Since my last Newsletter, the financial markets have been in crisis, and Congress has approved a $700 billion bailout. An important earmark in this bill is the Bestselling Author’s Relief Fund (BARF), which I heartily support. So, please write your congressional representatives and thank them if they voted for BARF. If they didn’t, then reprimand them for not sending your tax money to bestselling authors who made some bad investments. I’m waiting for my bailout check.
Actually, books sell well in hard economic times — or at least, that is the conventional wisdom in the publishing industry. The theory is that people tend to stay home and read more since they don’t go out to dinner or sporting events, and so forth. This actually did happen after the Crash of 1987 and in earlier tough times. So, if you’re looking for an escape from the bad news and the presidential campaign, turn off the TV and radio, burn the newspaper in the grill, and buy a book.
As I said in my last Newsletter, my latest novel, The Gate House, will be released in hardcover tomorrow, October 28th. The Gate House is a sequel to The Gold Coast, which has just been reissued in mass market paperback and the larger trade paperback edition. Both these stories, The Gate House and The Gold Coast are excellent escapist reading, and their themes of money, greed, seduction, betrayal and murder are very timely.
On the last weekend in September, I attended the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) convention, which was held in Mobile, Alabama. Independent bookstores all over the country are struggling to survive the tough competition from chains and online retailers. The men and women who own and run these stores are a dedicated and knowledgeable group of people who truly love books, and I felt honored to be invited. You probably get a lot of your books online or in a chain bookstore, but if you have an independent bookstore in your area, give them some of your business too.
Also, if you happen to be watching “The View” this Thursday, October 30th, they’ll be giving a copy of The Gate House to everyone in the studio audience. The audience will be told that they’re getting a fifty-acre Gold Coast estate, so when they get a book instead, they’ll be really surprised, and you can watch them get a big laugh at the joke.
I’ve just launched the redesign of my website with new bells & whistles. Be sure to check back regularly, as there will be contests and a video Q&A in the weeks to come.
Okay, this is my last Newsletter until sometime after the election and before Thanksgiving. Remember to stop at a bookstore on your way to or from the polling place. In the last chapter of The Gate House I predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election, and you’ll want to see if I’m right.
Enjoy this beautiful fall season.
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