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Friday, November 11, 2011

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY -- GUEST AUTHOR JEAN HENRY MEAD

Jean Henry Mead is the author of 15 books, half of them novels. She’s also an award-winning photojournalist who served as a news, magazine and small press editor. Her Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series consists of A Village Shattered, Diary of Murder, and Murder on the Interstate. Her juvenile series, the Hamilton Kids’ mysteries, are Mystery of Spider Mountain and Ghost of Crimson Dawn. She also writes historicals; her first in the series, Escape, a Wyoming Historical Novel, will be followed by No Escape: The Sweetwater Tragedy. Her books, regardless of genre, are laced with humor and light romance. To read more about Jean and her books, visit her website. -- AP 

Rebirth of a Mystery Series
How would you react if your publisher died and orphaned your mystery series? Panic? Tears? Or would you follow the trend and republish the books yourself? Few publishers will consider a mystery series after the third novel, so I decided to establish my own publishing company.

I’m electronically challenged, but my husband learned to upload the files for both ebooks and print editions. And, because the books were previously published, there was little editing to do. It wasn’t long before we had seven books online as well as local stores interested in stocking them.

We have an unusual publishing website at  www.medallionbooks.com and plan to publish other writers’ work as well. Fortunately, I’ve served as an editor, and my husband is good at designing book covers. We’re both bibliophiles with a large home library, so our love of books keeps us motivated.

The next problem is how to promote our books. With so much competition from more than a million ebooks, and thousands more published each day; we need to find ways to make our books stand out. But how to do that? Too many blurbs on Facebook and other social media sites only turn readers away. So how do you let readers know about your books on a limited budget?

Besides appearing on great sites like Lois’s, I decided to take part in virtual book tours. I was asked to join the “Mystery We Write” Holiday Tour, which will run from November 25 until December 9. Fifteen mystery writers, including award-winning Tim Hallinan and Michael Orenduff, are taking part in the tour and we’ll be collectively giving away more than 60 mystery novels from our individual sites.

My own tour schedule is up at: http://jeansblogtour.blogspot.com/ (as well as the other writers’ sites) and I’ll be giving away 14 ebooks, one each day of the tour to visitors who leave comments and screen names. I’ll also draw three additional names at the conclusion of the tour for print copies of my mystery novels.

The best part of blog tours is hearing from readers who stop to say hello and comment about our books. Having someone say, “My husband grabbed your book before I had a chance to read it,” really makes a writer’s day—an entire week even. So I hope you’ll have a look at my tour schedule and choose a number of the tour sites to visit. There’s a good chance you’ll win a great mystery novel (or two) and enjoy what we all have to say.

Before I close, I’d like to ask you, the readers, how publishers attract your attention and what makes you decide to buy their books? I appreciate any comments you’d like to make.
Wishing you all the best holiday season ever!

Thanks for visiting with us today, Jean, and best of luck on your new publishing venture and blog tour. -- AP

23 comments:

Liz said...

Best wishes for success in your e-adventure.

Until recently, my reading time was consumed by work related tomes. Blogs are a newly discovered enjoyment. Sorry I can't give you insight.

nightclub guest list said...

hey hope you enjoy reading it...

Alice Duncan said...

Sounds like a winner to me, Jean. I may be in touch with you about an on-going mystery series that seems to have hit a snag :-)

Jeffrey said...

Jean,
Starting up your own publishing company does sound like a challenge. However, I think from your many years of experience not only are you up to the challenge but from what I've seen (website) your going to be successful at it. I look forward to submitting my own work to you in the near future.
Jeffrey

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thanks for stopping by, Liz and nightclub guest. I hope you'll stop by to take advantage of the tour.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Alice

I would love to publish your work. Please get in touch after the first of the year.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Jeffrey. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Lois, for hosting my guest post. You have a lovely site!

Jean Henry Mead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen Ginger said...

Starting your own publishing company and taking on other writer sounds like a huge undertaking, but if anyone can do it, it's you, Jean.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thanks, Helen. I've been referring first-time writers to you for editing, which would save me a lot of work. :)

Unknown said...

Hi All, As a mystery writer, I took a different route to promote myself and in the process promote other mystery writers. I publish a colorful, interactive, totally free monthly e-newsletter featuring 12 new books a month. I include, not only the NY Times Best sellers, but small press and, since I'm an Indy, self-published authors. Each month is themed, Jean Henry Mead has been one of the featured authors in 2011 and I look forward to featuring her newest books in 2012. And authors are reporting back that they're getting a nice bump after a feature in All Mystery e-newsleltter.
Here's a link to this month's issue: Murder at Work: November 5, 2011 http://conta.cc/s2qXe7

Alice Duncan said...

Will do, Jean!

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Rebecca, for your excellent online magazine to promote fellow mystery writers.

Kathy said...

I think if a publisher wants to atrract people to a book they should put it on this blog. Since I've started reading this blog I have more books and authors on my reading list than I'll ever have time for. Normally I stick to authors I've read or who are recommended to me. Lots of times I'll be in a book store and a cover will catch my eye. I'll read the back or the dust jacket and if it's something I think I will like I'll buy it.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I'll remember that, Kathy. Thank you! :)

Cat said...

That's fantastic. Good luck with your publishing business, and congratulations for such a momentous step! I'm heading over right now to check out your link. Very lovely.

Marja McGraw said...

Jean, This is such a huge undertaking, and I wish you the best. I've picked up books by authors I've never read before thanks to reading blogs, which is something I only started doing in the last year or so. In all honesty, I think the authors do more to get their books out there than the publishers do. One thing that will help the authors is to make the books available through the bigger book distributers. A book brochure that can be widely distributed is a good idea, too. I never realized just how much I DON'T know.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thanks, Cat, for the kind words.

And, Marja, thanks for stopping by and for the offer advice. We currently have print books in stores and are acquiring lists of libraries and bookstores in the region. Mailing is so expensive so we'll probably send email brochures to start.

Barbara D. said...

What attracts me most to a book is the cover art & the synopsis on the cover. I read a lot of cozy mysteries, which have really cute covers & such a wide variety of sleuths. Then I like to thumb through the book & read bits & pieces or comments & ratings on Amazon if I'm ordering a book. Good luck with your publishing company & I hope it's very successful.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thanks, Barbara. Cover art is very important as well as the synopsis. Doubly important is how the books appear online.

Cindy Sample said...

Congratulations, Jean, on your writing and publishing endeavors. I have MURDER ON THE INTERSTATE and it's almost at the top of my TBR pile. For me, cover art is somewhat important. Realistic reviews are very important and I research every book by a new author before I make the purchase. I write humor and I enjoy a lighthearted well written mystery. Thanks for the insightful post.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Cindy. I hope you enjoy Murder on the Interstate. It's light-hearted and laced with humor and romance, although the theme is serious: homegrown terrorism.