THE LAUNCH PARTY for OF GRAVE CONCERN, the first Ophelia Wylde paranormal mystery, will be held July 2 at the Boot Hill Museum Complex at Dodge City. Had a nice telephone chat today with Brent Harris, the Boot Hill marshal and museum ambassador, and although we’re still working on the details, it looks like I’ll be signing books in the afternoon at the Long Branch saloon. This is fitting, because much of the action in the book takes place along North Front Street in 1877. Brent said he “very much enjoyed” the book and that I captured Dodge’s early history… ghosts and all.
TYLER SHELDON sent me a photo of what’s he’s re-reading just now… my 2006 novel about Wild Bill Hickok, A BREED APART. “I just finished up your novel ‘A Breed Apart,’ and I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed it very much. Curiously, I first read it 4 years ago, but until now I was unaware of who had written it. What a neat coincidence, I thought to myself; I should let Max know.” Tyler is a student at Emporia State, where I teach.
OTHERS have received ARCs of the first Ophelia Wylde mystery, and without incident. Here’s a cellphone shot of an advance reader copy that arrived safely at the desk of a newspaper reviewer, and the cover art which accompanied it. Special thanks to Lex for sharing the photos.
ADVANCE READER COPIES are something that authors typically look forward to receiving from the publisher. ARCs are uncorrected proofs that are bound between plain covers and produced in limited copies for reviewers, a few months before the release date of the title, and they are far more expensive to produce per unit than the actual book. So, imagine my disappointment when I recently received the padded envelope that should have contained a handful of ARCs for the first Ophelia Wylde paranormal mystery, OF GRAVE CONCERN, and discovered it empty. An ugly red postal stamp said, RECEIVED WITHOUT CONTENTS AT EMPORIA, KS.
The ARCs, it appeared, had been stolen.
It was clear the envelope had been ripped open by hand, instead of the random tearing a machine would cause. Immediately I emailed my editor and related the sad news, and he told me that many ARCs are stolen in this way, to sell on the literary black market. It’s illegal to sell ARCs, just as it would be illegal to sell an advance copy of a Hollywood movie, but there is a thriving business in these bound proofs, my editor said. I guess I should take it as a good sign, because this is the first time I’ve had ARCs swiped for any of my books, even the Indiana Jones novels.
I asked my publisher for more, but alas, there are none — they have all been sent out.