This post originally appeared on Mysterious Matters: Mystery Publishing Demystified on 5/5/15.
Can it really be two months since I blogged? Wow. Well, I always said I wouldn’t blog unless I have something to say, so I guess the last couple of months have been pretty thought-free.
The idea for today’s post came to me after reading about the death of Ruth Rendell, one of mystery’s luminaries. This isn’t something I’d necessarily say in public, but I didn’t like her work. Nor was I a fan of the late P.D. James, either. I found Rendell’s work to be cold, and James’ to be unbearably snobbish. Both had a tendency to write books that were much too long, and I suspect both women liked the sound of their own voices (words on the page) a bit too much.
Are you clutching your heart, gasping in horror that an editor who publishes mystery fiction should dare say such things? I should say that I love any writer who has a loyal following and whose name sells books; I’m not snobbish that way. But I recognize that an effective brand name doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to like the brand myself. Would I buy stock in Pepsi? Sure I would, but I never touch the stuff. I’m a Coke man.
Anyway, this crazy desire to admit that I think both Rendell and James are overrated made me think about the other “secrets” that we small publishers keep close to the vest (but not any longer). Here are a few: