Book Publishing Secrets with Amy Rivers, Author of COMPLICIT

: Amy Rivers

Book Title: Complicit

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publisher: Compathy Press

Find out more HERE.


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?

Author: I’ve always loved writing. As a former director for a sexual assault program, I developed a passion for violence prevention and social justice. After moving to Colorado, I had an opportunity to write full time and I began writing stories about women and the things that they juggle in life. As a voracious reader of crime fiction, it seemed natural to mingle women’s narratives with some of the harder social justice topics. 

Is this your first book?

Author: No, this is my fourth novel. It is the first book in a series featuring forensic psychologist, Kate Medina. 

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Author: I worked with a small press for my first two novels, before deciding to self-publish. Complicit is the second book I’ve self-published under my imprint Company Press. 

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Author: My first published piece was an essay in a Chicken Soup book. When I started writing novels, I was in a rush like most emerging authors. I wrote my NaNoWriMo project at the end of November and was ready to send it to print in December. Thankfully, the process of revision slowed me down and the reality of pitching was a shot of much needed perspective. I went through all the paces—pitches, queries, rejections—and eventually published my first two women’s fiction novels with a small press. 

That first experience taught me many lessons about what happens when you sacrifice control of your work for the sake of having a publisher. And when I wrote my first suspense novel, All The Broken People, I was determined to get an agent, sell it to a big publisher, and become a New York Times Bestseller. Then, at a conference, the keynote asked me why I didn’t self-publish. And I didn’t have an answer. Up to that point, I’d been allowing myself to be carried on the current of advice, publishing industry standards, and a healthy dose of fear. Until then, I hadn’t considered that my fear of “failing” wasn’t even related to my own work or career. 

I had a long talk with myself, established actual goals based on my life and what I wanted to accomplish through my writing, and I decided that self-publishing was actually the best choice for me. It’s a ton of work, but I have a background in marketing and business, so part of what usually scares authors away is not terrifying to me. But I did decide that if I was going to self-publish, I was going to do it as if I were a traditional publisher in terms of hiring professionals who could help me do everything well. Editors. Book cover designers. Publicists. 

So, I’ve chosen self-publishing, but I am surrounding myself with amazing people who will help me get my stories into the hands of readers in as polished and professional a manner as I can. 

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Author: I’ve learned so much I could write a book about it and still keep on learning. My two main takeaways, though, are this. First, self-publishing is a lot of work. If you’re looking at self-publishing as a way to avoid rejection or negative feedback, you’re in the wrong place. Self-publishing is a great way to maintain control of your creative works and guarantee that you get to tell the story you want to tell, but it takes dedication, ingenuity, and lots of hard work. Second, no author is an island. You know the stories we hear about authors working in isolation and magically turning out brilliant, bestselling works while avoiding contact with the outside world? Well, those stories are a myth (until you reach Stephen King fame maybe). Regardless of the publishing method you’ve chosen, authors these days should expect to do some of the work related to get their book out in the world. As a self-published author, you are responsible for all the work and unless you have endless financial resources and a whole lot of coffee, you’ll probably need some help with editing, distribution, promotion, and other business-y things. And that’s ok. As it turns out, there are wonderful people in the outside world and it’s also where your readers live. Embrace it. 

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Author: I would recommend that every author take an honest look at their goals and make informed decisions about their publishing journey. Self-publishing is absolutely the right choice for me and it is probably the right choice for many others, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to have all the facts before moving forward. 

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Author: Keep writing! A lot of people want to be authors but finishing a book and then doing all the work to get it out in the world is an arduous process. It’s totally worth it but you have to keep going. When you finish one project, start the next one. 


About the book:

A tangled web of deception and duplicity where predators are shielded by respectability and no one is safe.

Kate Medina had been working as a forensic psychologist and loving every minute until a violent attack left her shaken to the core. She’s retreated to her hometown where it’s safe, accepting a job where the prospect of violence is slim to none. As a high school psychologist, Kate tends to the emotional needs of the youth. It’s not the career she envisioned.

Five years later, a student disappears, leaving the school in crisis. Roman Aguilar, the lead detective, reaches out to Kate for assistance. Kate’s position at the school and her training make her an ideal ally, but her complicated relationship with Roman puts them at odds. 

When the girl’s body is found, changing the focus of the investigation to homicide, Kate finds herself in the middle of a situation she never anticipated. What started as her desire to help puts Kate directly in the crosshairs of an enemy who remains largely in shadow. As her past and present collide, Kate is dragged into the middle of a dangerous game where only one thing is clear—no one can be trusted. 

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