|F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith|
Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.
About Marilyn's latest mystery, No Bells:
Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.
And Now Marilyn Shares her publishing journey:
DEAD BODIES AND CROOKS
That almost sounds like the title for a mystery doesn’t it? Actually it’s what I encountered along the way on my publishing journey.
I began writing in “the olden days”—the days of typewriters and carbon paper and mailing your whole manuscript off in a box with another addressed and stamped box inside for it to come back to you.
My first book that I ever sent off to a publisher was an historical family saga based on my family’s genealogy. It was rejected and returned to me many times—often with pages wrinkled, coffee stained and smelling like cigarettes. About every fifth return, I rewrote and retyped it, quite a chore at 500 plus pages.
After nearly 30 rejections it was accepted by a major publisher—and I think it was about a three or four year process. In the meantime I was writing a second saga about the other side of my family. When I sent that one to the same publisher, the editor who had accepted the first one had left the house—new editor wasn’t interested.
I finally found a publisher for that one—and my first encounter with a crooked publisher. The book was published, looked great, never got a royalty and after my first order of books couldn’t get another. Found out the publisher had taken all the money he made and gambled it away in Las Vegas. He eventually went to jail.
Of course I was writing other things by this time. When I finished what I called a Christian horror I couldn’t find a Christian publisher who would publish it because it was too scary and those who published horror thought it was too Christian. Found a small press, publisher loved the book, but he wanted me to make it camera ready. Remember this was “the olden days.” No easy way to make the manuscript look like book pages. By this time I did have a computer, but had no clue how I should do this. A friend who owned a computer store, let me use his computer before he store opened and showed me how to do what I needed. I worked on it diligently for weeks. When I was done I contacted the publisher. His wife answered, her husband died and she wasn’t interested in carrying on with the business.
My first mystery was published by another crooked publisher—this one printed 50 copies of my book, cheated a bunch of authors out of co-op money, and fled the country. Fortunately, I found another small press willing to republish that book. She also published the first four of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries—and then she died. (That was terribly sad, we’d become friends and her death was unexpected.)
I’ve had at least 5 agents along the way, and not one did anything for me. I’ve had encounters with other publishers who weren’t on the up and up, but I’m going to make a really long story a bit shorter and move to the publishing of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Final Respects the very first one was picked up by a publisher I found in Writers Market. It was my first experience with an e-publisher. This was long before e-readers came along. The book was wonderfully edited, but buying it was far too complicated.
The Rocket eReader was invented and another publisher picked up the first and second book in the series. We had some problems. The next two books were published as paper and e-books, but the publisher soon went out of business. That’s when Oak Tree Press came along and the next book in the series was published. Since that time, OTP has published the earlier books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series on Kindle and the latest three as paper and e-books.
And of course that brings us to now and the publishing of No Bells the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, available in e-book format and trade paperback.
The whole process of getting published is much easier now with computers, the Internet and email.
Find F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith at:
CONTEST REMINDER: The person who comments on the most blogs on Marilyn's tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so she can contact you.
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