Monday, September 01, 2014

A banner day--and some uncertainty

My newest mystery, The Perfect Coed, is live on Amazon today--actually it was live a couple of days ago. The ebook was supposed to be delayed until October 1, but it doesn't look to me like it was. This is a huge deal to me, a book that is my first leap into indie publishing, one that I've labored over for several years, and one I really hope readers like. It's different from the Kelly O'Connell and Blue Plate Café mysteries--a little darker, a little more complicated, a little less cozy.
But when and whether to announce has been a dilemma. I was uncertain of the timing in putting a book on Amazon, so, compulsive that I am, I planned ahead--had it edited and formatted last spring and early summer. Started a listing on Amazon for it, but sat on the proof for a long time because I'd advertised an October 15 pub date. Then that seemed silly, and I approved the proof. It was up almost instantly. So in an industry where the dreaded scourge is a late book, mine is a month and a half early.
Another thing about indie publishing: there's no fanfare about launching, unless you create it. So if you see this cover over and over, I'm sorry. I just want everyone who might be interested to know it's out there. I'll be posting excerpts and snippets of reviews--all good so far.
This is probably the first mystery I ever wrote (if you don't count Nancy Drew knock-offs years ago)--though it's been through countless versions. I wrote it ten to twelve years ago and placed it with an agent who got disinterested replies at best. In retrospect, she was the wrong agent. She wanted me to write romance, which I didn't feel any affinity for, and her main area of expertise was textbooks. Eventually either I took it back or she gave it back--anyway we both gave up.
I joined Sisters in Crime and Guppies and learned more than I can ever tell about the world of writing and publishing mysteries. And I published seven--five in the Kelly O'Connell series, with one more to come, and two in the Blue Plate Café series. But every so often I went back and rewrote The Perfect Coed, and I followed my instincts. I thought it was good; I ignored my mentor's advice to take out two of my favorite characters, who have since been praised in one review. I kept at it. Perseverance, they tell me, is the key to publishing.
I am eternally grateful to Turquoise Morning Press for getting me into the world of mysteries, but when they announced they would henceforth only publish romance, it solved a dilemma for me. I didn't want to go with another small press--I'd learned some lessons there--and I surely didn't want to compete for a slot in the competitive world of New York houses. I don't need that kind of pressure to produce in retirement. Sure, I like my books to make money but I also like to enjoy my life and don't want to feel driven. So indie publishing was my answer. And after considering all the pros and cons and opinions, I chose to go exclusively with Amazon--at least at first.
So there it is folks--my big project is out there for you to judge if you want to. If you're in Fort
Worth, watch for a launch party at the Old Neighborhood Grill sometimes soon. Believe me, I'll give plenty of notice--and maybe come up with some giveaways and prizes and fun things.
Happy reading!


Kait said...

Congratulations Judy. What a wonderful surprise. An early Christmas present always makes Christmas that much more anticipated. The early release will allow you many premier days. Looking forward to reading it. What a history to publication!

Judy Alter said...

Thanks, Kait. It was indeed a rocky road to publication but I think it illustrates the value of not quitting just before you publish. We'll see what reception it gets.