Making a Genre Killing

Library Journal’s annual springtime mystery feature focuses on smaller and upstart presses like Bleak House Books, Capital Crime Press and MIRA, along with established mystery-centric publishers like St. Martin’s Minotaur & Putnam. Getting special attention is how most of these houses are increasingly going online for their marketing dollars:

One traditional tool that [MIRA executive editor Margaret] Marbury won’t be relying on to

promote The Deadly Seven is the author tour. “I won’t say it is dead in

the water, but unless you are one of the top 15 best-selling authors

with a huge audience, this is not the best place to spend publicity

money.” Instead, she views the Internet as an inexpensive and more

productive place to pick up new readers. The Mira editor tries to look

at as many mystery book blogs as she can, including many of her

authors’ blogs. “I find that really good author web sites make a

difference in reaching and maintaining readers, which is increasingly

important,” she says.

Many publishers are either creating web sites for their authors or

encouraging their writers to guest blog on other sites. Says Bleak

House’s LeRoy, “Our philosophy is that a direct relationship between

author and reader is one of the most important catalysts in developing

organic buzz.” Not surprising, for a young cutting-edge publisher,

Bleak House is also developing a weekly podcast series, “The Future Is

Bleak,” to provide interviews with its authors and other guests. “We

believe the mystery community is fairly tight knit,” explains LeRoy,

“and that building interest in any crime fiction writer is beneficial

to the house.”

There are also Q&As with Jason Pinter and Robert Fate as well as LJ’s picks for top mystery blogs (including yours truly and lots of other must-reads.)