Author Guest Post
Not everybody who reads my Looming Murder novel knows that I also write as Monique Domovitch. When they make the connection, one thing they often wonder about is why I went from self-publishing to working with a traditional publisher. The answer is that writing is my passion—not publishing, not promoting, not advertising. Writing is what I love.
The book as a product.
Imagine for a moment that you are an inventor and have just invented a new gadget. You’ve invested hours of your time creating it, and you’ve shown it to your mother, your spouse, your best friend and the mailman. Everyone agrees that your product is brilliant. You are certain that your invention will sell by the thousands—just as soon as you can find a manufacturer to produce it, and then stores to sell it.
This is the position in which I found myself when I finished my first novel. I’d worked long and hard on my book. I’d made it as entertaining or educational as I possibly could. I felt sure that if only a publisher would please, please publish and distribute it, the book would work its way to the bestseller lists all on its own.
Some daunting statistics:
According to a 2003 survey from the Jenkins Group, Inc., a Michigan publishing services firm, 81 percent of Americans feel they should write a book. I believe that. We all know somebody who dreams of someday writing a book. Not counting myself, I know at least a dozen such people.
If we do a bit of calculating, taking into consideration that there are 312,700,742 people living in the United States, 81 % means that 253,287,601 of Americans dream of writing a book; and according to another statistic, only 10 % of them will actually attempt it, which brings the number down to 25,328,760. We’re still talking a lot of people here. Of those, only about 10% actually finish a book, bringing the number down to 2,532,876—still a lot of people. Of those, only 10% actually find an agent and only another 5 % get published. That’s brings the total to 12,664, which in my estimation is still an impossibly large number of people. No wonder it’s so difficult to get noticed among all those writers.
Some great books never get published.
When I looked at these numbers, the first thing that I thought was that surely, among the books that were rejected, there must be some that are so great that, given a chance, would have become best sellers. But for one reason or another they just didn’t get picked up.
So if you are an author wannabe, as I was, and have devoted time and energy to your novel, and are sure your book is wonderful, what are you supposed to do? I wasn’t willing to let that manuscript gather dust somewhere. I didn’t want to abandon my ambition of being an author.
The alternative was to start my own business.
I decided there was another alternative—self publishing. That’s right. What in the old days they used to call vanity publishing, which, by the way, is a term to which I take offense. If we were talking about any other product than a book, people would applaud the efforts of the inventor for manufacturing his product. They would see this person’s effort for what it truly is, entrepreneurship. Yes. That is exactly what the self-published author is, an entrepreneur. He is the inventor of a product about which he feels so strongly that he chooses to invest into the production, advertising and distribution of it.
Self-publishing as a business.
However, like anybody starting a business, I had to approach self-publishing like the business it is. This meant doing the homework, starting with finding out what kind of books are selling. I’m talking here about, not only subject and/or genre, but also physical format. Should I go for hardcover? Paperback? eBook? I needed to know the cost of producing my books and estimate how many I needed to sell to break even. I also needed to know about advertising, which meant not only paid advertising but also social media.
Can an author make money by self-publishing?
We’ve all heard of the self-published authors who have sold over 1,000,000 books without the benefit of traditional publishing houses. There are also countless authors, who sell enough of their books to not only cover their costs but to make a profit. But here again, those almost impossibly high statistics come into play. Of all the people who self-publish, only a fraction sell many.
So, yes, I could make money self-publishing, and in fact I did surprisingly well. But the hard truth was that once I went that route, it seemed as if I was doing everything BUT write. I was so busy pushing sales that I had no time to sit down and do what I like best, writing. So, when an agent who read my work asked, I jumped. And I’ve been typing away happily ever since.
About The Author
Looming Murder by Carol Ann Martin ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Looming Murder by Carol Ann Martin
Book 1: A Weaving Mystery Series
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Format: Paperback - 337 pages / Kindle - 548 KB / Nook - 879 KB
Genre: Cozy Mystery
BUY THE BOOK: Looming Murder
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
But when a shady local businessman is found murdered, Briar Hollow suddenly appears a lot less idyllic. And when one of her weaving students is suspected of the crime, Della can’t help getting entangled in the investigation—with some help from her criminologist friend, Matthew. But can she weave together clues as well as she weaves together yarn—and stop a killer from striking again?
*Features weaving tips!
My Book Review:
Cozy mysteries have always been one of my favorite genres, and author Carol Ann Martin doesn't disappoint me with her entertaining whodunit with a chick lit twist, Looming Murder, the first book in A Weaving Mystery series.
Written in the first person narrative, the readers follow the adventures of Della Wright, as she establishes her new weaving studio, Dream Weavers, in the picturesque small town of Briar Hollow, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hoping to promote her business and a chance to get to know the quirky townsfolk of Briar Hollow, Della offers weaving workshops for all levels of ability. But when Della stumbles upon the murder of a shady local prominent real estate businessman, and one of her students is accused of the murder, Della goes on a quest to find the real killer before they strike again.
Author Carol Ann Martin weaves a riveting tale filled with intriguing twists and turns, a long list of quirky suspects, and cleverly hidden clues interwoven throughout the story that keeps the reader engaged as they try to guess the identity of the murderer. And if that isn't enough to peak your interest, the reader is introduced to a idyllic small town setting with quirky townsfolk who provide some laugh-out-loud moments, a lovable French Bulldog named Winston ("Winnie"), a heroine who has romantic issues and a penchant for high heels, and even some interesting weaving tips.
This story easily peaked my interest, I loved the richly detailed and descriptive small town setting of Briar Hollow, the quirky characters, the subtle chick lit romance twist, and the chance to become an amateur sleuth following Della on her quest to solve the murder mystery. This is a fun whodunit that whets my appetite to continue to read the next installment in the series.
Looming Murder is an entertaining cozy mystery that engages the reader to immerse themselves into this fun whodunit as an amateur sleuth. As the reader tries to figure out the identity of the killer, the cleverly interwoven twists and turns, and unexpected surprise ending will shock even the best of sleuths!
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card
Contest Dates: July 8-29, 2013
Everyone who leaves a comment on Looming Murder by Carol Ann Martin ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Looming Murder before July 29 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com, will get five bonus entries.
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
July 8 – Between Boyfriends – Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
July 9 – Musings and Ramblings – Review
July 10 – Mary Castillo – Review & Guest Post
July 10 - Mary Castillo - Excerpt
July 11- Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries & More – Guest Post
July 12 – Karma For Life Chick – Review
July 16 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
July 17 – Defining Women’s Evolution in Discovery Blog – Review & Guest Post
July 18 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
July 22- Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
July 23 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Guest Post
July 25 – Lavender & Camomile Press – Excerpt
July 26 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
July 29 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review