Tag Archives: series

Evaluating a Series

A flock of sheep are heading in a line toward the right with a blue sky in the background and the post title, 'Evaluating a Series' superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Back at the start of the Memphis Barbeque and the Southern Quilting mysteries, I didn’t worry at all about planning the length of the series. That’s because I knew the fate of the series was in the hands of Penguin.  If they decided to end the series, they would.

And I was right…sort of.  Penguin did decide to end the Memphis series because my editor had left the publisher and I was ‘orphaned’ (and because due to the nature of our contract, I couldn’t get my character rights back).  But I wasn’t exactly right about the Southern Quilting mysteries.  Penguin decided not to continue the series in print (asking me to consider a digital-only contract after 5 books)…but I decided to take the fate of the series into my own hands and requested a reversion of rights.  I’ve published two more books in that series myself, and am working on book 8 now.

The Myrtle Clover series, which I took back from Midnight Ink after the first book,  currently has 11 books in the series. Continue reading Evaluating a Series

From Trad-Pub to Self-Pub–Tips and Observations


by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

This is the second time I’ve gotten the rights to my characters back from a publisher and taken a trad-published series to self-pub.  The last time I did this was five years ago.

There were some big differences between this time and last time.  The first time I’d had only one book released in the series before taking it to self-pub.  This time the series had five books in it.

This latest series had a nice following but I found that many of my readers for the Penguin series  seemed unaware of my self-published series.  They would email me asking when the next Southern Quilting Mystery was coming out and I would tell them…and then ask if they knew about my Myrtle Clover series.  Many times they didn’t.

One reason they didn’t is because Penguin didn’t want any non-Penguin books included in my author bio.  I can understand this.  So not only were my self-published books not included in my bio, the original trad-published book in the series (from Midnight Ink) wasn’t, either. Continue reading From Trad-Pub to Self-Pub–Tips and Observations

Series Readers—What they Really Want to See in Our Books

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigfile7401343249061

I’ve just finished the latest Southern quilting mystery—book five in that series, due to release in late 2015.  So that means, right now, I’m no longer under a contract until Penguin decides if they’d like to acquire more books for the series (likely something they would determine after seeing sales figures for book four, coming out in August).

For the first time…ever, really…the only project I have to work on is my self-published Myrtle Clover series.  I started book seven at my usual full throttle, and then slowed my writing pace down a bit and decided to take a more thoughtful approach.  Continue reading Series Readers—What they Really Want to See in Our Books

Series—Keeping Things Fresh Without Alarming Readers

By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigdeath of a policeman

I’m an avid reader of mystery writer M.C. Beaton’s (pen name for Marion Chesney’s) books and have been for many years.  I keep track of her releases and order them when they become available.  She writes a few series under different names, but the Hamish MacBeth series is my favorite and has had a huge influence on me.  Beaton’s books are the reason I’m writing cozy mysteries.

One of the reasons I track her books, apart from my own enjoyment, is because she’s successfully kept this particular series going for 30 books.  (My series with the most books is only at 6 books…working on the 7th now).  And Beaton has not only retained her readers, she’s increased her readership.  She’s recently become active on social media (years ago I couldn’t even find a photo or contact info for her online…when I was already all over the place online) and that seems to have also helped gain her readers. Continue reading Series—Keeping Things Fresh Without Alarming Readers