Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Day In The Life of A New Thriller, Rogue Wave & It's Author, Boyd Morrison: Release Day of Rogue Wave

By Tom Dulaney, Editor

A new thriller from author Boyd Morrison, Rogue Wave, was released to the public on Amazon.com overnight.  Pre-orders were sent off to Kindles and Kindle app devices.  The book began posting its first rankings on Amazon's bestseller lists, updated hourly.  And, backed by megapublisher Simon & Schuster's and its Pocket Imprint, paperbacks should be sprouting on the shelves of bookstores across America.

On this very important day for him and the book, a culmination of a lifetime of dreams and hard work, Boyd is sharing his day with Planet iPad readers.

Boyd has agreed to spend some time on the phone today with Planet iPad.  

As best we can, we'll ask Boyd to apprise us of the day's events as they happen.  We'll pass them along to readers in a running journal of continuing posts.

We're cobbling this together on the fly, so it's an experiment in blogging and glitches will no doubt occur.  We're hoping Boyd and, perhaps, those joining him today in Seattle will text Planet iPad, perhaps share some photos from cell phones, and so on.

Authors agonize for months or years crafting a novel, hoping it will catch the fancy of book readers and that it will also catch fire and run up the sales.  The hours of hard work come to a head the day the book is released to the world.

Today, November 30, is just such a day for Boyd Morrison and his thriller, Rogue Wave. 

There's more to this exercise than peering over the author's shoulder to see how the day of the release goes.  We'll be watching Boyd move through his day.  But we'll also do our best to watch this wild new world of ebook and print book publishing move through its day, as well.

In the instantaneous world of ebook publishing, and especially because the world's biggest ebook publisher--Amazon--updates book rankings in its Kindle Store hourly, there is a temptation to judge a book based on the rank of the moment.   

But as big and powerful as Amazon is in this new world of books, it's still only part of the picture for the author and the book.  Boyd is well aware of that, having gone through the process with his previously released book, The Ark, back on May 11.  Here's how he inserts the Amazon rankings into his plans for the day, which he emailed to Planet iPad before turning in last night:

"I don't know how glamorous my day will seem (although it would have been my idea of heaven when I was unpublished, and I'm super excited about having it released). My plans are to send off copies of Rogue Wave to friends, family, authors who endorsed it, and everyone in my acknowledgments. 

"I'll try not to get too wrapped up in what my Amazon rankings are since it's not really a good indicator of how well it's doing in stores, but the Kindle ranking will be interesting to see. It took a long time to build when it was on Kindle last year, so I'm expecting the same now since it will be new to almost everyone. My only peeve is that the stellar reviews for The Palmyra Impact [Rogue Wave's title when Boyd originally self-published it to Amazon's Kindle Store] haven't been transferred over to Rogue Wave, which would be helpful because I got 22 five- and four-star reviews last year.

Then I might drive around to a few local stores that are carrying the book and sign the stock they have. I have a signing at Seattle Mystery Bookshop on Saturday, and that's my only signing scheduled for Rogue Wave (paperback originals don't get nearly the attention that hardcovers do). Then it's back home to get ready for the release party that we're hosting at my house to celebrate with my friends here in Seattle. I'm sure I'll also touch base with my agent and editor tomorrow."

Overall here at Planet iPad, the hope is to "join" the author and his family and friends in a virtual way through an important day.  

Beyond that, another hope is to get a better look at the ways and workings of ebook publishing on, for at least this book, a high-speed day.  We'll keep tabs on the book's progress on Amazon, report on news flowing in via Google Alerts through the day, watch Facebook for news that pops up on the book's Facebook fan page and on Boyd's personal Facebook page

We don't know what we will discover, but it should be interesting for those who love books, love thrillers in particular, and love ebooks on our iPads, Kindles and Kindle app gadgets.

It should also be of interest to those who like to see someone who was a publishing underdog before the Amazon Kindle Store appeared get a good shot at the top of the bestseller lists.

Here We Go:

11:45 PM, Nov. 29, The Night Before:  

Movement on Rogue Wave's page in the Amazon Kindle Store. Two hours ago, the paperback edition of the book was ranked at about 35,700th out of some 750,000 eBooks in the store, based on pre-orders.  The ranking has disappeared from the page.

That page carries kudos from some to the top thriller writers in the business. Morrison told me during an earlier interview that these authors haven't been put up to hyping a fellow author by publishers or publicists. Boyd told me he has met them all at writers' conferences, they keep in touch with each other via email.   He was amazed that such famous writers took an active interest in his success at the meetings, and afterwards.

All of these men are successful thriller writers, bestsellers one and all. Notice where their books are at the moment, in the volatile and constantly—hourly--changing horse race that is the Amazon rankings.

Morrison, a relatively unknown author compared to these writers, sits in the middle of the pack according to the posted ranking of 35,700 some few hours ago.

To a man, they are cheering him on.

"This is top-notch suspense, with crisp plotting, believable characters, and well-researched science. A classic disaster novel, up there with the very best." --Douglas Preston, NY Times bestselling author of IMPACT  (Current Amazon Rank:  5,256)

"ROGUE WAVE is the best thriller I've read this year." --Chris Kuzneski, NY Times bestselling author of THE PROPHECY (current rank:  64,745)

"ROGUE WAVE is a disaster novel stripped straight out of today's headlines. Not to be missed!" --James Rollins, NY Times bestselling author of THE DOOMSDAY KEY  (Rank: 2,658)

 "Morrison's smooth and savory mix of science and suspense brings the absolute best of Michael Crichton to mind." --Jon Land, NY Times bestselling author of STRONG JUSTICE


6 AM Eastern Standard Time:   Rogue Wave greets the sun with an official position for the paperback at 56,706 in the Amazon rankings.  Boyd emailed overnight putting those rankings in the context of nationwide sales that include the Kindle Store, but go well beyond that.  

10:30 EST:  Rogue Wave has risen to 29,668 as a print book, and sits at 8,985 as a Kindle Book.

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