Small Press Friday: Welcomes Mystery Writer Marja McGraw

Welcome, Marja McGraw, author of the Sandi Webster Mysteries and the Bogey Man Mysteries.

I know from experience that when someone writes their first book many people’s first inclination is to jump in with both feet. Not a good idea. There are so many publishers out there and they offer so much – sometimes it seems too good to be true, and sometimes that’s the problem. It is too good to be true. An author needs to do their research and determine which publisher best meets their needs. Slow down and take your time.

I write two series and have two small publishers, Wings ePress, an epublisher, and Oak Tree Press, a Print on Demand (POD) publisher. 

There was a time when you’d mention an epublisher or POD press and people would turn up their noses. For heaven’s sake, so many people are talking about going “green”, and yet they don’t seem to quite understand that ebooks and POD books are about as green as you can get in the book world. Thankfully, that’s an attitude that’s rapidly changing.

I used to read only the Big Name authors. Then I began looking at some of the books released by my publishers, and discovered some excellent writing. Some of the small presses are more selective than others, and it shows in the product they produce.

A friend recommended Wings ePress to me. I researched them and found I liked what I read. I contacted Lorraine Stephens (now deceased) and appr\eciated her enthusiasm. There are currently five Sandi Webster Mysteries. Wings took a chance on me and I was elated. I still feel that way.

I started the second series, The Bogey Man Mysteries The Bogey Man Mysteries, and researched several small presses. Oak Tree Press intrigued me, and I knew a couple of their authors. I asked for firsthand information, and it was all positive. After submitting a manuscript to Sunny Frazier, the Acquisitions Editor, I ended up meeting her and Billie Johnson at a conference, and realized that we could have a good working relationship. Sunny also started a group called the Posse, and we share information and links that will help with our promotions. How author-friendly is that?

I’m very happy with both presses and know I made the right decisions. Both publishers have turned their businesses into somewhat of a “family” affair. It’s nice to belong to two families. Both of them provide forums for the authors and the publisher to interact. 

So if you’re looking for a publisher, give the small houses a try. Research and see which one makes you feel comfortable. Find out not only what they can do for you, but how much they expect from you. It’s definitely a two-sided coin. Like it or not, you can’t write a book and then sit back to wait while everyone does the work for you. If you want to write as a career, expect to be busy marketing and promoting. 

Thank you Oak Tree Press and Wings ePress for your confidence in my writing, as well as for all that you do.

Marja McGraw is originally from Southern California, where she worked in both criminal and civil law enforcement for several years.

Relocating to Northern Nevada, she worked for the Nevada Department of Transportation.  Marja also did a stint in Oregon where she worked for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and owned her own business, a Tea Room/Antique store. After a brief stop in Wasilla, Alaska, she returned to Nevada. She’s also worked for a library and for a city building department.

Marja wrote a weekly column for a small newspaper in No. Nevada and she was the editor for the Sisters in Crime Internet Newsletter for a year and a half. She’s appeared on television in Nevada, and she’s also been a guest on various radio and Internet radio shows.

She writes the Sandi Webster Mysteries and the Bogey Man Mysteries, and says that each of her mysteries contains “a little humor, a little romance and A Little Murder!”

She currently resides in Arizona with her husband, where life is good.