In addition to sending a copy of Pam’s debut, CUPCAKES, LIES, & DEAD GUYS to one lucky winner, we also had a second giveaway. Another Suspense Your Disbelief reader was asked to come up with 5 Questions to ask Krill Press. Publisher Ken Lewis would answer them.
The winner of that prize was Kari Wainwright.
Her questions and Ken’s responses appear below in the hopes that writers and readers both will get a peek into one way this brave new world of publishing is finding and launching mysteries.
- Cupcakes, Lies and Dead Guys doesn’t sound quite like a typical cozy. Do you publish cozies with amateur sleuths who do not have paranormal abilities?
Actually, it’s kind of the other way around! “Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys” is our only cozy mystery title which has a character with paranormal abilities. Well, there is Elspeth Hunsaker in “Sometimes A Great Commotion” who sees a face in a crab cake and sounds the alarm about it being a sign from “above” that the community of sinners in Devil’s Harbor, Oregon had better get with it, and start repenting, en masse, but that’s really another story entirely. Let’s just say that Elspeth is no Annie Graceland, if you get my drift.
- If you do publish cozies and other types of traditional mysteries, do you have a word length you prefer? And how do you determine word length—is it a rounded-off figure of 250 words a page or do you want actual word count?
We like all of our submitted manuscripts to be right around a minimum of 70,000 words for “little books,” right on up to a maximum of 135,000 for “big books.” If your finished, edited manuscript is under 100K, you are a “little book” and your production format with be a 5.5” X 8.5” Trade paperback. If you’re 100K, or over, you will end up as a “big book” 6” X 9” Trade paperback. We like healthy looking, weight proportionate finished books. We use the actual “word count” feature on MS Word to determine, well, word count!
- When it comes to promotion, my understanding is that most of the work is done by the author, even with the larger publishing houses. But are you able to offer some help and/or advice when it comes to that aspect of publishing?
That’s very true. And right now the best advice I could give a new author is to do what Pamela DuMond is doing, and that is to promote the BEE-JEEZUS out of your book on social networking sites, blogs, book trailers, running all over L.A.with a digital Flip camera like a runner-up escapee from the Sundance Film Festival and shooting everything that moves, and then somehow tying it all in with “Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys.” For crying out loud, the woman even promotes her book to ME when she calls me on the phone….and I publish the darn thing! Seriously, though, you do have to have something really great to promote, first, and Pam’s book just happens to be really great.
- Will you look at unagented material?
Yes. In a way, we almost prefer un-agented material because we are a micro-press and don’t have the kind of money to offer that would get, or keep, an agent interested on behalf of their client, and themselves. Two of our books were previously represented by an agent, but when you have a good book, and your agent still can’t sell it….well, it might be time to do something different.
- Are you more interested in series characters in mysteries or standalones?
Both. We currently publish both standalones, and series. Just as long as the writing is good, the characters are fresh, and the story line is intriguing. Oh, and the author agrees to provide their own Flip camera, and batteries.
Thank you very much again to both Ken & Kari for their participation in this (as far as I know) first-of-its-kind event. One of the things that intrigues me about the new independent presses is their creativity, and originality, and outside-the-box approaches. A giveaway like this certainly demonstrates that quality!