Tamarack County, the next in my Cork O’Connor series, goes on sale this Tuesday. My last four novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Tamarack County may not join the others on this list. That’s not because it isn’t good—it received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist—but rather because it won’t be on that front table in every Barnes and Noble in the country. Nor can I appear in any Barnes and Noble stores to help with the promotion. This is because Simon and Schuster, my publisher, and Barnes and Noble are still at odds with one another over economic issues, e.g. the cost of in-store placement. They’ve been going at it for months and months now. When I tour with a new book, ninety-five percent of the stores I visit are independent booksellers. I love supporting the indies because they’ve always been very supportive of me. But the reality is that very few books reach the stratosphere in sales without a significant push from the big chain store.
I can’t do anything about this situation, but you know what I’m hoping? I’m hoping that fans of my work will help spread the word that a new Cork O’Connor is available. And I’m hoping that readers will descend on their local independent bookstores and purchase the novel there, and that Tamarack County will still find its way to the bestseller lists. I’m thinking wouldn’t it be a wonderful example to S&S and B&N that readers can find good books on their own. And maybe these two giants can finally shake hands and get back to business.
Yeah, I’m a born optimist.