Name: Rosie Claverton
Book Title: Captcha Thief (The Amy LaneMysteries #3)
Publisher: Crime Scene Books
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Rosie: I've always written stories. I was an imaginative child, and used my primary school “show and tell” to create the most outrageous tales. I messed around with novels throughout my teenage years, but I decided to take novel-writing seriously when I was finishing university. I saw a career of medicine ahead of me, and the creative side of me rebelled. I wanted to be a doctor and a writer!
Is this your first book?
Rosie: Captcha Thief is the third novel in The Amy Lane Mysteries, but it's my first paperback publication. The first two novels Binary Witness and Code Runner were ebook-only releases. I also have a number of finished and unfinished projects in the virtual desk drawers of my laptop.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Rosie: The Amy Lane Mysteries started with a digital-first press attached to a large publishing house. That was a fascinating experience for a first-time author and I formed good relationships there, particularly with my editor Deb Nemeth. Alas, they didn't want to continue the series, so I had to consider my options. Crime Scene Books are a small independent press, and the editor Sarah Williams approached me, as a fan of the first two novels. I leapt at the chance to continue the series. I'm enjoying knowing everyone in the process of creating my novel and being one of a few authors valued by my publisher.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Rosie: I gained my first book deal by pitching on Twitter! My editor liked the concept of Binary Witness and I was offered a two-book publishing contract. I tried to find an agent at this time, but with the tight deadline, I wasn't able to fully pursue that avenue. I don't regret starting out with a digital-first press and learning my author lessons there, but I'm glad I'm moving on from that to a small independent press. I wish I had held out a little longer for an agent and I'm still hunting for that perfect agent partner to champion my next novel and to be my ally in navigating the world of publishing.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Rosie: Regardless of the way you publish, the author is responsible for a lot of self-promotion. I hadn't realised that when I wrote the book. My knowledge of the world of publishing has improved dramatically with experience, but I should've gone in with my eyes open.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Rosie: I think that depends on your goals as an author. If you want your book in every shop with adverts on the Tube, you need a Big 5 publisher. If you want to be solely in charge of your own book destiny, and willing to put in all the work, you need self-publishing. If you want something in between, you should look at digital-first and small press publishing.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Rosie: Before you look for an agent or a publisher, or make a decision about self-publishing, read everything by highly-successful and midlist authors about how that's working out for them. The best people to look at are the hybrid authors in your genre, who have both traditionally-published and self-published novels. But first, and most importantly: FINISH THE BOOK. It may only be the beginning of the journey, but it is the only essential step!