http://www.kayegeorge.com/ for more details.
Last week I interviewed Kaye George, who recently signed a contract with Mainly Murder Press for the publication of her novel CHOKE. This week I’m focusing on what happens after the novel is finished. To read the first part of this interview, please link to last week's interview.
EBD: In one of your blogs, you mentioned trying unconventional routes to publication, such as e-publishing a collection of your short stories on Amazon through Smashmouth, Thinking About A New Journey . Do you still want to do that now that you’ve accepted a publishing contract for one of your novels from Mainly Murder Press?
KAYE: Yes, I do want to self-publish my stories. I'm very proud of them and short story collections are, I think, even harder to get conventionally published than mystery novels. There are very few instances where I think self-publishing is not shooting yourself in the foot, but I think a short story collection is not one of them. Hope I'm not wrong!
EBD: The main difference between going with a smaller publisher such as Mainly Murder Press and getting an agent to sell it to a larger house is getting an advance as well as getting promotion and advertizing dollars. And yet, I’ve heard that few authors really get much promotion help from even the larger publishers. Isn’t the publisher’s distribution network another factor that can really affect sales?
KAYE: My publisher makes all their books available at Ingram's, Amazon, Baker and Taylor, or Barnes & Noble. I think it will be up to me to get it into bookstores, but any bookstore can get it. With local stores that should be no problem. I have no illusions about the burden of selling and know it will be on me. MMP does have a distribution network but I'm not sure how it works. I know they will provide ARCs as an electronic .pdf file before publication. A small number of free copies for review will be provided after publication. I've been collecting places to try for reviews. We are to notify each other of reviews. I can also buy as many discounted copies as I wish to distribute for review. I figure that, if a book is available on Amazon, I can sell it.
EBD: Has Mainly Murder Press been forthcoming with its distribution? This information would be vital in mapping out a self-promotion plan, I would think.
KAYE: I think the contract is very clear about distribution.
As my daughter said, it's not a contract Nora Roberts would sign, but it's good for a first-time mystery writer. (I imagine La Nora can write her own.) As a small press, they are not going to take out NY Times ads for me. But here's a big plus in my contract. As soon as my royalties amount to $25, I get a check.
What they will do is promote my book through Ingram's Wholesale Catalog and their own website. And I'll promote everywhere I can think of.
I appreciate the fact that I'll be printed in trade paperback, a more affordable option than hardcover. In fact, those are the only rights, English language trade paperback, that they are taking. I'm wide open on other rights.
EBD: For Amazon to offer a print book for sale, doesn’t the publisher have to guarantee to print a large number of books before Amazon will offer it, and will Mainly Murder Press make that guarantee?
KAYE: I don't know the specific requirements between Amazon and MMP, but I do know that all the books from MMP are available on Amazon on the first day of issue.
EBD: I understand that most major bookstore chains won’t buy from publishers who won’t take returns. Will Mainly Murder Press do so?
KAYE: Yes, they do take returns. But, with print on demand technology, the situation of inflated print runs doesn't exist. That's what makes a lot of returns inevitable. There should be very few.
EBD: How did you get the idea for Choke?
KAYE: The setting is a thinly disguised version of a place I lived for awhile. Until we moved there, I had no idea men still make a living being cowboys and working on horseback. I've tried to put the contrast of the harsh climate and the warm, friendly people into this work.
A vague idea for my main character had been flitting around in that strange place that is the inside of my head (I assume all mystery writer's heads are strange inside). But she sprang to life, fully formed one night. We were driving home to Taylor, past the Hutto High School football stadium, which is, incidentally, shown in the opening credits for the TV show Friday Night Lights. I had decided I wanted to write about a humorous Inept Detective, so I had those initials in mind. Some swirling around was done up there in my cranium that involved the Hutto team, called the Hippos, and the Taylor Ducks, both of which I consider humorous, and Imogene Duckworthy was birthed.
Here's a bit about the book:
Imogene Duckworthy, resident of tiny Saltlick, Texas, longs to be a PI. When her Uncle Huey is found murdered, a half-frozen sausage stuffed down his throat, and her mother, Hortense, is taken in for the crime, she gets her chance. Unclear on the exact duties of a PI, Immy busts Mother out of jail with a fire in the bathroom wastebasket. But, on the run from the law, along with Immy’s toddler daughter, Nancy Drew Duckworthy, now what? Time to consult her second-hand copy of The Compleat Moron’s PI Guidebook. That should work.
The writers here at Writers Who Kill congratulate Kaye and want to further our understanding and yours about the publishing process. We’ll catch up to Kaye in a few months to see what the pre-publishing process encompasses, what’s she’s learned, what she expects and how much contact she’s had with the publisher. Stay tuned here and follow Kaye’s journey at Travels with Kaye.
WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Carolyn Mulford on 5/25 and Liz Mugavero on 6/1. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.