Book Title: Silk
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published, Chris. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: From the time I was a teenager I rewrote scenes and story endings in my mind. After I retired, I decided to stop imagining and write my own stories. As a retired detective, I enjoy a good mystery. I'd written and had published 5 other books, historical romances and romantic thrillers. I thought it was time to try a suspense thriller that wasn't a romance. I like to write in different time periods and had a detective protagonist in mind and chose Victorian London as the perfect setting for him.
Is this your first book?
Author: No. This is my sixth. This is book one of a new series though.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: Books to Go Now is a small, indie publisher. I got tired of trying to break into the NY publishers. I knew the owner of Books to Go Now and knew I'd have a lot of input in getting my story out and I trusted her with all aspects of the book.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Author: The pros have been working with a publisher that was enormously patient with all my questions and who made good suggestions. I love working with the cover designer. She's done 5 of my 6 books. I have a certain vision for what I want with each and she understands my aesthetic. It's a lot of work but I like making the trailers for each. I have a PA that put the last two together with the soundtrack and stock images I sent her. She's another with a good understanding of what I am going for.
The cons have been trying to get noticed by NY agents and editors. It can get you down when you go to a conference and pitch your story to 30 agents and editors and 2/3 ask for a partial and then you never hear back. You don't even get a standard reject letter with many. Some you know haven't even read the first chapter. You email the manuscript and the reject comes within a day. A lot of times you're told they aren't interested in the storyline or genre or this and that. Part of you just has to wonder why they asked for the partial. Another con is when you pitch your story and the editor/agent listens and then totally ignores the pitch and asks if you can write a completely different story. For example: Many years ago I pitched my paranormal ghost romance. After I went through the whole pitch the editor blinked and asked if I could write a mermaid story, they didn't have any of those. I politely turned her down.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: You need a tough skin. You will likely get rejected many times. You have to learn to deal with bad reviews. Everyone gets them even the biggest authors. Readers will like and dislike the same story for a variety of reasons. Some of the bad reviews won't make sense to you and other readers simply don't like your plot or your characters or your style. Read reviews or don't, but resist letting the negative ones affect you too much.
Once you're published you must, must be ready to commit a great amount of time to promotion. There are hundreds of thousands of books out. You can't get noticed if you don't promote. I also feel the days of only going through NY and the big publishing houses are diminishing. I find a lot of self-pubbed and indie pubbed authors are doing very well. The small houses like mine are growing and becoming strong contenders in publishing.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Don't write a story in a genre that has no interest for you just because it's a popular genre. You have to love what you write or it will show in the story.
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The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum's beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.
Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they'd better be right and have proof.
As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.