Small Press Friday Welcomes: Writer Peg Herring

Mystery writer, Peg Herring, offers valuable publishing advice both for the experienced writer and for the novice.

Before You Publish, A Warning
“Published Author” sounds good, doesn’t it? However, the term has different meanings today, and both readers and writers should ask, “Published how?”
Many think of “published” in a generic way: a book is a book, right? No. In an age where anyone who can type can publish a book, there are lots of bad books out there. After being burned a few times, readers learn to ask: “Was this book professionally edited?” “Is it formatted according to industry standards?” “Is it recommended by someone besides the author’s mother?” Savvy readers often stick with big publishers with a reputation for producing quality products.
However, the big guys often lose their spirit of adventure. They seem to focus on producing more of what sold before, and many famous authors trot out the same characters and plot-lines for decades. That’s fine for some, I guess.
Between clueless self-publishers and mindless repetition, there’s an area worth exploring. The best small presses look for authors with interesting stories to tell. They edit, correct, and format so readers aren’t taken out of those stories by mistakes. They often specialize in specific sub-genres, so readers who like one of their books find others they like as well.
For authors, small presses are a gift. Publishers like mine (LL-Publications and Five Star Publishing) offer the chance to write what I love. They know I probably won’t sell a million copies, though we’d all be fine with that. They have no separate marketing department that will consider only books that fit their publishing model. (That’s what I was told by the big guys: “Great story, kid, but it doesn’t fit our marketing plan.”)
As a reader, you might want to look for a small publisher that produces what you like to read. As an author, you might want to choose a more cooperative, less corporate publishing venture. In both cases, it’s kinder to your creative side.

DEAD FOR THE MONEY, #2 of The Dead Detective Mysteries:  LL Publications, April, 2012. (Book #1,THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY is EPIC's Best Mystery of 2012, )
Detective Seamus is willing to investigate the possible murder of wealthy William Dunbar. He’s less willing, however, to take a detective-in-training along or to deal with a teenage girl who thinks of herself as "weird.” Seamus soon realizes that, weird or not, Brodie needs help, or she could end up as dead as he is.

Peg Herring is the author of the critically acclaimed Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries as well as the award-winning Dead Detective Mysteries. When they’re not exploring the world, Peg and her husband of many years live in northern Lower Michigan, where they garden for the benefit of local rabbits, deer, and elk.
Visit Peg’s website, for more information on all her books and where to buy them.