Today on my blog I am welcoming indie author Sarah E. Glenn.
Sarah E. Glenn, a Jane-of-all-trades, loves mystery and horror stories, especially with a sidecar of humor. She is co-author of the Three Snowbirds novels, a cozy mystery series set in 1920s Florida, and also oversees the Strangely Funny anthology, an annual collection of comedic horror tales.
Sarah has a B.S. in Journalism and edited two different niche newsletters in Lexington, Kentucky. She was also a first -round judge in Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine’s 2003 “Slesar’s Twist Contest”. Later, she was a judge for the 2011 and 2012 Derringers. Since 2013, she has overseen multiple anthologies and story collections for Mystery and Horror, LLC. Interesting fact: Sarah worked the Reports Desk for the Lexington police department, and criminals really are dumb.
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4710143.Sarah_E_Glenn
Twitter (warning: I am political): https://twitter.com/SarahEGlenn
Mystery and Horror, LLC: my press with Gwen Mayo: https://www.mysteryandhorrorllc.com/
Hello Sarah, and welcome to my blog! What made you decide to publish your books independently?
Gwen and I had our first novels published by Pill Hill Press, which was an excellent experience for both of us. When the press folded, Gwen was almost finished with the sequel to Circle of Dishonor and I was working on my own sequel. It’s difficult to sell a sequel to a book that was published elsewhere. My mother suggested that we publish the books ourselves, since I had Ye Olde Degree in journalism and Gwen had a degree in business.
A few years before, Gwen and I had formed an LLC so we would retain the rights to each other’s characters and books if one of us died. This was in the days before same-sex marriage was legal, and copyrights were passed on only through blood, marriage, or business ties. Since we were already legally organized, we expanded the LLC into a press.
Our first book was Strangely Funny, an anthology of humorous paranormal stories. We’ve published an edition every year since. We picked up some of Pill Hill’s authors for that series, plus Monstermatt Patterson (previously published by Pill Hill) approached us about his bad monster joke books. Gwen got her first book back into print eventually, along with the sequel. I haven’t republished All This and Family, Too yet because it’s set in modern times and I think it needs revision.
What are the benefits of being an indie author?
Control, control, control. You can publish what you want, even if it’s not what big presses would consider profitable. Since you have fewer people to pay, you will make a bigger chunk of the profits you see.
What challenges do indie authors face?
The big ones: creating a quality product without the resources of a big publisher, marketing their stories in a sea full of other choices, and being taken seriously. Of the three, creating a quality product is the most important.
What advice would you give to aspiring indie authors?
• Work on your writing. That always comes first, before any jazzy cover or marketing plan.
• Take yourself seriously, and act accordingly.
• Even if you don’t self-publish, you will discover that indie presses don’t have the budget or staff of the Big Five (or Four). Once you’re ready to go to press, you need to think about what your ideal audience is and how you’re going to reach them. When we published Murder on the Mullet Express through Mystery and Horror, LLC, Gwen and I hired a publicist out of pocket because we knew what our LLC’s budget was.
• Join a writing group with some/all indie authors, whether in person or online. It’s a good way to get advice about writing and marketing. You might even find a beta reader.
• Other indie authors are not your competitors. People who like to read don’t stop after they’ve read someone else’s book. Any indie author who opens a new door has opened it for everyone else.
Lots of great advice there, I’m sure! What have you learned from being an indie author?
A lot about what goes into making a good book – it’s not just the writing of the story – and an enormous amount about book promotion. I’m still learning.
And lastly, what can we look forward to seeing from you in 2021?
We published our first book for the year, Mardi Gras Mysteries, in January. I’ve just made final selections for this year’s Strangely Funny. It should be out in late May. Gwen and I have been working on the third and fourth books in the Three Snowbirds series. The plan is to finish book three, Ybor City Blues, but I don’t think it’ll come out until 2022. Gwen is now retired, which theoretically gives her more ‘free time’, but she’s spent a good deal of this year on taxes, calculating royalties, and exploring promotional options.
Thank you very much for joining me today on my blog, Sarah! I wish you and Gwen every success with your upcoming projects!
The Strangely Funny annual anthology:
Horror gone wrong. So very wrong.
Tales of humorous horror await you in this series of short fiction anthologies. Paranormal, supernatural, werecreatures, magical beings, the undead, ghosts, otherworldly, and creatures that defy definition are waiting. If you like offbeat or just plain odd, you are sure to find a new favorite story.
Buy Strangely Funny here:
Add Strangely Funny to your To Be Read list here:
The Three Snowbirds series:
Snowbirds in the Roaring Twenties blaze a trail between opportunists, gangsters, and dead bodies in the Sunshine State. The Three Snowbirds series currently comprises Murder on the Mullet Express and Murder at the Million Dollar Pier.
Murder on the Mullet Express
It’s 1926, and the Florida Land Boom is in full swing. Army nurse Cornelia Pettijohn takes leave to travel to Florida with her ancient uncle, who claims that he wants a warm winter home. When their car breaks down, they take the local train, The Mullet Express, into Homosassa. By the time they arrive, though, a passenger is dying of poison. Uncle Percival’s hidden agenda makes him the sheriff’s prime suspect. Furthermore, the little old man has run afoul of the local mob. Cornelia and Teddy Lawless, a twenty-year-old flapper in a body pushing sixty, must chase mobsters and corner suspects to dig her uncle out of the hole he’s dug for himself.
Buy Murder on the Mullet Express here:
Add Murder on the Mullet Express to your To Be Read list here:
Murder at the Million Dollar Pier
“Never waste good rum on a bad night.” – Teddy Lawless, February 1926.
There are many bad nights ahead for Teddy. Shortly after she arrives at the newly opened Vinoy Hotel in Saint Petersburg, she comes face to face with her ex-fiancé, Ansel Stevens, in the dining room. Cue the slap that was thirty years in the making.
Unfortunately, her ex-fiancé dies during a yacht race shortly thereafter. Conclusion of the authorities: poison. His family closes ranks, leaving Teddy as the prime suspect. Worse, Teddy’s hair comb is found on the deck of Ansel’s boat, leading to her swift arrest.
Can Cornelia Pettijohn and Uncle Percival save fun-loving Teddy before she goes from the grand hotel to the big house?
Buy Murder at the Million Dollar Pier here:
Add Murder at the Million Dollar Pier to your To Be Read list here:
Who’s next on Indie Spotlight?
K.R.R. (Kyle Robert Redundant) Lockhaven used to love writing as a kid. Starting at about ten years old, he wrote about anything from dragons to sentient jellybeans. Somewhere along the line, he lost that love. But now as a firefighter, husband, and father of two sons, he found it again.