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News & Press: SinC Links

SinCLinks-September 2020

Tuesday, September 1, 2020  
Posted by: Deb Forsten
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Three prominent publishing organizations wrote a joint letter to the chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigating the market power of Big Tech, pressing their case that, over the last several years, Amazon's growing dominance over book publishing and bookselling has fundamentally altered the competitive framework of the industry. If Amazon's power is left unchecked, the letter claims, competition within publishing could diminish even more.

Pandemic Printer Jam!  Serious supply issues are disrupting the book industry's fall season.  Capacity issues at the two largest printing companies are among the factors creating havoc for both authors and publishers.

Independent booksellers have long relied on "media mail" from the USPS as the most affordable way to ship books to customers; that has been a lifeline for many during the pandemic. Which makes the recent slowdown in mail processing an existential threat to booksellers.   

Alexander Larman pens this love letter to 2d-hand bookshops, lamenting their recent, rapid demise.

Meanwhile, in Alexandria, Virginia, a bookstore operator denies he raided little free neighborhood libraries for second-hand stock.

Elon Green writes about the "enduring, pernicious whiteness of true crime."  White voices and victims dominate the increasingly popular genre, he says, which often skews the perception of what constitutes a crime.

Kellye Garrett, Alexia Gordon, and Tracy Clark talk with the Chicago Tribune about their struggle for recognition as black crime writers.  The article includes a hat tip to Sisters in Crime and a great quote from our president, Lori Rader-Day.

Black novelist Vivian Stephens helped turn romance writing into a billion-dollar industry. Then she got pushed out. Now, as the Romance Writers of America reckons with its history of racism, is Vivian finally getting her due?

The legendary mystery writer, P.D. James, was born on August 3, a hundred years ago. Read her 1982 essay "Murder Most Foul," in which she explains her attraction to detective stories, considers what makes a successful whodunit, and highlights her favorite practitioners of the genre—including her predecessor Agatha Christie, "a lady I think of less as a novelist than as a literary conjurer whose sleight of hand as she shuffles her cardboard characters can outwit the keenest eye."

And MWA Grand Master, Peter Lovesey reaches another landmark—50 years of publishing mysteries.


Lorna Barrett's books 15 and 16 in the BOOKTOWN MYSTERY series, featuring a mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, to Tom Colgan at Berkley, in a very nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faustat BookEnds.

Jessica Chiarella's THE LOST GIRLS, about a young woman who, after the success of her true crime podcast, is pulled into the web of a mysterious case that offers surprising connections to her own sister's disappearance years earlier, to Sally Kim and Gabriella Mongelli at Putnam, in an exclusive submission, for publication in summer 2021, by Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment.

Maya Corrigan's books eight and nine in the FIVE-INGREDIENT MYSTERY series, featuring a café manager and her live-wire grandfather solving murders on Maryland's Eastern Shore, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a nice deal by John Talbot of Talbot Fortune Agency. 

Mary Anna Evans's THE PHYSICISTS' WAR, based on historical events, about a young woman who takes a job in a shipbuilding factory in New Orleans as part of the WWII industrial effort and discovers the carbon parts she assembles eight hours a day may not really be for ships, but earmarked for a secret government weapons project, to Anna Michels at Sourcebooks, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2022, by Anne Hawkins at John Hawkins & Associates.

Librarian and finalist in the MWA Freddie Award for Writing Excellence M. E. Hilliard's THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS, in which a librarian steps in to solve a murder but is a suspect herself when it is discovered her husband had also been murdered, to Faith Black Ross at Crooked Lane, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in summer 2021, by Julie Gwinn at The Seymour Agency.

Amanda Jayatissa's MY SWEET GIRL, about a young woman who swears she saw her roommate's murder and fears it's tied to her childhood in Sri Lanka, even as authorities question whether her roommate ever existed in the first place, to Jen Monroe at Berkley, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Melissa Danaczko at Stuart Krichevsky Agency.

Edith Maxwell, writing as Maddie Day has a two-book deal for books ten and eleven in the Country Store Mysteries, beginning with DEADLY DONUT HOLE. Also MURDER AT SANDDOLLAR BRIDAL, book four in the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, both to John Scognamiglio at Kensington Publishing in two nice deals by John Talbot of Talbot Fortune Agency.   

Wanda Morris's debut THE ELEPHANT FIGHTER, an #OwnVoices thriller pitched in the vein of How to Get Away with Murder crossed with a tale of sibling love, loyalty, and the secrets we keep, to Asante Simons at William Morrow, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Lori Galvin at Aevitas Creative Management.

ITW Thriller and Derringer Award winner Alan Orloff's, I PLAY ONE ON TV, in which a teen actor is pursued by the killer whose crime he reenacted, to Eric Campbell at Down and Out Books, for publication in July 2021, by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary.

Katharine Schellman's SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY, the second book in the Lily Adler Mystery series, where a Regency widow must help the Bow Street police discover whether a wealthy man's death is really the accident his family claims, to Faith Black Ross at Crooked Lane, for publication in summer 2021, by Whitney Ross at Irene Goodman Agency.

Harlequin Worldwide Mysteries has acquired the North American Mass Market paperback rights to Judy Penz Sheluk's cozy mysteries--THE HANGED MAN'S NOOSE: A Glass Dolphin Mystery #1 and SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC: A Marketville Mystery #1, in a nice deal. 

Cathi Stoler's BAR NONE, the first book in the Mystery On The Rocks series, set in NYC's Lower East Side, featuring The Corner Lounge owner Jude Dillane who finds a dead body in her landlord and friend Thomas 'Sully' Sullivan's apartment. Certain the death wasn't suicide as the police suspect, she goes undercover at the Big City Food Coop and discovers a case of major fraud that puts her in the killer's sights. Books two and three,  LAST CALL and STRAIGHT UP follow in fall 2020 and 2021, to Shawn Riley Simmons at Level Best Books in a nice deal.

Author of the Otter Lake Mystery series Auralee Wallace's IN THE COMPANY OF WITCHES, the first in a cozy mystery series featuring a young witch who runs a B & B with her aunts, but when a guest is murdered, must use all of her skills—both magical and mundane—to solve the crime, to Jenn Snyder at Berkley Prime Crime, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2021, by Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency.

We use the industry scale of euphemisms for advances:

  • "nice deal" $1 - $49,000
  • "very nice deal" $50,000 - $99,000
  • "good deal" $100,000 - $250,000
  • "significant deal" $251,000 - $499,000
  • "major deal" $500,000 and up

Have you sold a book recently? Do you believe your information could help a Sister in Crime make a wise business decision? Please send all the pertinent facts to Marcia Talley .

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