, then on to the next.

I see three main problems ont he horizon.

1. Planning. Even wiyh my trusty GPS, I've got to have a route planned. That could take some time.

2. Travel. The US is big. Real big. And there are long unpopulated stretches that would interfere with my quota.

3. I may die of exhaustion.

In July, I visited 106 bookstores in 11 days. I could have done more, bcause 8 of those were events that lasted several hours. But I probably could not have been more tired.

So can I do it? Is it even possible? Will my family forgive me for being gone an entire summer? Will it generate some buzz and publicity? Will it sell books?

The future will reveal all.