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Friday, March 30, 2007

New Spinetingler

The new issue of Spinetingler is up. You can follow this link for the PDF download and table of contents.

Or take the direct links below for the stories, interviews, reviews, website features, a sampler of Harrogate 2007 and a very special article.

I asked blogger and author Sela Carsen to give us some insight on the romance genre. Crime fiction readers and authors regularly toss out the ‘we’re discriminated against’ mantra when snubbed for literary fiction by reviewers and major awards. But are we any better, or do we, in turn, snub our noses at romance? Great article.

The links:

Blue Diamond Pool by Kris Ashton
Final Level by BJ Bourg
Bloodlines by Peggy Ehrhart
A Study in Curiosity by Karen Hall
And Then There Was One by Lauri Kubuitsile
The Man in the Mirror by Russel D. McLean
Dream House by Christa M. Miller
Memorandum by Stephen D. Rogers

Anthony Bidulka interviewed by Sandra Ruttan
Anthony Bidulka: STAIN OF THE BERRY reviewed by Sandra Ruttan

Allan Guthrie interviewed by Sandra Ruttan
Allan Guthrie: HARD MAN reviewed by Sandra Ruttan

Profile: Beth Groundwater, by JB Thompson
Beth Groundwater: A REAL BASKETCASE reviewed by JB Thompson

Profile: Tim Maleeny, by Angie Johnson-Schmit
Tim Maleeny: STEALING THE DRAGON reviewed by Angie Johnson-Schmit

Profile: Phil Hawley, by JB Thompson
Phil Hawley JR: STIGMA reviewed by K. Robert Einarson

Profile: Marc Lecard, by CJ Lyons

Ken Bruen interviewed by Sandra Ruttan
Ken Bruen: LONDON BOULEVARD reviewed by K. Robert Einarson
Ken Bruen: AMERICAN SKIN reviewed by Sandra Ruttan
Ken Bruen & Jason Starr: BUST reviewed by K. Robert Einarson
Ken Bruen: THE HACKMAN BLUES reviewed by Sandra Ruttan

Gillian Flynn: SHARP OBJECTS reviewed by Sandra Ruttan
Victor Gischler: SHOTGUN OPERA reviewed by K. Robert Einarson
Adrian McKinty: THE BLOOMSBURY DEAD reviewed by Sandra RuttanAmanda Stevens: THE DOLLMAKER reviewed by Tracy Sharp
John Rickards: THE DARKNESS INSIDE reviewed by Sandra Ruttan
James Sallis: DRIVE reviewed by K. Robert Einarson
Carol Anne Davis: SOB STORY reviewed by Sandra RuttanPatrick Hyde: THE ONLY PURE THING reviewed by Tracy SharpAllison Brennan: SEE NO EVIL reviewed by Toni McGee Causey
Alain Mabanckou: AFRICAN PSYCHO reviewed by Sandra Ruttan
Charlie Huston: SIX BAD THINGS reviewed by K. Robert Einarson
Gregg Olsen: A WICKED SNOW reviewed by K. Robert Einarson
Sean Doolittle: THE CLEANUP reviewed by K. Robert Einarson

Martin Amis: NIGHT TRAIN reviewed by Claire McManus
Steve Rigolosi: CIRCLE OF ASSASSINS reviewed by Claire McManus
I.J. Parker: BLACK ARROW reviewed by Wayne Sears
DVD Review: A CHRISTMAS FAMILY TRAGEDY reviewed by K. Robert Einarson

Harrogate 2007: A Quick Chat With Program Chair Natasha Cooper, by Sandra Ruttan

Website Profile: CRIMESPACE by Daniel Hatadi

Article: PERCEPTIONS OF ROMANCE by Sela Carsen

Friday, March 23, 2007

POD and What It Needs

Like it or not, POD is here to stay.

For those who don’t know about this phenomenon, POD stands for Print On Demand. It’s a method of producing books as they are ordered, one at a time, instead of using the print runs most commercial and small press publishers rely on for book sales. Print runs cost thousands of dollars up front, but with POD technology, a publisher can save on production cost by paying for each book with the money from the sale. The trade-off is the per unit cost, which makes POD cover prices higher than the average trade paperback.

Many people still use the term “POD publisher” to describe a self-publisher or vanity press that uses the technology. In reality, POD refers only to the technology, and a number of small, legitimate presses that employ a selective submissions process and don’t charge authors for publication use this method to produce books. This can be a good thing, since publishing isn’t exactly a million-dollar industry for small presses. The technology allows them to cut costs on storage, production, and returns.

Unfortunately, the proportion of good versus bad publishers that employ POD technology to produce books is far worse than the same in commercial publishers -- there are more bad than good. I believe publishers using POD and selling books primarily online can be successful, thanks in large part to the popularity of Amazon and BN.com. However, there has to be a shift in the way many of these publishers work.

It seems I'm not the only one who believes this. The POD Critic is hard at work to raise awareness of publishers like this. The blog is run by a lead editor at a small commercial publishing house in New York, and features (very honest) reviews of POD titles along with industry news and insights.

The POD Critic's aim is to help both authors and publishers. S/he (who is anonymous, of course) writes detailed and critical reviews for books submitted to the blog by the authors. Of the four titles thus far reviewed, only one has received a relatively high rating... it almost makes the grade of A Worthy Read. See? Honesty! The best thing about the reviews is the detail. S/he actually makes excellent suggestions for improvement -- getting a bad review from the POD Critic is like getting a detailed rejection from an agent or editor instead of a form letter. Any writer interested in improving their work would do well to listen to the advice.

For publishers, The POD Critic offers suggestions that will help make the POD publishing model viable and successful. One of the posts talks about the importance of an in-house editing style. Though small publishers using POD may not have the channels and the clout of larger publishers, if they put out professional quality titles, they can develop a loyal reader base and increase sales.

The most recent post on The POD Critic mentions that word is spreading, and other industry blogs, authors, and publishers are sitting up and taking notice. Here's hoping more POD publishers take the advice to heart, and start working harder on the quality of their titles. We'll all benefit from an industry-wide raising of the bar.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Site on the Web

One of the things I hoped we'd be able to do on In For Questioning was regular updates about ezines. I have found that my time for tracking releases down has been limited the last few months, and I could bore you with excuses (my debut book was published, I had some promotional travel, I got strep throat, I signed with an agent, finished a new manuscript) but ultimately, the point is that it's been hard to stay on top of things.

This is an invitation to ezine publishers.

In conjunction with Crimespace, a new blog has been launched: Crime Zine. This is intended to be a group blog where publishers of ezines that contain crime fiction content can post about new issues, contests and news. An RSS feed will be linking Crimespace and Crime Zine so that crime fiction readers and authors will see updates there as well. It's intended as a way to get the news out.

Where does that leave other ezines that don't include crime fiction? Here, for now anyway. In For Questioning was always intended to be a collaborative effort. Unfortunately, the transition from blogger 1 to blogger 2 caused some problems. I specifically stated that there would be no rigid expectations for weekly publishing, because we're all very busy and sometimes touring and unable to handle blogs.

If there are ezine editors out there who would like to join IFQ, please email me. If there are small press publishers or ebook publishers who'd like to get involved the door is open. This is meant to be a news conduit.

If you know of review sites or ezines I should be keeping an eye on, I'd love to hear from you as well.

All suggestions welcome, and there will be more from us next week.

Friday, March 16, 2007

RWA recognizes Epublisher

Samhain Publishing has achieved the recognition that very few ebook publishers receive: they have achieved RWA status.

Thanks to Samhain author Sela Carsen for sharing the good news, and congratulations Samhain.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


The clock is ticking: Editors have until midnight March 16 to nominate stories for the SMFS Derringer Awards which recognize excellence in crime fiction.

And the storySouth 2007 Awards are now open for nominations.

Please spread the word about these awards to those eligible so that they can nominate themselves or others.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Deadly Pleasures, Bruen, and Free Books

The Deadly Pleasures website has been revamped, and this issue is free for pdf download for those interested in checking out the magazine.

Meanwhile, you can listen to Ken Bruen read his short story, PUNK which is part of a collection titled THESE GUNS FOR HIRE, from Bleak House Books.

Lesa Holstine is giving away free books. Be sure to check out the post and enter to win a copy of Died In the Wool by Rett MacPherson. or Lights Out by Jason Starr.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Crimespace and the Ezine Update

by Daniel Hatadi

You've all heard of Myspace, seeing as you're all probably already on it. You may not have heard of Ning, though. Ning is like the new daddy, the mothership of Myspace. It allows you to create 'mini-spaces' within it, much like whole Myspaces themselves, with whatever theme or group of people you can think of. Obviously I'm interested in crime fiction, as are all of you, so I've gone ahead and created 'crimespace'.

Crimespace. It has a certain ring to it.

Since the Mystery Circus closed down (some of you will remember it fondly), the internet hasn't had any sort of central hub for readers and writers of crime fiction. Yes, there are various forums and places like Crimespot, but there's nowhere that can be a substitute for the bar at Bouchercon or Harrogate or Thrillerfest.

I'm hoping Crimespace can be that bar.

"Crimespace: A place for crime fiction writers, readers and lovers to schmooze, booze and draw up plans for the heist to end all heists. Find new authors to delve into, make friends and plan that heist, discuss the latest in crime fiction and make the place your home. Join up and enter the forums, add photos, videos and make some friends. Pull up a chair at the bar and share your poison."


Ezine Report by Sandra Ruttan

I've been remiss in posting here for a while, and there are several lame excuses I can offer. I had a book come out. I was traveling out of province and out of the country. I got strep throat. Then I had a deadline.

And in the midst of all that, blogger made me upgrade and I'm still sorting out my support team of bloggers for this project.

So, I have been remiss in mentioning the new issue of Demolition, with fiction by the likes of Anthony Rainone, James McGowan, Ed Lynksey and John Stickney.

And the new issue of ThugLit, with contributions by Anthony Neil Smith, Daniel Hatadi, and others.

And the new issue of Hardluck Stories is also up, with stories by Patricia Abbott, Stephen D. Rogers and more.

Really, there's no shortage of great stuff to read online right now, but there's more. Yes, more.

Mouth Full of Bullets has published Play To Win by Kevin R. Einarson, What Every Guy Wants by me, and a feature interview with me.

Plus, they have interviews with other authors and short fiction by a number of other writers... and book reviews.