Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Release Day to Me!

pages written since last post:
oops! Been a little busy, here.

Today the second book in the Ladybug Farm series, At Home on Ladybug Farm, hits book store shelves everywhere. Yay! If you haven't yet purchased yours, run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore, or simply click the link above. And that concludes this brief commercial announcement.

Since this is the second book in a series, today seems as good a time as any to address a question that comes up over and over again: Why does a series get canceled? Or, "What ever happened to... (insert the name of your favorite author or series here)?" There are lots of reasons, of course, but the most common reason a series disappears is really quite simple: the first books in the series did not sell enough copies to justify the publisher's continuing it. An unfortunate corollary is that most series--especially mystery series-- are canceled before they have a chance to gain a following. The reason? Because they are passed around from friend to friend, or purchased from used book stores, and in the world of publishing only new book sales are recorded.

I still receive e-mail asking when I'm going to write the next book in series that have been out of print for five years or more. In fact, some of my books gained their most enthusiastic following after they were out of print! How can this be? you might wonder. The answer is, once again, simple: the books were passed from friend to friend, borrowed from the library, purchased at used book stores. The problem is that the only way a publisher can track a book's popularity is by how many new copies are sold. The author gets no credit for books bought at used bookstores. A book that is shared between 10 people or checked out of the library by 100 people still only counts as one sale. The bottom line is if you really love a series (or an author!) by her books new, and tell your friends. Otherwise, you too may be wondering Whatever happened to...

Happily, however, that will not be the case with the Ladybug Farm series, which has another book scheduled for next fall. In the meantime, you're invited to celebrate with me by entering the contest for a drawing that will be held November 1. The prize is a hand-bound ladybug themed journal, and all you have to do to enter is post a comment on the "Notes from the Real Ladybug Farm" blog, or write a review of At Home on Ladybug Farm on Amazon. com and let me know that you've done it, either by posting here, on the Ladybug blog or by contacting me through my web site.

And Happy Reading!