Saturday, June 23, 2007



Two of the sweetest words in the world to any reader have got to be "free" and "books." What could be better than that? How about free books not available to the public – yet?

To put the icing on the cake, this year ThrillerFest attendees will be gifted with, you guessed it - free books not available for sale! M.J. Rose came up with what I think is a simply brilliant idea they are calling the Pre-Buzz ARC Giveaway, so I asked her a few questions about it.

BookBitch: What prompted the idea of giving ThrillerFest attendees free books?

M.J. Rose: From a marketing perspective nothing introduces an author to a reader like a free book. But when readily available books are given away at conferences, the booksellers as well as the authors suffer - since thousands of books given away are thousands of books not sold. Booksellers and authors can’t survive if readers don’t buy books.

So my idea was - let’s give away books that can't be sold.... yet. Meaning: let's give away books that won't be for sale until well after ThrillerFest, books that are coming out in August, September, October, November and December.

This gives publishers a chance to introduce authors and new books to readers but doesn't harm the conference booksellers or authors.

BB: How did you pick the books?

MJR: We didn't. We alerted every member of ITW about this program as well as all the major publishers who publish thrillers/suspense and invited them to be part of it.

BB: Does everyone attending get these great free books? What about the folks who are just going on the one day passes?

MJR: We're going to give out books till we run out. As of right now, we have eleven titles, and at 100 or more copies of each of those titles, around 1500 individual books that we're giving out so, yes, we anticipate everyone will get two books including day pass people.

Some of the titles ThrillerFest attendees will receive:

White Flag Down by Joel N. Ross

Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay

The Intruders by Michael Marshall

Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell

The 13th Apostle by Richard F. Heller and Rachael F. Heller

The Missing by Sarah Langan

Isabella Moon by Laura Benedict

Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston

When She Was Bad by Jonathan Nasaw

Deeper by Jeff Long

From the Depths by Gerry Doyle

BB: Did you limit the number of books?

MJR: No limits. We didn't anticipate it would be unwieldy as ARCs are expensive to produce so there aren’t many around. These will be collectors’ items, no doubt.

We're hoping this is successful since we think it's a smart way to give our conference attendees another unique experience and help our members. At ITW we're trying to come up with as many innovative and creative solutions as we can to deliver a better conference to readers and get more attention for our authors and their books in the reading community, the media community and the publishing community.

BB: Now you got me curious. What else are you up to?

MJR: This month we announced a great program with which gets 1.5 million visitors a month. We're going to have a site at Gather called THE BIG THRILL where we'll be posting articles and hosting live weekly chats with readers and authors. We're also doing the first ever serialized novel delivered over 12 weeks with Audible, called THE SERIAL THRILLER. And we're always trying to come up with more! Ideas anyone?

BB: Don’t forget the bookshelf of signed thrillers by ITW authors that I give away every month! Not to mention the monthly contests run for subscribers to THE BIG THRILL webzine. You guys really work hard at leaving no promotional stones unturned. Kudos!

Thanks, MJ - see you at ThrillerFest!

The Macavity Award Nominations 2007
(for works published in 2006)

The Macavity Awards are nominated and voted on by members of Mystery Readers International. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon in Anchorage, AK during opening ceremonies, Time and Date TBA.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Best Novel
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black [John Banville] (Picador)
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Bantam)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson (McClelland & Stewart)
All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur)

Best First Novel
Consigned to Death by Jane K. Cleland (Minotaur)
47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook (Capital Crime Press)
King of Lies by John Hart (Minotaur)
A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (Mysterious)
Mr. Clarinet by Nick Stone (Michael Joseph Ltd/Penguin)

Best Nonfiction
Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today's Mystery Writers edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar (Crum Creek)
The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower (Dutton)
Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction Writing Techniques To Save Your Manuscript From Ending Up D.O.A. by Chris Roerden (Bella Rosa Books)

Best Short Story
"Provenance" by Robert Barnard (EQMM, Jul 2006)
"Disturbance in the Field" by Roberta Isleib (Seasmoke: Crime Stories by New England Writers, edited by Kate Flora, Ruth McCarty, & Susan Oleksiw; Level Best Books)
"Til Death DUs Part" by Tim Maleeny (MWA Presents Death DUs Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan Coben; Little, Brown)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery
The Lightning Rule by Brett Ellen Block (Morrow)
Oh Danny Boy by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur)
The Bee's Kiss by Barbara Cleverly (Constable & Robinson)
Dark Assassin by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear (Holt)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Author Bingo - this one's for the fans...

So you registered early, booked your hotel, spent hours perusing the schedule to make the most of every minute, but perhaps you're still do I cross that divide? You know, the one between the authors up there on the panels, and the fans back there in the audience. Us and them. What excuse can you use to mosey on up to your favorite authors?

ThrillerFest Chair M. Diane Vogt told me, “One of the most consistent themes we heard from evaluations of ThrillerFest 2006 was how much people enjoyed the atmosphere of intimacy we created and how accessible the authors were to the fans. To capitalize on this unique feature and enhance the experience this year, we’ve created ITW Author Bingo.”

The game is a version of Bingo (the most popular game in the world), but the cards consist of questions and answers of various little-known facts about attending authors. The answers can only be found by actually asking the authors during the span of ThrillerFest. The game will begin when you pick up your Bingo cards at the registration desk and will culminate at the ThrillerMaster Auction on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. when James Patterson will draw the lucky winner.

Someone at ThrillerFest obviously gave this a lot of thought. Some of us are shy - that goes for the writers as well as the readers. Some of us may be afraid we won't know what to say when we are finally face to face with the person we really came here hoping to meet. Hint: gushing about an author’s books is always a good choice! But if you're not a gusher, what can you do?

Elizabeth Reinhardt, ThrillerFest’s Conference Coordinator, prepared this terrific icebreaker and has all the inside info on how to play - and what you can win!

BookBitch: So I hear we are going to be playing bingo at ThrillerFest. Should I steal granny's bingo markers?
Elizabeth Reinhardt: It's going to be lots of fun, and you won't need to upset granny for this one.

BB: Who gets to play?
Liz: Anyone attending ThrillerFest.

BB: How do you play? What do you have to do?
Liz: We have been doing a little detective work, and I think we have come up with some of the most interesting little-known-facts about our ThrillerFest authors. These will be distributed between ten different Bingo cards, and the only way to fill the square is with the correct answer - that's when the attendees will get the chance to be detectives. They will be given plenty of chances to interact with the authors, ask questions, gather answers, and create Bingos.

BB: That sounds pretty easy. So the big question is, how do you win?
Liz: Create as many correct Bingos as possible! On Saturday afternoon, we will have a spotlight interview with James Patterson. At the end, we will place all of the correct Bingo cards on the stage and Mr. Patterson will draw two winners.

BB: What are the prizes?
Liz: One winner will receive an entire collection of signed Alex Cross books and will have their photo taken with ThrillerMaster 2007 James Patterson, and the other winner will be given a free registration for ThrillerFest 2008!

BB: Anything else I need to know?
Liz: The name of the game is have fun and meet as many ITW authors as possible!

Sounds like a plan. Thanks, Liz!

Sunday, June 17, 2007



- The Florida Book Awards is an annual program established in 2006 that recognizes, honors, and celebrates the best Florida literature published the previous year. After a very successful inaugural set of competitions in 2006, Florida Book Awards opens competition for 2007. Authors who have residency in Florida may submit works of fiction or poetry that have a publication date between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007. Non-fiction works on a Florida topic published in 2007 may be submitted by any author. All submissions must be received by the judges no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 7, 2008. Complete submission instructions may be found at Submissions are accepted in the following seven categories: General Fiction, Florida Nonfiction, Spanish Language Book, Poetry, Young Adult Literature, Children´s Literature, and Popular Fiction. Each submission is read by a jury of three members nominated from across the state by cosponsoring organizations. Jurors are authorized to select up to five medalists (including one winner and one runner-up) in each of the seven categories.

It is coordinated by The Florida State University Program in American and Florida Studies, and co-sponsored by the Florida Center for the Book, State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida Historical Society, Florida Humanities Council, Florida Literary Arts Coalition, Florida Library Association, "Just Read, Florida!," Governor´s Family Literacy Initiative, Florida Association for Media in Education, Florida Center for the Literary Arts, and Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.

To learn more about Florida Book Awards, visit:

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