Follow by Email

Saturday, April 9, 2016

SAVE THE COZIES by Sunny Frazier


 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.)

10 comments:

  1. Very interesting news and, being a cozy writer myself, this is information to take in, figure a strategy. The San Joaquin Sisters in Crime group has come a long way from when I was a member back when and only up to early 2007 when I moved across country. I'm enjoying this blog. It looks great and has good posts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad to see writers and readers mobilizing on this issue. There's a Save Our Cozies group on GR now, and I've come across other blogs urging readers to register their protest with the publishers. I hope it works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't find the Save our Cozies group on Goodreads. Did you mean the Facebook group, or is there also one on GR? It's been amazing seeing the readers mobilize!

      Delete
    2. I found it on via Google, but it's a closed group.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the post, Sunny. It will be interesting to see what happens next. There's clearly a lot of love for the sub-genre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Coming Attractions column over at Kings River Life will certainly suffer. The cozy authors are the best at promotion and they respond gratefully to the free promotion. They are also generous with book give-aways. I have not found that to be true with the other mystery sub-genres or even male authors. And cozy readers are very faithful to their favorite authors.

      Delete
  4. I think the issue was the fact that almost every hobby had multiple lines across multiple publishers. A line would start and within weeks it would be copied by not only several publishers, but numerous self publishing/indie authors. As a reviewer, I knew when somebody started a line on something, within weeks I would be flooded with queries on that angle.

    Also, if you are going to write a review have something meaningful to say. Variations of "What a great series. The author just gets better and better. I so LOVE this series" really don't do much if anything. Amazon is moving to counteract these reviews by looking to the body of the work by the reviewer and weighing newer reviews as well as those with depth higher in their algorithms. No doubt they will continue to make changes to address those kind of meaningless reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Like Sunny states, the cozy market is saturated. The publisher for my first book turned down my second because it was getting harder to sell cozies. I never even considered my book a cozy---if it is, it just made it by a nose. I think cozy is a murky and misleading term, as it’s supposed to mean little or no sex, violence, or profanity. Many think it means kittens and teatime. I thought mine was a plain ol’ traditional mystery and I had plenty of profanity (it was edited out), plenty of talk about sex (but nothing graphic), had no real violence. I feel a blog coming on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries have occasionally been called cozy as well. Meth labs, sex clubs and a high body count are cozy??? But, I don't use coarse language, have graphic sex or violence. I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story and my readership, women, don't want to read all that.

      Delete
  6. The definition of cozies by some authors and publishers seems to have expanded quite a bit these days.

    Cozy authors seem also the best in responding to the calls for guest posts for my blog. I am very surprised how hard it is to get folks to even ask about scheduling a guest post let alone follow through and do it.

    ReplyDelete