How this Alabama creator has bought 1,000,000 books

There’s a little pocket book through which Robert Bailey writes down concepts. A while in the past he wrote one thing like: billboard legal professional in an out-of-the-sterhouse case. He thought it is likely to be fascinating to research “this sort of legislation, the sort of persona.”

The observe was Bailey’s latest authorized thriller, “Wealthy Blood.” This week’s e book focuses on Jason Wealthy, chasing an ambulance, staggering personally and going through the most important authorized problem.

“I needed to do one thing with a personality that had a number of flaws and skeletons within the closet,” says Bailey. “Somebody who was a scoundrel, however the finish readers will wish to cheer.”

The quilt of a e book by Robert Bailey, an Alabama creator, Wealthy Blood. (Courtesy of Thomas & Mercer / Amazon Publishing)

Wealthy Blood, revealed by Thomas & Mercer, Amazon Publishing, is Bailey’s eighth e book. His titles have amassed over 1,000,000 in complete gross sales. This quantity is particularly spectacular as a result of writing shouldn’t be his every day job. Bailey has been a civil protection lawyer in Huntsville for nearly 20 years.

“A lot of being a lawyer, particularly trial legal professionals, is telling a narrative,” says Bailey. “It is about actual info as an alternative of (in writing fiction) the info you make up, so there may be plenty of synergy between the 2 professions. That is in all probability why so many legal professionals grow to be writers of fiction. ” Profitable legal professionals as scribes embody Meg Gardiner, Scott Turow and, most well-known, John Grisham.

To date, Bailey’s 2014 debut “The Professor” is its greatest vendor, promoting over 250,000 copies. Nonetheless, it could have a brand new private bestseller. Launched on September 1 and beforehand accessible to Amazon First Reads subscribers, Wealthy Blood has already garnered over 10,000 evaluations.

Megha Parekh, the editor-in-chief of Thomas & Mercer, who works with Bailey, attributes Bailey’s success to his writing expertise and the broad attraction of his books. Parekh, who lives in Seattle, describes “Wealthy Blood” as “Higher Name Saul Meets Greg Iles”, referring to the favored crime collection and prolific Mississippi novelist.

For Parekh: “Jason Wealthy is a kind of uncommon characters who’s flawed and fascinating on the identical time. I could not cease studying as I adopted him via the wonderful twists the story took.

Within the e book, Wealthy’s promoting slogan is “IN CASE OF ACCIDENT? BECOME RICH! “To keep away from dingy caricature – and get readers to spend 379 pages with him – Bailey put him on the ropes. Wealthy is lately divorced and has no rehab. He’s a zero-tolerance place on the Alabama Bar Affiliation.

Then Wealthy’s sister is accused of murdering her husband. She asks Wealthy to signify her. As his life goes downhill, it turns into a lifeline for him.

One drawback. This can be his first jury trial in historical past. “He dealt with plenty of errands,” explains Bailey. “He is a profitable lawyer, however he does not truly present up fairly often to the courtroom, which isn’t uncommon for a civil lawsuit.”

As a author, Bailey is shortly drawn to the reader. His fashion is lean, with simply the correct flecks of particular element, and the tempo does not get you to sleep.

There’s additionally a powerful sense of place. Wealthy Blood takes place largely round Lake Guntersville, Alabama, the place Wealthy grew up however hasn’t been house for some time. Bailey describes Lake Guntersville, which is about 40 minutes’ drive from Huntsville, as a “pure surprise” that exudes “magnificence, thriller, romance and even a touch of hazard.”

Bailey’s earlier books, together with the authorized thriller collection McMurtrie and Drake and “Bocephus Haynes,” additionally happen in The Southeast. Alabama and Tennessee particularly.

If you realize Guntersville, Tuscaloosa and Pulaski, there are Easter eggs in Bailey’s books for you. You ate in the identical restaurant as its heroes. “It is a solution to join off-site,” says Bailey.

Even so, a lot of Bailey’s readers usually are not from the South, and have even been there. His books have been revealed in Japan and he has readers in Australia and overseas. He believes that interesting to those readers is a way of escape. “They’re going to go to a spot they’ve by no means been to earlier than.”

Alabama author Robert Bailey

Alabama creator Robert Bailey is thought for his authentic thrillers. (Courtesy of Jimmy Bailey)

Bailey was 40 years previous when he revealed his first e book. It took him eight years to finish the “Professor”. Plenty of morning writing classes earlier than work. The storyline of this e book included a legislation professor, ex-student, demise, blackmail, and even an episode from the legendary College of Alabama soccer coach “Bear” Bryant.

Bailey has since streamlined his writing course of. It took him about 4 months to complete the primary draft of “Wealthy Blood”. Bailey says he realized the way to put a narrative “collectively sooner in my thoughts and make it transfer whereas growing the character.”

Thomas & Mercer is Amazon’s arm for thrillers, mysteries and true crime. Bailey was on their radar by literary agent Lisa Fleissig, who is thought to have a eager eye for thrillers.

“As an editor,” says Parekh in an e mail, “a part of what I am on the lookout for in a author shouldn’t be solely the virtues of his e book, but in addition the potential for a long-term partnership with Amazon Publishing. I noticed Bob’s infinite potential. He saturates his novels with hardness, emotion, perseverance and hope, and his readers completely love them. “

Bailey, in flip, noticed writing potential in others. He inspired longtime pal Invoice Fowler as a result of Fowler was writing his first novel. In 2020, Fowler, who works in the actual property trade, revealed the e book “Free and Clear”, impressed by his experiences as an area musician.

When the 2 Huntsville highschool graduates met over a beer, Fowler requested Bailey for recommendation on the whole lot from conspiracy to publication. However he had realized simply as a lot from observing Bailey’s work ethic. And never simply the self-discipline to jot down each morning.

Within the case of The Professor, Bailey loaded the copies into his automotive and took them to impartial bookstores earlier than Bailey might make a publishing deal so they may take the e book with them. “Lots of writers simply assume,” says Fowler, “you throw it on the web and the world will beat its method out your door. And it simply does not work that method. You might be swimming in a sea of ​​individuals who compete with you for a spot on the cabinets. Bob did plenty of street work and constructed a relationship.

Followers of authorized thrillers are identified for his or her loyalty. After they discover an creator or a collection they like, they shut up one e book after e book. However Fowler says Bailey has extra than simply style algorithms. “Bob makes nice tales,” says Fowler. “He isn’t attempting to resolve the world’s issues. I am attempting to provide folks an perception into one thing compelling and significant. “

When authors begin to make numbers, they lastly discover the Hollywood picks they develop and the inexperienced mild for TV and film initiatives. Whereas none of Bailey’s books has been tailored but, he says, “We have been very shut now, and I hope we finally do.”

Whereas authorized thrillers are his calling card, Bailey’s most private e book transcends the style. In 2020, he revealed “The Golfer’s Carol”, a golf fairy story with the tones of “It is a Great Life” and “Discipline Of Goals”.

Bailey performed golf in highschool and faculty. He shared his ardour for sports activities together with his dad, who was recognized with lung most cancers in 2016. At across the identical time, Bailey’s spouse was recognized with lung most cancers.

His dad was given six months to reside and lived to be 10. One month after his demise in 2017, Bailey’s spouse had surgical procedure to take away most of his proper lung.

Earlier than he developed most cancers, Bailey and his dad had deliberate a visit to all their heroes’ house programs, together with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Bobby Jones. They solely acquired to at least one.

Bailey wrote “The Golfer’s Carol” below these troublesome circumstances. “Individuals who learn it,” says Bailey, “I get plenty of e-mails from folks going via various things to say,” Hey, I simply learn your e book and I simply wish to thanks. ” And that simply means so much to me as a result of that is why I wrote it. “

Grisham, a behemoth identified for “A Time To Kill,” “The Agency,” and “The Pelican Transient,” casts a protracted shadow over the authorized writers of Southern thrillers. Bailey is not any exception.

“I in all probability would not be a lawyer or a author with out his affect,” says Bailey, “as a result of I like his books and the principle characters in his tales.” Bailey’s subsequent writing inspirations embody Illes, SA Cosby, and extra lately Thomas Perry. “As a author, it is necessary to learn to get higher, but in addition to learn for enjoyable,” says Bailey, “as a result of that is the principle motive you do it.”

Wealthy Blood is out there in paperback ($ 12) and different codecs by way of His native e book excursions embody The Commonplace Social Market (6:00 PM September 6) and the South Huntsville Library (6:00 PM September 27). Extra data on and BaileyBooks.

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