Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Publishing is A-changing

Please welcome my Wednesday guest, Vinnie Hansen, Vinnie is the author of the Carol Sabala mystery series: Murder, Honey; One Tough Cookie; Rotten Dates; Tang Is Not Juice, Death with Dessert and Art, Wine & Bullets.  She was a 2013 Claymore Award finalist for her upcoming Carol Sabala mystery, Black Beans & Venom. Vinnie lives in Santa Cruz, California, with her husband, abstract artist Daniel S. Friedman.
The publishing industry is changing and I’m happy to be part of the change!

In May misterio press re-released the first in my Carol Sabala mystery series, Murder, Honey, as an e-book with a trade paper edition to follow in June. The sixth and most current book, Art, Wine & Bullets, is also available as a misterio press e-book with a paper version soon to follow. I look forward to the re-release of all six titles in my series.

Misterio press is part of a new phenomenon known as cooperative or collaborative presses. Its name means mystery in Spanish, and the imprint’s mission is to produce top-quality fiction for mystery lovers.

The press originated when Shannon Esposito and Kassandra Lamb, two self-published authors, grew concerned about both the stigma attached to indie authors and the cost of self-publishing. These concerns gave birth to misterio, a cooperative that operates as a small independent press.

I submitted work to misterio as one might to any press. Once my book was accepted by misterio and I became one of its authors, I also became part of its work pool. We are dedicated to swapping talents—proofing, editing, formatting each other’s finished works. (The talent pool does not serve as beta readers or as a critique group.) To insure quality, a mystery must pass through the hands of two members before it can be published as a misterio book. Belonging to the cooperative allows one the pride of producing a quality product with a publisher’s name on it.

The printing expenses still fall to the author, but huge sums are saved by not paying for other services. At Left Coast Crime 2014 I heard authors say they had paid up to a thousand dollars for editing alone!

Misterio is a cooperative, not a vanity press. There is no charge to join and misterio does not keep money made from the sales of misterio books! While misterio authors cover printing costs, they keep all the profit from their sales.

We pool not only our talents, but also our promotional efforts. Misterio maintains a professional website and active blog to which members may contribute.

Even though my upcoming Carol Sabala mystery was a finalist for the Claymore Award, conventional wisdom says that it difficult to find a traditional publisher for a series once an author has self-published. When I heard about misterio, I was very excited by the idea of a cooperative. Now that I am one of their authors, I am thrilled.

 Here’s a taste of Carol Sabala’s adventures in Vinnie’s books:

 In Art, Wine & Bullets, an innocent visit to a premiere Santa Cruz gallery turns into a nightmare case for Private Investigator Carol Sabala. The strangled body of the gallery owner offers an opportunity to cement her reputation and to save her employer from insolvency. But precious time spent assisting her photographer boyfriend impedes her investigation, while his sudden obsession with photographing her impedes their relationship.

When Carol plunges into an art world offering urban graffiti to paintings of polka-dotted cats, she confronts the age-old questions: What is art? What defines an artist? She also confronts what defines a successful private investigator as she unravels much more than a murder case.



Faith Van Horne said...

Thanks for sharing about misterio! I had a positive experience publishing a novella with a cooperative press, and I've heard other authors talk about them as an alternative to traditional publishing as well. I do have a question for you about the printing costs. A book's cover is such an important part of marketing success, and yours is gorgeous and very professional. Does the printing cost include graphic design, or were you responsible for your cover as well? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting, Faith. Thanks, too, for the compliment on the cover.

Misterio has a connection with a professional cover designer who created my cover for a nominal fee--unbelievably reasonable!

Ideally, though, we would like to find an author for our cooperative who is also a cover designer.

Anonymous said...

Here's to the success of Vinnie Hansen and Carol Sabala!

Shannon Esposito said...

Well said, Vinnie! And I agree, the cover is fabulous... along with the story, of course. :-)

Vinnie/ said...

Thanks, Shannon and Anonymous!

Lida Bushloper said...

Reminds me of Virginia and Leonard Woolf and their Hogarth Press. That was certainly a worthy, successful endeavor and it sounds like misterio press is also a great idea producing great titles. Lida

Vinnie/ said...

Thank you, Lida! I've had the pleasure of reading three books by misterio author Kassandra Lamb, and enjoyed each one.