Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Joy of Seeing AW Authors

AW is a beautiful thing. No, not the root beer (though that's pretty nice too), but Absolute Write. More specifically, the forums. I joined those forums back in 2009 and have had a grand time in them, learning things, helping other authors, and screwing around when I should be working.

But one of the coolest things is seeing those books "In the Wild" (as Medievalist put it). All these people, these authors, put in time at AW, but they really do know what they're talking about because they've been published. They're out there. On the shelves. And while some other AW members may never get the chance to spot them (which is kind of hard considering the number of books we get in for some of these guys for promotions and frontlist), they do exist.

But it's one thing to be strolling in the store and seeing a title at random. It's another to work in the store and see these titles on a daily basis. I've seen books slid across the cash counter at me for purchase. I've been unpacking titles to see a fresh stack of frontlist ready to go out and be faced out. It's just plain fun, and here are some of the titles I've sold, unpacked, put away, or even bought myself while at work.

Jill Myles. I first discovered her at AW, got very intrigued by the cover of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi (and honestly, it's not often a hot guy on a cover gets me interested, mostly because there are so many of them), went to her website, and read the first chapter. Aaand hooked. I promptly went out and bought it. Then I later went back and bought Succubi Like It Hot. I fully intend to buy her next one. But it's good to know that since I took both of those out of the store, a few more would be ordered to come in to replace them in the hopes of more sales. Win-win for everyone involved.

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch. I see this one all the time. Or at least, it seems like it. All our SF, mystery, and romance titles that are frontlist are faced out. People get to go ahead and judge books by their covers this way. But hey, it's more exposure (at least until we run out of room. Sorry). But this one has been on our frontlist shelf for a while, and I smirk a little smirk every time I see it, hoping that Gini's going to get some royalty checks off this one. I'll be keeping an eye out for her next book in December. The fact that there's an alligator on the cover makes it automatically awesome.

Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie had her very own display for a while. And I do mean display. She's not sitting among all the other frontlist books. Instead, her Fury rested in a cardboard dump (ok, the official name is "corrugated display" but don't worry, "dump" isn't derogatory) with a big sign above it and those green eyes staring out at every customer that walked past. I've walked past one day and seen several books in the notches, another day and a few are missing. I've been checking people out and had this one come at me from the other side of the counter to ring up. She's out in front, and it looks like it's working. Hey, read the back of the book and tell me it doesn't sound intriging.

Unholy Magic and Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane. But for some reason, I keep thinking it's Stacey or Stacy Kane. No idea why. But forget about my lapse in brain power. She's been sitting pretty with both books on the frontlist shelves, faced out so everyone can see her. In fact. I kept seeing Unholy Ghosts so many times I finally had to pick it up and see just what it was about. Then I did the same with Unholy Magic. The last time I looked, she made it to what we call the "Triangle." Basically, a triangle-shaped tower o'mass market books. High five for promotions.

Lottery by Patricia Wood. I cannot for the life of me remember if she made it to the backlist area or not, but I'm leaning toward yes. Backlist, for those that don't know, means that we're pretty much supposed to have your book in the store. We may be required to have 1, or we may be required to have 10 (rare, but ohyeah, it happens). I know she's out there in my store though. That's because I unpacked her just the other day. Filling in for our receiving manager, I get to unload boxes and then set books in the proper places in the back so they can go out the next day (or that same day, depending). And I remember seeing this in the box, pulling it out, and laughing to myself as I thought, "Way to go Patricia, you made it."

Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P.N. Elrod. Multiple authors here since it's an anthology, so I'm honestly not sure which one is the AW writer. What I do know is that we have a whole truckload of these sitting on a cart in the back, waiting to go out for a promotion. I'm guessing the "New Arrivals" table. I haven't been in the last two days, but I'm sure it's out there now and people are plucking it off the table left and right. Urban fantasy is hot right now, in case you haven't heard.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog. I honestly don't remember what I was doing to discover Ms. Balog. All I know is that I ended up on her site, read the blurb for this book, and decided I had to read it. That was at least 4 months (maybe more?) before it was finally available. Now that it is, I mean to read it since it's there...sitting in our store...right there in the teens section where I can see it. And now that I think about it, why on earth isn't this book in our frontlist section? I'll have to remedy that the next time I'm in the store... (Edit: I scanned this today - 11th - and discovered it was supposed to be on an endcap. The endcap doesn't exist, but a table did. These are now on the table. :D)

Four World Film Reviews by Benj Clews and Michael Onesi. Not sure if one or both are involved in AW, but hey, I've seen their book in the store and that's what counts. I finally spotted this one in section while putting away some other film review books, and then spotted it again on an endcap (display at the end of an isle) on my way back to Info. Lucky, lucky. Seems like everyone's on promotion these days.

Kelly Meding. I think these recently popped into the triangle. In fact, I just walked past them the other day and thought, "There it is!" since I knew these books were out in the store somewhere. They were right underneath Stacia Kane's books. It's great when you get one book in a triangle or tower; it's better when they both make it there.

It doesn't matter that I don't know any of these authors personally. The only interaction I've ever had was with Jill and on a teeny-tiny scale. Still, I've seen them commenting on AW, even in threads I've commented in, so they're not just far off authors the way others like Stephen King and James Patterson seem. They're regular Joes and Janes, still working hard at perfecting their craft, and some of the few that can happily help others and revel in their published status.

Here's hoping I can join them someday.


Cyn Balog said...

Aw, I was so happy to see my book here. I haven't been very active at AW recently but it was so helpful to me. Good luck and I hope to see your books on the shelf one day, too! :)

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

I saw both Kasey's and Stacia's books last week when I was in Chapters! It is pretty cool to see fellow AWers on the shelves. I think I saw the anthology (can't recall) but I do know P.N. Elrod is an AW member. Probably not active anymore, but I recognize the name.

Gini Koch said...

Thanks so much for the shout out! I'm really thrilled that "Touched by an Alien" is still on the shelves, since it released in April. Hoping it's still there and active in December, when "Alien Tango" releases. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

And, you'll join us -- just keep on keeping on! Never give up, never surrender. :-D

Amber Scott said...

I can't believe I haven't discovered AW already. Thanks for this. I'm off to discover! I'm with you on Touched By An Alien. LOVE it.

Nicole said...

Cyn - Thanks for the luck, and by the way, I snuck into the teens area today and put your books on a table where they're supposed to be for all to see (and one still in section for people to browse). :D

Blanc - Ah, ok. Yeah, didn't know if it was the editor or one of the authors, but crikey we got a lot of those books in. I'd have to say at least twenty...

Gini - Any time! And if anyone wants to know sale numbers from my store, I can totally snag them. ;D

Amber - Ohyeah, AW is magic in a bottle. Enjoy!

Gini Koch said...

*cough* sales numbers are never really shared w/the authors until we're so big we don't care and at royalties time *cough*

*cough* I'm not so big I don't care *cough*

*cough* royalty statements come out in October *cough*

(Pssst! Send 'em in a plain brown envelope to gini@ginikoch.com. Drooling adoration and potential rewards will follow.)