Don Bruns Wins Best Mystery of the Year Award

First the Silver Falchion Award, now best mystery of the year from the Florida Writer’s Association. And Best Mystery 2007 from Forword Magazine, and various other awards.

Awards are great, and when I hang them on the wall, it reminds me that I AM a writer. But I’m not sure that awards sell books. Actually, if I knew what sold books, I would be fabulously famous and fabulously wealthy. I am neither. I asked John Jakes about it one time. Jakes is famous for the Kent Family Chronicles and North And South, both series then turned into mini-series on ABC in the 70s. John says all things considered it’s the luck of the draw. Two equally talented authors have the same chance of striking it rich.

I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. I think that in some cases a writer is discovered, gets a mention in People Magazine, The New York Times or USA Today ( The Nanny Diaries) and the book takes off like a rocket. But if the book is good, a publisher can buy the success. He can spend thousands of dollars and have it placed at the entrance to airport bookstores, front case it at Borders and B&N, take out ads in major papers. This doesn’t guarantee success, but it certainly puts the book in success’s path. If the potential reader senses that this book is a big deal from all the placement and all the ads, they are much more likely to buy it.

I’ve talked to authors who make it to the top of the New York Times list, and every one tells me that the publisher spent enough to get it there. So, it doesn’t bode well for those of us who have limited funds and smaller publishers. That’s okay. We’ll take the awards, and someday when we’re finally rich and famous and maybe having other people write our books we’ll look back at our wall filled with trophies and remember when.

The Florida Writer’s Association awarded Stuff Dreams Are Made Of the best mystery of the year this week. I am truly thankful. Stuff To Spy For was just released. I would like to think I’m wrong. I’d really like to believe that an award will sell a book. I’d like to believe that because of this award, my book will sell like crazy. So let’s try this. Everyone who reads this blog, go buy Stuff To Spy For ( a comic thriller. Publisher’s Weekly says “laugh out loud funny.”) Then buy a book for everyone on your gift list. Then write to everyone on your email list, write to every blog you subscribe to, and enlist their support in buying Stuff To Spy For. Get them to buy a copy for everyone on their list. Take a day off work and put the cover of my book on the side of your car. Drive up and down the streets of your city! Call Borders, your local library, your independent bookstore and demand that they order 20, 30 copies of Stuff To Spy For. Explain that Don Bruns is an AWARD WINNING AUTHOR, and he now deserves to sell a lot of books.

Or don’t.

If you do, I thank you in advance!

Don Bruns/award winning author, waiting to be a best selling scribe.


About Clay Stafford

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker ( and founder of Killer Nashville ( As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages. Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” ( and the music CD “XO” ( A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13)
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4 Responses to Don Bruns Wins Best Mystery of the Year Award

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