DEBORAH CROMBIE: I was fortunate enough to get my mitts on an advance reader's copy of Terry The Last Death of Jack Harbin. I was intrigued by the title, picked the book up, and didn't put it down again until I'd finished it.
Terry's books are set in small-town Texas and feature ex-chief of police Samuel Craddock. She lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two rowdy terriers.
In The Last Death of Jack Harbin, with the chief of police out of commission, it’s up to trusted ex-chief Samuel Craddock to investigate the brutal murder of a Gulf War veteran who was a former high school football star. Craddock uncovers a dark tale of greed and jealousy that extends into the past, and well beyond the borders of the small town of Jarrett Creek.
Terry's first Samuel Craddock novel, The Killing at Cotton Hill, debuted to rave reviews. And then--well, I'll let her tell it...
TERRY SHAMES: All right! Awesome! Yippeee! Squeeee!
I’m thrilled to announce….
I can’t believe the wonderful thing that just happened…
I’m over the moon….
Yes, you’ve just received good news and you want to share it. You signed your first book contract, you moved to a fabulous new publisher, you signed with the best agent, ever, you snagged one more great review and you can’t wait to tell everyone. And then something else spectacular happens and you want to tell that, too. You post it on Facebook and Twitter and your list serves. You email all your friends, you put it in blogs and newsletters. And then something even better happens….
When my debut novel came out last summer, there was nothing too insignificant for me to get excited about. I was almost tempted to post when a friend from down the street said she liked my book. Looking back on it, I am grateful at the patient indulgence of friends, acquaintances, and fellow mystery writers.
Now, it’s six months later and my second book has just launched. I’m just as excited, but this time after I posted news of a couple of good reviews, the next time I started to post one a little voice said, “Is this sharing good news, or is it gloating? Is this really wanting to share it, or is it advertising…”
And I pulled back. I thought about all the writers I know and how they handle their goods news. I love it when I read good news from other writers, but when I really thought about it, I realized that they probably get a lot more good news than they actually share.
I especially thought about some of the Jungle Red Writers, writers I admire. Rhys Bowen always sends out notices of her newest books and about bookstore events. She posted when one of her books reached the top tier in Amazon. But what I’ve never seen her do (and which I did with my first book) is shout out every single movement of her book—every review and every friendly look somebody gave her. Same With Hank, same with Deb, and Hallie…and so on.
So I’m asking the JR’s and other writers, where does that little voice come from that tells you when enough is enough?
Do you trust it? Is it keeping you from doing good promotion…or is it giving you good advice? Are you wasting a good chance to let everybody know that your book is getting raves reviews….or are you realizing that not every little piece of good news warms everyone’s heart? I think newly published writers who haven’t made a name for themselves yet, might get a bit of a pass. But how much of a pass?
And what about readers or aspiring writers? Do you want to see every little tidbit that makes a writer glow with delight? How much is too much? Where is the line crossed between inviting people to share your good news and bragging?
DEBS: Terry's dilemma is especially interesting considering that just last week we REDS were talking about how readers can help their favorite writers. We all wonder how much promotion is too much, even those who have multiple books under our belts.
So, REDS and READERS, what's your take on where to draw the promotional line?
Terry will be checking in to chat, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of The Last Death of Jack Harbin.
As you can see, I highly recommend it:-)