February 12 - 22 is Mystery Thriller Week. Readers and authors gather via social media to celebrate the genre. My contribution to this event is interviewing authors who have published novels independently.
Gone are the days of snobbery concerning independent publishing. As traditionally published authors turn to self-publishing, and new authors by-pass tradition altogether, I decided to take a closer look at this phenomenon.
Stone Cold Blooded was nearly my entry into this relatively new world, until small press Encircle Publications snatched it up. My reason for considering going Indy? My publisher ended their entire mystery line, casting adrift my series. Many authors find themselves in this boat. Publishing is an uncertain industry. For some, Indy publishing offers control over the process of getting a book out to the reading audience.
Join me all week as authors discuss their views on Indy publishing.
Janice Richardson is the author of the Spencer Funeral Home Niagara Cozy Mystery series. What an intriguing concept for a mystery series!
I have, unfortunately, attended several funerals over the past year. I was curious as to how an author could make a funeral home an entertaining setting, without being either morbid or insensitive, so I read her book. Richardson has created a cozy mystery with touches of sorrow as Jennifer skillfully deals with families mourning loss, but the story is not heavy or dark. She shows the challenges of balancing life for a new young funeral home director while delivering an interesting mystery story.
CD: Have you been traditionally published (novel, short story, or non-fiction)?
CD: What types of fiction do you most enjoy reading? Favorite recent read?
JR: Cozy mysteries, historical fiction, general fiction. Favorite recent read: The High Cost of Flowers by Cynthia Kraack.
CD: Why did you choose to publish this book independently?
JR: As an emerging writer, the odds of being accepted by a 'traditional' publisher are slim to none. The odds of being accepted by 'vanity press' - 100%.
My decision to self-publish was simple, it was all about the cost. Vanity press is expensive and one still has to do their own marketing. It was not an option I could have considered pursuing.
Independent did not mean I should go it alone. It takes a team to self-publish, I learned an editor should be my first consideration. Quality matters. So I put my limited financial resources into producing the best book I could offer. The technical support offered by Amazon, Smashwords, Draft2Digital etc. is excellent.
CD: Have you enjoyed the experience/process?
JR: Yes. I did have to get assistance with the technical part. By the time I published my third book I was comfortable with the process. Now I would not consider accepting an offer from a publisher. Royalties are higher if one self-publishes.
CD: Would you recommend Indy publishing to others?
JR: In a heartbeat. If you put the work in, you will reap the reward. Like your writing, It's a growth process.
CD: Tell me about your series.
JR: Casket Cache is book 1 of the Spencer Funeral Home Niagara Cozy Mystery Series
Hard-working Jennifer inherits her uncle's funeral home. Her goal is to provide the best possible support to the families she serves. Finding a large sum of cash in a casket puts Jennifer's life in danger. Someone sinister and dangerous wants the cash back, and Jennifer Spencer, funeral director, is in the way.
Winter's Mourning is book 2 of the Spencer Funeral Home Niagara Cozy Mystery Series
A walk along the Niagara Parkway one cold morning leads Jennifer to Winter, a young woman who isn't speaking. Jennifer does all she can to help. The incident with the cash in the casket has repercussions. Can Jennifer save herself in order to help Winter?
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