The other day I got a couple of sample copies of Murder On The Half Shelf. Woo-hoo! They're beautiful!
It wasn't the first time I'd held one of my own books, in hardcover, in my hands. I had that honor (?) back in 2005 when Murder On The Mind was published. I can't say it was one of my happiest experiences. For one thing, it arrived with the world's ugliest cover (and still holds that honor). It was yanked from it's comfortable March publication date and thrust into a very unfriendly November timeline. The review copies went out late, and since that publisher targeted libraries who buy books based on reviews, the book was doomed. It would have been kinder to just bury the thing in the backyard with an RIP wreath.
Luckily, the book had a second life as a mass market paperback. (Although for some unknown reason, the cover was of a brown leather chair, a cold fireplace, and a open book. Still scratching my head over that one.) Finally, the book has an even happier life with a wonderful cover (done by my good friend Pat Ryan) as a trade paperback and an e book. (Now, don't you have to agree that this is a marvelous cover--and speaks directly to a scene in the book--um, my favorite as it turns out.)
To make up for the nasty first cover, my publisher redeemed themselves by giving me a spectacular cover for Murder On The Mind's sequel, Dead In Red (also in hardcover). Sales were still lackluster, and so once I had the rights back, I self published it as a trade paperback and an e book.
Which brings me up to Murder on the Half Shelf (or, MOTHS--great acronym, huh?). Look at that cover. Isn't it lovely? As pretty as it looked in a j-peg photo, it looks spectacular with REAL printing on the dust cover. And look! The title is embossed in gold (which also isn't in the j-peg).
I'm really happy with that dust cover. My publisher was gracious enough to add a box on the back flyleaf that notes my website address, facebook author page, and twitter handle. I hope a LOT of my readers will feel motivated to check out all three -- and then maybe they'll find out about the Victoria Square and Jeff Resnick mysteries. One can but dream!
Now, to see if readers (and libraries!) will embrace this story. I've got my fingers crossed.
Murder On The Half Shelf will debut on July 3rd.