CSI Investigations

At a recent meeting of MWA Florida, we heard a CSI investigator from North Miami PD speak about her experiences. “Our day begins when yours ends,” she quipped. A beautiful woman who is married with five children, she could be a TV star of her own show. She proceeded to differentiate what’s real and what isn’t from what we see on television. The “CSI Effect” is what people expect from watching these shows, like immediate test results. That isn’t what happens in reality when it might take years. However, these dramas are good for bringing attention to an underfunded field. Private labs might produce quicker results, but she’s not allowed to use them for legal reasons.  magnifier

Why doesn’t she drive a Hummer? This is one of the questions she’s been asked. She drives a van because it’s large enough to hold her equipment and has storage space. She never parks in front of a business unless she’s on a case because that would drive customers away.

DNA testing can take months. Florida is number one for the best hits on CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). You must have been arrested to be on this database. In Miami, they have one year from date of entry to make a hit with a suspect. Otherwise, the statute of limitations runs out. Two types of DNA concern them: Mitochondrial and Nuclear. The latter contains a cell’s nucleus and goes back to a single source while the genetic pool is larger for the former type of DNA.

IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) is fingerprint storage and retrieval. Usually it’s the latent examiner who makes the hit, although this can be subjective. Prints come from people who’ve been arrested. Other sources for prints can be places like jobs that require them, immigration, etc.

Five manners of death exist:

Homicide
Suicide
Accident
Natural (over 80%)
Undetermined

She says investigators specialize in certain areas, and the science and technology are constantly changing. They look for signs of foul play. For example, if you are sick or injured, you may curl on your bed into fetal position. You don’t lie prone in a closet, where a body was found. It was later determined he died from a broken neck. A migrant worker renovating the house was guilty of murder.

With Live Scan, ink isn’t used for fingerprinting. The old method often resulted in operator error—too much or too little ink, not rolling the prints properly. There are 150 points of identification on each finger. Patterns can be a loop, arch, or whorl or a combination therein. Footprints have similar characteristics. Fingerprints develop at 7 months in the womb. Changes may occur with scarring, like musicians who grow calluses. How long do prints remain on the scene? Forever, unless they are removed.

They give every case a name, like the Lemon Case where a guy supposedly fell on his knife when paring fruit. She’ll look in the kitchen, in the garbage for clues. It turned out the man’s girlfriend stabbed him, and friends helped her cover it up. But they neglected to erase the footwear impression where someone had stepped on the knife.

As a mystery writer, it’s important to get the facts straight. We can’t rely on what we watch on TV.

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Disclaimer: These are my notes and they are subject to my interpretation. Any errors are not intentional.

The Evil Mind

Rick David, a licensed Florida mental health therapist for over thirty years, spoke at the Florida Romance Writers monthly meeting in Fort Lauderdale on “Inside the Mind of Evil”. First he differentiated between a sociopath and a psychopath. The sociopath lacks empathy and remorse and is fueled by narcissism. He has feelings of omnipotence and is ego-centric. These people may be criminals but “not all sociopaths are psychopaths.”

Psychopathy means mental illness. The psychopath may be a sociopath with a mental illness, usually psychosis in that he’s out of touch with reality or living in a fantasy world of his own creation. All psychopaths are not criminals.    3836602_med

Killers objectify people and see them as things to bring gain. These psychopathic killers are incapable of meaningful relationships. They lack remorse in their actions. They can be deceitful, impulsive, and glib. Power, control, and fear are their motivators. They are cold and calculating. Many have early behavioral problems as noted below. They can look at you with a steely, predatory stare (or they can be as friendly as the guy next door). Usually they’ll project blame onto others. Killing fills their emotional void, and it may be the only way they can feel anything. Drugs and alcohol are often involved. If anti-social behaviors are mixed in, they may be the loner type, avoiding social contact with others.

Behaviors in children that may be warning signs when taken to the extreme can be testing limits, kids described as difficult or “different”, young people to whom consequences mean nothing. Aggression, bullying, and lying may be evident. A pattern of hurting animals or setting fires may be signals that this person needs intervention. Also, not every serial killer has had an abusive childhood. Even kids from happy families can take a turn to the dark side.

When writing crime fiction or romantic suspense, the writer needs to get inside the mind of evil. These behavioral factors should help you create your villain. Remember that he thinks differently from normal people and rationalizes his internal fantasy. Better we should meet him on the page than on the street.

August Reads

If you’re looking for some new reads, or are just curious about what I’m reading these days, take a look below. Usually I read more than one book at a time. Currently I’m reading the next C.S. Harris historical mystery, another Alex Rider installment, and a historical romance. How many books do you have going at one time? 

SCORPIA by Anthony Horowitz (Teen Spy Fiction)
Fourteen-year-old British agent Alex Rider is ostensibly on vacation in Italy but he’s really following a clue as to how his father died. When he learns the truth, he joins the criminal organization known as Scorpia. He knows they’re trained assassins, but he’s unaware of their terrifying plan to murder millions of London schoolchildren with a secret weapon.   Scorpia (Alex Rider)

Bent on personal revenge, Alex returns to England with only one mission: kill the person who shot his father. It’s none other than his former MI6 boss, Mrs. Jones. But then his plans start to go awry, and he ends up fighting for his home turf once again. Scorpia isn’t an organization to be thwarted, though, and they’ve made contingencies in case he betrays them.

This story is another exciting adventure in the rousing Alex Rider series, who’s like a junior James Bond fighting evil on a global scale. The fast-paced action will have you turning pages and rushing out to get the sequel. Pure escapist entertainment!

HOW TO PROPOSE TO A PRINCE by Kathryn Caskie (Historical Romance)
Elizabeth Royle is convinced she’s destined to marry a prince, so when she meets a man claiming to be Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, she knows it’s Fate. Little does she realize that her handsome prince is a decoy. His cousin, Lord Whitevale, is actually the prince, and Sumner—the real Marquess of Whitevale—is posing as the royal to draw assassins away.

Elizabeth falls in love with a man whose duty supposedly dictates he wed Princess Charlotte, possibly her half-sister. She despairs when Sumner seems to care for her but keeps getting pulled away for affairs of state. Should she believe her senses or what others are telling her about his need for a political match? She can’t compete against a royal princess.    How to Propose to a Prince (Avon Romantic Treasure)

Her association with the prince proves dangerous when a sniper shoots at them. But even though he isn’t meant for her, Elizabeth seeks to protect him. She has to have faith that he’ll find a way back to her as promised.

Secret identity stories are always engaging. Although the reader knows what’s going on, the anticipation is high for when Elizabeth learns the truth. Will she feel betrayed, or will she believe Sumner’s declarations when he says she’s the one who captured his heart?

LOUISA AND THE COUNTRY BACHELOR by Anna Maclean (Historical Mystery)
This is the second Louisa May Alcott mystery where we read about Louisa’s life as a young woman before she became a famous author. Louisa and her family are vacationing with cousins in New Hampshire. Their rural village suffers a tragedy when a young laborer is found dead, pushed down a ravine. His sister believes one of the shopkeepers killed him so as to buy their piece of land by the railroad track, but Louisa isn’t so easily convinced. Their neighbors harbor secrets, and all isn’t what it seems in this sleepy little town. The questions build as she investigates, especially when the local sheriff suspects her close friend of being the murderer. To prove his innocence, Louisa probes into people’s lives, not realizing she’s putting her own safety at stake. Another delightful installment in a charming series.
Louisa and the Country Bachelor: A Louisa May Alcott Mystery

NORWAY TO HIDE by Maddy Hunter (Mystery)
This entry in Maddy Hunter’s Passport to Peril series is just as amusing as the other stories in her repertoire. You’ll smile as you read about the antics of tour Norway to Hide (Passport to Peril Mysteries)guide Emily Andrews and her senior citizens on their trip to Scandinavia. The Iowan group is dismayed to be thrown in with a bunch of Floridians, even more so when a guest turns up dead. What secrets is this troupe hiding that they’d kill to keep quiet? Norway to Hide is a humorous tale that will have you chuckling and guessing until the final clue.

WHAT ANGELS FEAR by C.S. Harris (Historical Mystery)
This first title in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series will hook you and reel you in. Accused of a heinous rape/murder, Viscount Devlin flees the authorities and takes refuge in 1811 London where he seeks to clear his name. With various allies to help him, he unravels a scheme involving French spies, political intrigue, blackmail, and greed. Evocative setting details will have you believing you’re in fog-shrouded London as you follow the hero’s adventures into disreputable alleyways and slummy inns as he searches for the killer before the man strikes again. Devlin can’t even trust his own family who harbors damaging secrets. At stake is the life of a woman he once loved and who loves him still. Can he unmask the villain, save the Regency, and avoid the hangman’s noose? Once you read this book, you’ll want to find more stories in Harris’s engaging series.

What Angels Fear: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery, Book 1

Reinvent or Die

What is the impact of the digital revolution on booksellers, librarians, and authors? A panel at the recent Florida Chapter of MWA meeting addressed this issue.

Panelists were Deborah Sharp, moderator and author of the Mace Bauer mysteries. The latest title in this humorous series is Mama Sees Stars. Other speakers included Joanne Sinchuk, manager and founder of Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore and current Director of the IMBA; Barbara Miller, Programs & Exhibits Coordinator from Broward County Library; and Stacy Alesi, who’s in charge of the Authors Live Program at Palm Beach Library and who blogs as the popular Book Bitch.

MWA2 June12
Stacy, Barbara, Joanne, Deborah and Neil Plakcy

MWA June12

Stacy, Barbara, Joanne, and Deborah

How is the industry evolving?

The speakers began by citing statistics showing the rise of ebooks in market share and in library circulation. For example, Stacy said the circulation at her library in 2009 was 542 ebooks. This increased to 11,855 ebooks in 2011. Ebooks went from 16% of total a/v materials in circulation to 73.8% in 2011. They’re not cutting back on print books in order to gain the funding to buy digital copies, but instead they purchase less audio books and music CDs for the library. Meanwhile, librarians often have to teach people how to download an ebook. Older patrons may not even know how to use a computer.

Barbara said that ebooks supplement, rather than replace, print books. And backlist titles in ebooks are popular.

Joanne remarked that it’s easier for writers to get published now, but the gatekeepers are gone.

They used to be editors and booksellers. This leads to a lack of quality control. “There’s a lot of junk out there. How does a reader plow through this?”

On the good side, 15% more indie bookstores opened last year. How can an independent bookstore survive? “You have to change with the times.” Her store does literary luncheons and runs workshops for writers at their Authors Academy. “We are constantly changing.” Joanne finds less publishers sending authors to the store for book tours, likely due to reduced budgets.

Can a self-published author get into the library?

Stacy said they have a selection policy. A book has to be reviewed in a specific list of journals, such as PW, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. Baker & Taylor is their main distributor. The Friends of the Library give them funds to buy books not on those lists, and this may include self-published works. Nor can an author donate a book for their collection. Likely it would end up in the Friends of the Library book sale.

Barbara claimed they invite local authors to speak at the library even if their book isn’t on the shelves. Ebooks go through the same selection process and are bought via Overdrive, which doesn’t take self-published works. One of the roadblocks to obtaining more books in digital format is that publishers either increase the price of ebooks, or else they’re not releasing their titles in digital editions.

Joan Johnston, a NY Times bestselling author, pointed out that a writer’s backlist might not be available in ebook because either the publisher doesn’t have the rights or else they offer to pay the author a piddling royalty and the writer refuses.

Joanne has taken to charging self-published authors a fee to do a booksigning at her store. It’s not an uncommon policy. There has to be some sort of filter, she says.

Donna Marie Mergenhagen, proprietor of Well Read Books in Fort Lauderdale, said she won’t stock books for a signing but instead sells them from the author’s stock on consignment. She’s found that indie booksellers are acting as the gatekeepers these days. If a self-published book has errors, she will not recommend it to her customers.

Another author suggested booksellers ask the self-published writer, “Who’s your editor?” before accepting their work to read. This would help weed out the bad stuff.

What about collaborative efforts?

Libraries may order books from local bookstores for an event. That way, the Friends make money if they buy the book at a discount and sell it at full price. The bookstore hands out flyers to help advertise the event, while the author shares the responsibility for publicity and for bringing in their fans. An article in the local newspaper helps draw attention to events. Announcements on Facebook can also attract readers.

A brief discussion ensued about signings with ebooks but the technology, while present, isn’t widely used yet. Plus what is the psychology of getting a book signed? Is it to meet the author in person? To make a connection? Will this meaningful interaction be the same with a digitally signed copy?

Joanne surveyed her customers as to how they decide what ebook to buy. Answers were:

1. It’s their favorite author in the print world

2. They go to B&N and browse the shelves then order the ebook

3. They read independent reviews, not the ones on Amazon

4. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends

Then Joanne posed this question for you to answer:

What do you see as the bookseller’s role going forward in relation to authors?

The Road to Mystery Trivia

The Road to Mystery Trivia with Kathleen Kaska

Kathleen Kaska is the author the Classic Triviography mystery series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book, The Alfred Hitchcock Triviography and Quiz Book, and The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz. All three books have just been reissued in by LL-Publications. Kathleen also writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mystery series set in the 1950s. Her first two mysteries, Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country.

From Trivia to Sydney

The road from mystery trivia to Sydney Lockhart meandered, hill-climbed, and detoured. Good detours. Not linear, and with a mind of their own.

I started assembling mystery trivia to learn that craft by dissecting the work of master mystery writers Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle; and suspense filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. I also wanted to offer something different to catch the eyes of a publisher. The trivia book idea came to me when I read an article in a writers’ magazine about the popularity of those books. The second Stephen King trivia book had just been published as well as one on Clint Eastwood and the Seinfeld TV show. Gazing up at my complete collection of Agatha Christie mysteries on my bookshelf, a cerebral light blub went on. Three months later I completed a proposal and two months after that, I had an agent. He sold the Christie trivia book in short order, and it was followed by my Alfred Hitchcock trivia book (The 100thanniversary of Hitch’s birth was right around the corner. Timing is everything.) Later came my Sherlock Holmes trivia book.             

SherlockHolmes book

        Agatha Christie book 
Was I ready to plot my own mystery? I tried hard, attempted an outline, played around with a few settings, and worked on character development. But I couldn’t seem to create anything that resonated. Although aware of the basic plotting formula, I had a difficult time pulling things together. Focusing on what I enjoyed the most, writing travel and outdoor articles, I soon landed a staff-writer position at a local fitness and outdoor adventure magazine. Then after a couple of short-story contest awards and some nice reviews on my trivia books, it was time again to refocus.

Starting a plot outline caused an immediate knot to form in my stomach. What was the problem? I’d done outlines for my trivia books and lengthy articles, but for my first mystery? It wasn’t happening. Then my old “pal” Stephen King came to my rescue again. His “seat of the pants” method of plotting gave me a brand new perspective. Characters seemed to walk into my life and tell me their stories. All I had to do was listen. And write.

Sydney Lockhart introduced herself to me on the long drive from the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas to my then-home in Austin, Texas. By the time I pulled into the driveway, I had gotten to know Sydney very well. The first hotel-setting was in place, and when I started to write, the story flowed fast and furious. I’m now on book number four, and Sydney hasn’t stopped talking.

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Website: http://www..kathleenkaska.com

Blog: http://www.kathleenkaskawrites.blogspot.com

BOOK BLURBS

Sherlock Holmes: “Kathleen Kaska has put together a wonderful mind teaser for all Sherlock Holmes aficionados. She covers it all—stories, books, the media—with lots of questions, puzzles, and trivia facts. No true Sherlockian will want to miss this grand Triviography and Quiz Book.”—Michael R. Pitts, author of Famous Detectives I, II, and III, and co-author of The Great Detective Pictures.

Agatha Christie: “Kathleen Kaska covers every aspect of the Queen of Crime’s life and career in The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz Book. She has packed an astonishing number of quotes, characters, plots, settings, biographical details, and pure fun into these quizzes. As Poirot might say, your “little grey cells will get the exercise!”

This book, fiendishly clever and remarkably researched, is pure gold for fans of Agatha Christie.” —Kate Stine, publisher Mystery Scene Magazine

Sherlock Holmes: A must for any fan of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and movie history. The quizzes are fun and challenging – and the surrounding text provides a wealth of information on the life/work of the revered filmmaker. A real treat for pop culture enthusiasts!—James Robert Parish, author of The Hollywood Book of Scandals

BUY Link: http://www.ll-publications.com/triviography.html

Writing Southern Mysteries

Malice Domestic Conference: Writing Southern Mysteries

Saturday morning at the Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda began with a New Authors Breakfast wherein two dozen newly published authors spoke briefly about their works. It was a great way to get to know these newbies and to discover interesting reads.

Writers’ conferences are often more about networking than attending workshops, but I did manage to attend three sessions. One of them was for writers by “The Poison Lady” on how to kill people using alcohol. I won’t be repeating that information here, but I’ll tell you about the other two panels for fans.

Early in the day, I greeted Dana Cameron, Charlaine Harris, Ellen Byerrum, Joanna Campbell Slan, and Neil Plakcy, among other writer friends. Besides Neil, Joanna and myself, Elaine Viets and Deborah Sharp were present from Florida MWA. We discussed marketing ideas and met new readers. I was able to display my promo materials in the hospitality suite, peruse the silent auction items, and greet booksellers in the dealers’ room.

Nancy Cohen and Dana Cameron
Nancy Cohen and Dana Cameron
Live Auction
Live Auction
Ellen Byerrum and Hank Phillippi Ryan
Ellen Byerrum and Hank Phillippi Ryan
Southern Mysteries Panelists

The first workshop I attended was on Southern Mysteries. Panelists were Sandra Parshall, moderator, whose mysteries are set in Virginia. Lisa Wysocky sets her series around horses. Erika Chase’s books are set in Alabama. Leann Sweeney’s cat mysteries take place in South Carolina. Christy Fifield’s haunted shop series is located in Florida. And Miranda James (aka Dean James) writes about a male librarian in Mississippi. Following are the questions posed by the moderator. Disclaimer: These interpretations are based on my notes and the paraphrasing is accurate to the best of my ability.

What is your personal connection to the South?

Miranda grew up in Mississippi in generations of farmers. He moved to Houston and went to grad school and became a librarian. Christy married a Southerner whose family comes from Alabama. Leann went to where her husband’s job took them to Texas and hopes to move to South Carolina someday. Erika loves horses and was captivated by Southern culture. Lisa moved to the South and also loves horses. “Characters in the South are wonderful fodder for mysteries.”

What is special about the South?

Leann: “What’s so wonderful about the South is there are all these secrets.” People are very polite and courteous, and they use indirect routes of speech as opposed to Northerners who say what they mean. Miranda: People in the South beat around the bush when speaking. “How many of you know the two meanings of ‘Bless your heart’?” It’s all in how you say it. Lisa: “History in the South is so much more fascinating than in the North.” Erika: “The word southern conjures the imagination, as in southern lady or southern gentleman.”

Tell us about your settings.

Lisa’s books are set in Tennessee where “many eccentric people live.” Christy’s stories are set in a small Florida town dependent on tourism. She loves the Florida Panhandle. Sandra’s mysteries take place in Virginia, while Miranda’s are set in Mississippi. Leann favors South Carolina, and Erika’s stories are centered in Alabama. Quite a variety!

How do you deal with darker issues?

Lisa approached the theme of child neglect with humor so that the humor balances the darkness. Erika doesn’t deal with any Gothic themes beyond murder. She says secrets from the past affect her characters, who help each other through them. Leann says her editor helps her balance the light and the dark. “Secrets are dangerous, and I want the reader to feel that tension throughout the book.” She often deals with dysfunctional family issues.

Christy has a main character who is a ghost. Another character is the ghost’s acquaintance, and their relationship goes back to a more turbulent time in history. She indicates how racial relationships in the South are still a fact of life there. It’s tough to balance those elements with the lightness of a cozy. Miranda likes to make the reader forget about their problems when reading his books. So he aims for a balance between real southern issues and a lighter mystery.

How do you include accents?

Miranda offers colloquial expressions and rhythm of speech instead of heavily accented speech which can be distracting to the reader. She says to be aware that certain words may be used differently. For example, do the people in a locale say cellar or basement? Erika says the flavor of interactions is more important than the words themselves.

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Later that afternoon, I was on a panel called Living with the Seven Deadly Sins: Mysteries as Modern Morality Plays. Moderated by Art Taylor, our panel included R. J. Hartlick, Carolyn Hart, Tracy Kiely, Margaret Maron, and myself. I discussed the value of relationships among the characters in a mystery and how that’s the focus of my stories. We joined other afternoon panelists at a booksigning later.

Lisa Wysocky, Maggie Toussaint, Nancy Cohen
Nancy and Tracy Kiely
Lorna Barrett and Nancy Cohen
Nancy Cohen and Jacqueline Corcoran

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Saturday night, we attended the Agatha Awards Banquet. I didn’t take pix here, too many people, and it was a long evening.

Coming Next: The New Nick and Noras: Mixing Romance and Murder

The Great Void

I finished the second book in my paranormal trilogy at 444 pages. This comes as a great relief but with one downside. It leaves me mentally floating in a void. I want to take a break and catch up on all the household chores left by the wayside the last few months, but my mind needs an anchor. That’s usually a WIP. It’s what I wake up eager to work on every day, a purpose, a calling if you will. But before I begin writing again, I need to develop the characters and the plot for the next story. Sometimes, this takes a while, because the characters have to brew in my head and the plot needs time to gel. I can tackle these stacks of papers in my office in the meantime, free of a daily writing schedule.

With vacant time, I can also turn to my final backlist book that needs conversion to digital format. It needs quite a bit of revision, not only sentence tightening, but adding a glossary and fixing paragraphs where I jump POVs. This task is likely to take me several months. Keeper of the Rings is 521 pages, a long book. But those characters are haunting me. A new generation of readers are waiting to discover Leena and Taurin’s story. And I’d like to bring it to them. So I am working on this revision, while also spending time cleaning the office. It’s a good time for a break with the holidays approaching, vacations coming, and relatives soon to visit.

Or I may zero in on a target book depending on my agent’s advice. Part of me wants to lounge around for a few months and part of me doesn’t. Can a writer ever be happy? We’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. We can’t wait to finish a book and have time to relax but then our mind stretches for a new challenge.

Digital Rights

DIGITAL RIGHTS

“Brainstorming on the Beach” Conference with Novelists, Inc.                                                   

lunch2
Lunch Break

Panelists

Lucienne Diver, Literary Agent

Angela James, Executive Editor, Carina Press

Brian O’Leary, Magellan Media Partners

Sue Lange, Book View Café

Barbar Keiler, Author

Chris Kenneally, Copyright Clearance Center

Lou Aronica, Publisher, The Story Plant

J.A. Konrath, Author & Blogger

Here are my notes, keeping in mind this is what I heard and my interpretation.

Lucienne:  Unless you have an audience or a platform, you need a publisher.  And to reach the broadest possible audience, you need a publisher to put your book into the different formats.

Chris:  Digital publishing offers you a chance to experiment with a novella or a short story. 

Google editions may discourage piracy because people won’t share their Google accounts.

Lou doesn’t advice just putting your book up on Amazon.  They don’t put effort into marketing individual books.  Plus with so many formats, going with a publisher is better.

Joe Konrath believes consumers feel less toward digital copies than toward works in print. 

Agency Model: Publisher gets 70%, Amazon gets 30%, publisher sets price.  Out of the publisher’s share, the author may get 25%  and their agent gets 15% of that money.

Barbara:  How will mobile phones affect the art of writing?  Will readers have patience for paragraphs longer than 3 lines?  Will description be tolerated or will it be replaced by a video clip?  Will the Twitter novel become popular?  How about turning off your cell phones on airplanes? Does this mean you can’t read during takeoffs and landings?  People with shorter attention spans will want shorter books.

Brian:  Re contract clauses and reversion of rights and subrights, try for a shorter term, like 3 to 5 years, after which these items are negotiable. 

Publishers have to agree on terms of sale with eReader device providers in order to offer their stock in that format.

“Windowing” is when a hardcover comes out then the eBook comes out xx weeks later.  You have to market the book twice when this happens so it causes the author more work.  This also may happen with books that release in the U.S. market and later in the foreign markets.  You lose sales momentum.

Final Advice:                                                           

Nancy and Denise
Nancy Cohen and Five Star Editor Denise Dietz

Write more good books and write quickly.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the marketing aspects.

Spend time selling your book.  Work it into your calendar.

You don’t need an entire social media strategy.  Start with just one thing.

You can reinvent yourself.  Don’t be frightened by the prospect; be excited by it.

Be transparent for your readers; let them see who you are.

You can find a smaller, devoted audience without a blockbuster mentality.  This can be artistically liberating for writers.

Follow you own path while keeping in mind all your options.

Lunch
Enjoying Lunch
Coming Next: Writing for Worldwide Distribution

Author Interviews

I’m interviewed at several new sites this week  if you’d like to check them out:

Coffee Time Romance: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/NancyCohen.html

Kate Hill’s Blog:  http://kate-hill.com/blog/?p=528

Vampire Books:  http://www.vampirebooks.ca/authorinterviews/nancycohen.html

Roses of Prose: http://bit.ly/9AQNzl

And every other Wednesday, I post at Kill Zone Authors.  My blog topic this week is Technology and You:  http://bit.ly/budtaX

Also, I’d like to remind you to sign up for my quarterly  email newsletter to receive breaking news about book sales, contest bonus awards, and more.  Go to https://nancyjcohen.com and fill out the opt-in form in the sidebar.