If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Two Writers Take on a Big Guy by Polly Iyer and Ellis Vidler

Writers Polly Iyer and Ellis Vidler agreed to fill in for Linda Rodriguez who is taking some time off. Polly and Ellis have new books that will be released in October. In the coming weeks, I hope they will tell us about their books because I've become a fan of their writing. Please welcome Polly and Ellis to WWK!                                                                                                                                                                     E. B. Davis

I’m borrowing the idea for this blog post from my friend, V.R. Barkowski, who referred to this article from Huffington Post, written by Warren Adler, on her blog a couple of weeks ago. I’ve taken only the first sentence of each point Adler makes. If you’d like to read the whole column, copy and paste: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-adler/the-fate-of-the-novelist_b_5692200.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books I’ve asked Romantic Suspense author, Ellis Vidler, to add her comments for another viewpoint. We realize our opinions mean nothing more than our opinions. We don’t have minions waiting with baited breath for our take on things.

Frankly, I’m tired of the so-called gurus on both sides of publishing, meaning Traditional and Indie, telling us the way of the world in publishing. Fact is, no one really knows. They’re all guessing. So here goes.                                                                                                                                  Polly Iyer

1.     WA: The print industry, as we have known it, is a dead man walking.
PI: There will ALWAYS be print books. The industry may change, but the industry has always changed. Change is good. I know people who wouldn’t touch an electronic book. They like the feel of holding the book, the smell of the paper, the sense that they’re reading a real book.
EV: Who knows what future generations will do? No idea, but I believe print will be here for the next few. That doesn’t mean publishing companies will be the same or that new delivery methods won’t spring up. I read print and electronic books and listen to them on audio now. I love having the choices.
2.     WA: Advances are drying up. Fewer and fewer authors will be able to make a living from their books, even those authors published by the large traditional publishers.
PI: This is probably true. I’m self-published, but I’ve published two books with an e-publisher who did advance me $200 for each book. I was thrilled to get it. One of the problems with publishing is the big advances given to the top-tier writers. They’re the ones keeping the publishers alive. But in the long run, what’s left doesn’t encourage new writers to seek out traditional publication, even if they could get an editor to read their submissions. That’s another story entirely.
EV: I’ve been published by two traditional presses and received royalties but never an advance. I’m now self-published; it suits my personality and needs. Authors who write good stories will develop a readership and can make money, maybe not as much as they’d like, but some are making more than they ever expected.
3.     WA: Amazon, at this point, controls the book market.
PI: Other behemoth companies like Alibaba, a Chinese Internet conglomerate might give Amazon a run for its money in the future. Right now, Amazon controls 80% of the e-book market, but nothing stays the same. Remember Sears and K-Mart?
4.     WA: The Netflix subscriber model of content for a monthly fee, like Amazon Unlimited, Oyster, and Scribd, will flame out.
PI: Don’t know about this. Maybe in books, but not in movies. That’s a guess.
EV: I’ve never used any of them and don’t know.
5.     WA: The quality of content is diminishing, or so it seems. I know I sound like a book snob, but it is hard as hell to find what was once called, "a really great book."
PI: Bull! There are great books out there. Great undiscovered writers. If the publishers didn’t have such closed minds about “What the public wants,” or “We don’t know where to put your book on the shelf,” or “No one wants to read about…” Yeah, Mr. Adler, you’re a book snob, and nothing says it more than #6.
EV: I find many great books. Maybe Mr. Adler should branch out and try a few more authors. There’re also more poorly written books, but there are simply more books being published. But has there’ve always been less appealing books around—I’ve read, or started, many published by big houses. Has the proportion changed?
6.     WA: Even so called commercial fiction, the kind of books one found on best-seller lists in the middle to the latter part of the last century, is being replaced by genre fiction, which would not have made the cut in those bygone days.
PI: Genre fiction? Mystery is genre fiction. Sci-fi, Romance, Police Procedurals, Suspense. Since when have these replaced anything? They’ve always been part of the reading culture.
EV: Genre fiction has always been around. Commercial fiction is simply another form of it. Literary fiction has never been as popular, but readers determine that.
7.     WA: There are simply too many books being published, especially in fiction. Among them are probably some really wonderful ones, but they are hard to find.
PI: This is true, and my guess is that’s always been the case. No doubt self-published opportunities have allowed more books into the marketplace, and, yes, it’s harder to find the good ones. But marketing an indie writer’s book falls on the writer, and if s/he isn’t willing to do her/his part of promotion, chances are the book will remain hard to find. That has become as much a job for the traditionally published writer as the indie writer. No one will get you book to the attention of the reading public than you, the writer.
EV: See #5
8.     WA: In an effort to find an audience, many authors are forced to give away their books for free or at heavily discounted prices.
PI: I’ve given away tens of thousands of books. To me, that’s part of marketing. I’m sure I’ve reached readers in the States and abroad that would never otherwise read my books. A very high percentage of those readers who liked what they read for free paid to buy my other books. How do I know? They’ve told me both in emails, on Facebook, and in their Amazon reviews.
EV: Authors as opposed to publishing companies, who give away thousands of books at book fairs and to reviewers? It’s advertising, a way to get books into the hands of readers, who, if they like it, will buy more of that author’s work.
9.     WA: Because we are now a global society, books by writers from other countries and cultures have reached flood stage as well.
PI: And what’s wrong with that? It’s precisely for that reason that we are a global society.
EV: So?
10.  WA: There is no end to people who want to write novels.
PI: Good. Will some books be crap? You bet. But people are expanding their horizons by doing so. They’re learning, exploring, reading, and improving their literacy.
EV: People have always wanted to write, but home computers have certainly made it  easier.
11.  WA: There is still great personal satisfaction in self-publishing.
PI: Halleluiah. I agree. Self-publishing my books, seeing them on Amazon, and knowing that people are enjoying them have afforded me great satisfaction. After two years with an agent who unsuccessfully shopped my books, I have six books available, seven by the end of the month. I am personally satisfied.
EV: There is great satisfaction in seeing your work published. Has that changed?
12.  WA: Many are convinced that their books would make terrific movies, and spend time and money trying to bring their stories to the silver screen.
PI: That’s their prerogative. I wrote a screenplay for one of my books, and I learned a lot about tightening my prose. I also learned I didn’t want to be a screenwriter.
EV: This is a new thing? I don’t think so.
13.  WA: While books are being digitally published like popcorn, I do not believe that readers are keeping apace.
PI: The novelty of loading up electronic readers is waning. Speaking as a reader, I don’t think I could ever keep pace with all the books I want to read.
EV: There’s more competition from all directions, but a great many people still read novels. There are more people too. Has the percentage of readers to non-readers changed? Hard to say.
14.  WA: A cottage industry has emerged big-time to distribute, market, publicize and merchandise books, by mostly self-published authors or backlist titles of published authors.
PI: As with any business, there will always be businesses that feed off those trying to breakthrough. I don’t think the self-publishing business is any exception. Writers need to be caution of those trying to make a buck off them.
EV: If there’s a need, someone will fill it. Is this a problem?
15.  WA: Expect countless marketing ploys as publishers and authors try new gimmicks to sell their works of fiction online.
PI: Welcome to the world of opportunity. When has this been any different?
EV: Again, so what’s new? Scammers and cons have always been around. There may be more, but there’s more of everything.

7 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Welcome to WWK Polly & Ellis.

Shakespeare wrote plays for the masses; Charles Dickens published many of his works as serials; Mark Twain self-published much of his work; and I dare say if Warren Adler were pontificating at each of those times, he would have turned up his nose and not admitted the odor of skatole, indole, dimethyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide he decried were self-produced.

[Note the above 58-word sentence composed with three semicolons and including several words most people will need to look up in a dictionary might make this comment "literature," but I would have been better off writing for the mass market and saying he didn't admit the fart was his.]

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

Thank you for a reasoned response to the state of the publishing world.

I think you're right; no one can tell the advances (or retreats) the industry will take. And I bet it will go in directions no one can anticipate.

Meanwhile, most of us will ignore the doomsayers and continue to write and publish in what seems to us to be the way that suits us best.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Polly and Ellis, how nice to have you at WWK. Thanks for your excellent perspectives on these issues.

E. B. Davis said...

Back in the good old days when there were only the big few publishers and film companies, audiences had few choices. I like that I have more choices now. Some of those choices may not be "great reads" but then since I'm not a fan of many of the bestsellers, which are produced by those big producers, I probably have found books I like more than what only is offered by them. As a writer, that also means I have more choices. Nothing wrong with more choices writers and readers.

Gloria Alden said...

I enjoyed your take on the publishing world, Polly and Ellis. I agree with it. I may not have gotten an advance from a publisher or any promotion from them, but I don't have to share what I earn as an indie published author with an agent or a publisher. I've never regretted going this route - and I've talked to enough people who enjoy the feel of a real book to know they'll be around for a long time.

Kara Cerise said...

Welcome Polly and Ellis. Thanks for commenting on Adler's points about publishing. I especially liked your answers to #5. I agree and have read some really great books lately!

Ellis Vidler said...

Thanks for having us. It's nice to have a place to express our views. We're both self-published, work very hard to turn out quality books, and do the best we can to create satisfying stories. Neither of us is a good fit for current genres, but suspense is general enough to cover our books.
Cheers, All!