Small Press Friday Welcomes Writer Lesley A. Diehl

I'm so happy to have Lesley as my guest today. She's a woman after my own heart. Read her entertaining bio and find out where this prolific writer gets her ideas.

What I’ve Learned about Small Presses

Lesley A. Diehl
Last February I moderated a panel on small presses at the Florida MWA Sleuthfest Conference.  Most writers with small publishers agree their presses give them a lot of personal attention.  What may surprise some is that they also can provide a writer with detailed information abut how to make a manuscript stronger.  Recently, a press provided me a list of changes they thought would improve my work.  This was done without my having signed with them.  I can’t imagine a large press taking the time to do this.

For most small presses, no agent is necessary.  The small press is open to the first-timer, willing to take a chance on a good story from an unknown.  Their response time to a query may take only hours or days, and they often get back on a full read in weeks or months.  They respect their authors.  Most welcome the author’s input on both front and back covers of the book.

They are, as one author put it, “nimble on their feet” or, in the words of another, “bolder than the biggies,” able to respond quickly to industry changes.  Most are POD, so one’s book stays in print, and, from my standpoint, POD is the preferred green approach to printing books.

Small presses vary in any of the above aspects.  Some provide good publicity and promotion support, others less.  Writers should carefully research a press and be honest with themselves about what they are looking for.  One member of my panel went from a small press to self-publishing, indicating that if he had to do all the promotion, selling and publicity himself, he found no reason to use any publisher.  That topic generated a heated discussion from both panel and audience members.  Be honest with which one of these styles will work best for you.

For more detailed information by writers themselves, pop on over to my blog http;// and read March’s posts.

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York.  In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.  Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her writing muse.  When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats, and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.  She is author of several short stories and of two mystery series, both featuring country gals with attitude: the microbrewing mystery series set in the Butternut Valley and this rural Florida series, Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Killed and Chilled.  For something more heavenly, try her mystery Angel Sleuth.  She invites readers to visit her on her blog and website.
Website: and blog

Check out Lesley's books: