Books by Melissa Bowersock

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week

The concept of self-publishing has changed dramatically over the past 40 years; I should know, because I have been involved in publishing in one form or another for that long. My first two books were traditionally published by a NY house, meaning my agent sent them the first manuscript, they read it, they liked it and they decided to take a chance on an unknown and publish it. I even got a small advance on it. When they saw my second book, they snapped that one up, too, and both books had several runs over the ensuing few years. When the publishers decided the books had run their course, they took them out of print and reassigned all rights to me to do as I wished. Well, what I wished was to keep the books viable--but how? 


Enter self-publishing. Yes, there was a time when self-published meant your old weird uncle wrote down his ideas about UFOs and how they came from the center of the (hollow) earth to monitor our burgeoning nuclear capabilities, books that no traditional publisher (at that time) would touch. Back then, many of those books probably had bad spelling, bad punctuation and a dicey plot line. 

In the intervening years, self-publishing has become the method of choice for many, but not because they write like your uncle. The truth is, traditional publishing has gotten very conservative, and the big houses will very seldom, if ever, take a chance on an unknown. If they're not convinced the book will be a best-seller (and who can predict that?), they will likely pass. Luckily, self-publishing has become not only an option but even a preferred method. Why self-publish? There are many reasons, but I'll tell you why I do it: (1) Total control--I control everything about my book: the title, the cover, the editing, the way it's packaged and the way it's marketed. I don't have to worry about my book fitting into the latest trend, and I don't have to worry about a page count. I write what I want to write (and read), and don't have to worry about getting approval from anyone. (2) Time--it's a fact that traditional publishers move slowly. 
I'd always heard that publishing was like mating elephants: It's done at a high level; it's accomplished with a great deal of roaring and screaming; and it takes two years to produce results. With self-publishing, I can release a book almost instantly, as soon as it's edited and done. Additionally, if I need to make changes, if I find one of those horrid little typos, I can fix it and upload a new version immediately. No traditional publisher has that kind of response time. (3) Royalties--it's not my goal to become a zillionaire, but neither is it my goal to be a starving artist. With self-publishing, I set the retail price for my books based on the production cost, and while I keep the price low so I'm not gouging my readers, I still make more than I ever did with traditional publishing. 

All that being said, some people still regard self-publishing negatively, which is why I was very pleasantly surprised to see that some bloggers/book reviewers had banded together to create Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week. Bloggers and book reviewers are worth their weight in gold. Most of them read a crazy number of books, they have a very good idea of what makes an enjoyable read, and they share their insight with anyone willing to follow them. I was humbled and grateful to find my name on their list of worthwhile authors. Now you, dear readers, can read a long list of reviews of my books and decide if they're your cup of tea, plus I have a feeling you just might find some authors new to you that also fit the bill. I hope you'll check out all the posts during Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week, and I send out a hearty thanks to those bloggers that participated. 



Thursday, June 10, 2021

New Release: Twilight Walk

 

How's everybody doing? Excited about having the Covid restrictions starting to loosen up? I sure am. It feels good to be able to walk around without a mask, to actually see people's faces, see them smile. After so long with the masks, tho, it feels funny to go without... a little. But I'm sure we'll get used to it.
I'm also excited to announce Book #31, a new adventure in the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series: Twilight Walk. This one takes the paranormal investigators into places and situations they've never been before, with unexpected results. I think you'll really want to sink your teeth into it!


Here's the deal:

Paranormal investigators Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud have their lives turned upside down by a sudden medical emergency that sidelines Lacey for the foreseeable future. At the same time, however, the LAPD is stymied by what appears to be a serial murderer, and not just the ordinary garden variety. This one leaves teeth marks on the victims’ necks. Is a vampire loose in LA? Sam intends to find out, and must plunge alone into the dark underground of bloodlust culture. Can he track down the evidence by himself, and can recalcitrant Lacey follow doctor’s orders long enough to let her body heal?

To celebrate the new release, the Twilight Walk ebook will be only 99 cents through June 30, 2021

Not familiar with Sam and Lacey? The first book, Ghost Walk, is always just 99 cents. You can see the entire series here.

And have you ever wondered what goes on in an author's brain? Where we get all our crazy ideas? Well, I'll show you mine. Here's an interview I did recently. Some of the answers might surprise you.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

News and Views

Since my move to a new town in a new state last September, my writing schedule has pretty much gone to hell. Luckily I am getting my stride back, and I've been working on Book 31 of the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series, Twilight Walk. Here's a preview and the cover:

Paranormal investigators Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud have their lives turned upside down by a sudden medical emergency that sidelines Lacey for the foreseeable future. At the same time, however, the LAPD is stymied by what appears to be a serial murderer, and not just the ordinary garden variety. This one leaves teeth marks on the victims’ necks. Is a vampire loose in LA? Sam intends to find out, and must plunge alone into the dark underground of bloodlust culture. Can he track down the evidence by himself, and can recalcitrant Lacey follow doctor’s orders long enough to let her body heal?



I'm not quite done with this one yet, but will be soon, and I think you'll enjoy the ride.

Meanwhile my cover designer has been redoing more of the covers of the series, and they are looking fabulous, if I say so myself. Here's a sample:

I think they look pretty nifty, don't you? It'll take a while to get them all redone, but it'll happen.

And finally, one more announcement. There's a beta program that's now allowing us to publish hardback books, and I was quick to jump on that and try it out. I've released my non-fiction, the biography of my aunt who was a prisoner-of-war, as a hardback. Now that book is available as an ebook, a paperback, a hardback and an audio book. Whew! I think we've got everyone covered there, whatever your choice of format might be.



Meanwhile, I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying some of the newfound freedom we're seeing as we're getting this virus under control. It's been a long haul, but we're definitely seeing some progress. Together, we can beat this. 



Sunday, March 21, 2021

New Release: Suicide Walk

Spring has spring. and Sam and Lacey are on another difficult case in Suicide Walk. This one has a double whammy to it, a stubborn case coinciding with stubborn family issues that the pair are trying to solve.



Raising teenagers is tough. Medium Sam Firecloud and his partner, Lacey Fitzpatrick, have that brought home to them in spades when Sam’s sixteen-year-old son, Daniel, calls a sudden family meeting to make an unexpected, and unwelcome, announcement. Not only are Sam and Lacey struggling to deal with the development, they’re doing it in different ways, adding to the tension. At the same time, they are hired to investigate the death of a fifteen-year-old girl who chose to tragically end what was a privileged but tragic life.  When Sam’s usual methods for dealing with a tethered soul go stunningly wrong, he and Lacey are left to wonder if they can ultimately help either of the two teens—living and dead—to find peace.

This is Book #30 of the popular series, and to celebrate this milestone, I am reducing the price of ALL ebooks in the series to just 99 cents each. If you've been waiting for a reason to grab up an armload of Sam and Lacey, or if you've read them through Kindle Unlimited only and want to own them so you can re-read them anytime you want, now is your chance. The books will be on sale through March 31, 2021, so get 'em while they're hot... eh, cold. Follow the paranormal pair on all their adventures, from California to New York, from the US to Ireland to Israel. 

And as always, I hope everyone is staying safe. We're making it through the tough challenges we're facing all around the globe. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

See the full series here.