Well, Big Publishing did it again. With the merge of Penguin and Random House, the powers that be decided there were too many cozy mysteries on the market. Now it’s slash & burn time as authors find their series discontinued.
I’m having déjà vu. In the 90’s, as I was finishing my first Christy Bristol mystery, the bottom fell out of the mystery genre. All the houses were cutting out one mystery line and retaining only the top selling authors. Midlist authors were abandoned.
People stepped up to the plate and created independent houses. With print-on-demand technology and computers, anyone could be a publisher. Amazon gave validity to ebooks and self-published authors.
I have felt the cozy market was saturated. Every hobby has a mystery, everyone is an amateur detective with a law enforcement boyfriend or ex. Authors were even assigned subject matter. The main readers are women. Perhaps this is an effort to give hard-boiled mysteries a stronger market. Men who write them already make more money.
If you love mysteries, there are things you can do: follow authors you love on their Facebook page, webpages, blogs and twitter. Subscribe to their newsletters. Pre-order your books—first week sales are important. And complain! Let Random House know how you feel. Here’s the link:
(Editor's Note: Great and timely article, Sunny. And another thing we should all do, whenever we finish reading a book we enjoyed, go on Amazon and write a review.)