Showing posts with label new books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new books. Show all posts

Dec 3, 2018

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Readers are aware that I'm making the Loser Mysteries mine by getting new covers, re-editing (which I shouldn't do but can't stop myself from), and re-releasing them. That's enough to keep me busy...sort of. The problem is there's lots of wait time. Wait for proof copies. Wait for beta readers to comb through for those last few niggling mistakes. Wait for more proofs. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Because I can't stand to be idle, I took up a side project: the sequel to SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD. I blame this on a reader who claims it's the best book she's read in years--how's that for incentive?
When I had an agent for SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD, she told me to work on the sequel while she shopped the book to publishers. Being the good girl I am, I did that. Then after a year, I got a letter saying she couldn't sell the book (though she said she still loved it) and she was dropping me as a client. That's how it goes in the biz.

Anyway, I had the book, and Amazon had begun making it easy to do your own e-books, so I released it that way. There were glitches, because it wasn't quite as easy to do a good e-book as I'd thought, but eventually I got it right and it was out there. A while back I decided to make it a paperback. Got a new cover and did that, which is how the reader I mentioned above got hold of it.

With her comment, I recalled the sequel, pretty much finished but just lying at the back of my computer. With time to wait for Loser, I brushed up CHARLIE DICKENS' DOCUMENTS and sent for proofs of that one. Teaser: Mercedes Maxwell, the protagonist of SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD, returns to Britain for a second adventure, this time chasing the secrets of Charles Dickens so she can find, maybe rescue, her SO, Colm Kennedy.

So yeah, now I'm waiting for TWO books to be ready...It never ends!



Feb 19, 2018

Everything Old Is New Again

My first published books were with Five Star Publishing, which went out of the mystery business a while back. They were very good to me, but my Simon & Elizabeth Mystery series is now mine again.
When an author gets her rights back, it means she can do what she likes with books that were once under someone else's control. It also means that she has to re-do everything: covers, formatting, setup, and publishing. Amazon and Draft2Digital make this less painless, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Still, there are advantages for me and for my readers.
First, I get more of the profits. That might not matter to you, but the man in my life approves!
Second, I can release the books in paperback. Over the years people mentioned that hardcovers, though nice, are expensive, and I agree. I just didn't have any say in the matter.
Third, prices are better. Because I'm doing this as an indie, I set the price for both paperback and e-books. (Haven't looked into audio yet. So much to do, so little time!)

NOTE TO LOYAL FANS: Don't buy these again just because they have new covers! They're the same stories you probably read in 2010-2011! (I mean, you can spend the money again if you want to... :)

So here are the first two books. I will work to get the others out ASAP, probably by the end of 2018.
Links: Her Highness' First Murder (Book #1)
Amazon Paperback:
Amazon Kindle:
Everybody Else E-books (B&N, Kobo, etc.): https://www.books2read.com/u/38gN8a

 Poison, Your Grace (Book #2)
Amazon Paperback:
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Poison-Grace-Simon-Elizabeth-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B078Y53T4N
Everybody Else E-books: https://www.books2read.com/u/mYg5zP



Jan 15, 2018

What Are You Working On?

I've been a little scattered for the last few months, so my workday jumps from book to book. I was stalled on the sequel to KIDNAP.org, but I think the breakthrough is close. I got the audio files (Authors have to listen to the whole thing and okay it before it's released.) and as I listened, I got inspired to continue the story of Robin and her gang of non-hoods. The narrator, Megan Scharlau, is excellent, and that's what I needed to get busy and finish the half-done manuscript from last summer.
Audio will be available by the end of January
Maggie has another Sleuth Sisters going (release date is March 23 if I recall correctly and it's up for pre-order on Amazon). It's been sent out to beta readers who'll tell her what needs tweaking. A fan wrote to say that Maggie missed a book when she published to the non-Amazon sites, which meant only Amazon had Sleuthing at Sweet Springs. A day was spent last week getting that fixed.
I did a boxed set of The Dead Detective Mysteries this past week. The series finished a few years back, but people still mention it fondly, so I thought I'd give readers a price break on the whole set. Everyone said it was easy to do that, but...no. Of course I couldn't use the same covers, so I had to get a new one, and apparently I wasn't as tech-savvy back then as I am now (still not much) so the files were different from each other and not "clean." I now know how to find and delete hidden TAB entries, but it took a dozen tries to get to that point. It's like this: Upload, pray, wait for processing, look, say bad words, go back to the original file. Repeat, repeat, repeat. FINALLY!

After all that I was very ready for some good news, and it came in the form of a review of KIDNAP.org that not only praised that one but also included ALL my books. The review, which appeared on DorothyL but came originally from Buried Under Books, says the reviewer has yet to find something I wrote that she doesn't like. Yay!
This One Is Done and Released
Last but not least, I'm working on putting the Simon and Elizabeth series out in paperback. For those who don't know the process, a writer gets a contract that gives a publisher rights to publish her books for a set number of years, 5 in my case. Five Star put the books out in hardcover, and they were beautiful, but a lot of people don't want to pay $25.95 for a book, especially from a writer they've never heard of. As I get the rights back when the contracts run out, I can publish them myself. Right now the first two books are back in my name, so I'm working on paperback and e-books. They'll be much cheaper and still available from most e-book sellers. Print will be Amazon only.
Should Be Ready by the End of January
Have I been busy? Yes. Some days it seems like I don't know which way to go, but I think things are working out well. Sometimes, however, I feel like I need to do a roll-call: Simon? Are you all right? "All right!" Seamus? "All right!" Robin? "So far!" Maggie? "Almost!" It's hard having a head full of other people!

Jul 11, 2016

Back to Books

The big summer holiday is over in our little town, so we go back to doing what we do. In my case that's reading and writing. The writing was in the final phases for several pieces over the last few months and the promotion that's ongoing when a book is newly released. First it was the last Dead Detective mystery, then the fourth Sleuth Sisters (by Maggie Pill, but I'm heavily involved). After that it was finalizing the audio books for MACBETH'S NIECE (after years and years it will finally be on Audible) and the second Dead Detective mystery, DEAD FOR THE MONEY. I had to listen to them to be sure they're correct, which takes hours and hours but made me pretty happy. JoBe Cerny reads Seamus very well, and both he and the narrator for MN, Caitlin O'Connor, are great readers, especially when it comes to presenting characters with different accents, which makes their readings interesting and easy to listen to.

While I was doing all that, I was still reading--I'm always reading. Last week I had four books going that were all very good. First was WILDE LAKE by Laura Lippmann. I expect great things from her, and she never disappoints. I also read a good historical, NO COMFORT FOR THE LOST, by Nancy Herriman, a woman I met at this year's Printers' Row in Chicago. Steve Hamilton's acclaimed new book, THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON, is a good read, though more to John's tastes than mine. The protag didn't engage sympathy or empathy in me, so it was in the "good story" category but failed to engage much concern for Nick's future. I'm about to finish DANGEROUS PASSAGE by Lisa Harris, which is a good police procedural if a little heavy on "Will God send a man to love me?" angst. I recently started Bruce Holsinger's A BURNABLE BOOK, which isn't for those not really into medieval detail. It took me a while to get into the story, but Geoffrey Chaucer is in there, so I stuck with it, and it's becoming clearer what's going on now.

So that's my life. I write, I read, I get books ready for other people to read. It keeps me out of trouble...most days.

Jan 18, 2016

Old People Who Read

Note: I was going to call this post "Old Readers," but I was afraid it might bring to mind the original Kindle. I'm looking at those of us who've read all our lives: Old Readers.

My husband started reading in his fifties. My father started even later than that. That isn't me. I can't remember when I didn't have my nose in a book.

Reading is wonderful, but a lifetime of reading leads to a problem: What to read next. When I was a kid, my choices were limited to what books our school library had, though I eventually moved on to reading my mom's mystery novels (MacDonald, Carr, Christie, etc.), and gothics (Stewart, duMaurier, and the like). As a young adult I read historical pot-boilers from Frank Yerby (lots of rape threat) to Rosemary Rodgers (lots of actual rape). I also read a lot of biographies back then, mostly movie stars like David Niven and John Wayne.

Now I'm pretty old, and I've read a lot of stuff. When people gush about the newest prize-winning or best-selling book, I take a look, but often I find it's very similar to something I've already read. Yes, Harry Potter is cool, but have you read The Once and Future King? Unreliable narrators like the one in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time are all the rage, but have you heard of We Have Always Lived in the Castle?

Past reading experience can spoil the "surprise" of many current books, because we've been there before and recognize the territory. And the "ground-breaking" characters aren't so surprising. Yeah the kids in Paper Towns and The Gold Finch feel lost and disconnected from society, but have you read "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather or anything at all by Thomas Hardy?

So what do I read these days? Mostly mysteries, because although they're "genre fiction" and therefore predictable (according to the experts), they present a puzzle to be solved. The characters can be every bit as interesting as those in "literary fiction," and Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, and Sara Paretsky can rope me in as well as any writer can.

I recently finished a "literary" novel and had a familiar response: So? I read hundreds of pages of stuff that was interesting historically, but the story added up to nothing in the end. There was a war. It was tough. Some lived, some died.

If it had been a mystery, they'd have caught the person responsible for all that grief, put him or her in jail, and seen that justice was done. As an old reader almost immune to surprises, that's what I look for these days.

Jul 6, 2015

What Am I Working On, You Ask.

The weekend was great. Lots of people come "home" to our tiny town for the Fourth festivities, so we ran into old friends everywhere. The question often came up, "What are you working on now?"
Short answer: the 4th Dead Detective Mystery, but it's been interrupted a lot by the other three in the series. The first book The Dead Detective Agency, was published in 2011, the second, Dead for the Money, in 2012. Then the publisher got overwhelmed and didn't move forward with Book 3, even though it was edited and ready to release. At the beginning of this year, I asked for the rights back (the contracted time was up) and went about re-releasing the books with new covers, which you learned about last week if you're a regular reader. (I don't want people to re-buy the books, thinking they're new.)

Now it's time to finish Seamus' story, so my first priority is Dead to Get Ready--and Go, in which he will investigate his own murder. Its release is a long way off, probably early 2016.

After that, I plan to write one more Simon & Elizabeth mystery to end that series.

And that slacker Maggie Pill needs to get to work on the fourth Sleuth Sisters.

And I'm finally getting Somebody Doesn't Like Sarah Leigh into print, for all you non-Kindle readers. I know it's been irritating, but it's hard pushing those publishing people around! I like what the cover artist did with the new cover, and I'm hoping the print books will be out by the end of July. Audio books might follow, if that's your thing.


Jun 15, 2015

And the Winner Is--

Almost everyone liked the cover with the two figures on it best. I can't show it to you yet in final form, because I asked the cover artist to do a little touching up, which she confided this morning is driving her crazy. (Better her than me!) I don't like the messiness around the girl's left hand, and since I have no idea how much work it is to smooth that out, I asked. Apparently it's a lot.
Anyway, I should have that cover soon, so the first two Dead Detective books can be re-issued by the end of June. Don't buy them again if you've already read them.
I mean, you can if you want to...   :)
I talked to a fan who thought she liked Book #3 (DEAD FOR THE SHOW) better than Book #1, so she went back and re-read the first one. Now that's dedication!
I almost never re-read books, except of course for editing and re-editing and re-re-editing. By the time mine are published, I'm tired of them. It was interesting, therefore, to read the first 2 DD books several years later for this re-issue. I still like them, though I fixed a sentence here and there.
Now I'm at work on Book #4, which will be the last involving Seamus. It's going along well, but they always take longer than I plan on. I'm thinking early 2016 if all goes well.

Are You in Panic Mode Yet?

 It's two days until Christmas. You have someone to buy for. Maybe you forgot. Maybe that person is difficult to buy for. Maybe you feel...