Apr. 30, 2011

Defending Jacob update

We received a couple of very nice blurbs this week. I particularly loved this one from Lee Child:

Waiting for a new Landay novel is like waiting for a guy from Cremona to build a violin: anxious but worth it. Defending Jacob is smart, sophisticated — and suspenseful on more levels than one.

At the moment I am struggling mightily to get my next book started. I feel more like a guy from Hackensack building a ukelele. So thank you, Lee.

Author Stephen White also sent along this endorsement:

Nuanced understanding of the psychology of carefully considered, layered characters makes Defending Jacob more than a terrific legal thrill ride with courtroom scenes that explode off the page. William Landay’s latest is a heartfelt exploration of the unanticipated complications of loyalty among old friends, and an unflinching appraisal of the darkest, most poignant consequences of the love that binds, and blinds, families. Defending Jacob is one of those rare books that calls for contemplation and insight along with every breathtaking surprise. Read it.

I am grateful to both Lee and Stephen. The generosity of established authors never ceases to amaze me. It’s not just the blurbs, which I suppose you could write off as self-interested logrolling. It’s also the warmth and respect these guys consistently show to unknowns like me at the various conferences and events that authors are subjected to. When you are are trying to break in, it is hard to fight off petty jealousy and resentment. Publishing seems to be a zero-sum game: a finite number of books will be sold each year, therefore one writer’s gain is another’s loss. It just isn’t true. The way the best authors constantly help out the “competition” is the proof. In any event, I’ve compiled all the blurbs for Defending Jacob here, if you’re interested.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes my publisher continues the buzz-building effort. Ballantine-Bantam-Dell will be printing early galleys — advance copies, basically — to hand out at BookExpo America, an important publishing-industry conference in New York in May. In fact, Defending Jacob is the only Spring 2010 title that BBD will be printing early galleys for, which is wonderful news except for what it suggests about the reduced resources across the industry for publicizing new books.

The early galleys will also include a call to action to drive people to “like” my Facebook fan page. Facebook could be an important channel for me to reach new readers, so if you haven’t already — not to get all Sally Field on you — like me.

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