Kaitlyn Dunnett here, today celebrating the fact that all twelve of my Liss MacCrimmon mysteries published to date are on sale this month in e-book format. Yes, I know that a “baker’s dozen” is actually thirteen. Number thirteen in the series, A View to a Kilt, will be out early next year. Thirteen books, by the way, is a pretty good run for any traditionally published mystery series. Back when I started writing series mysteries, most of my fellow authors were delighted when continuing characters and settings they created lasted more than four books. A lot of series never made it past two.
But I digress. You probably want to know more about those sale prices. Kensington frequently runs promotions with the cozy mysteries it publishes, sometimes by author and other times by theme. The Liss MacCrimmon mysteries on sale for the entire month of August fit into both categories. Here’s the scoop, book by book, in order of publication:
Kilt Dead, regularly $6.64, is on sale for $1.99
Scone Cold Dead, regularly $6.64, is on sale for $1.99
A Wee Christmas Homicide, regularly $6.64, is on sale for $1.99
The Corpse Wore Tartan, regularly $18.70, is on sale for $2.99
Scotched, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $1.99
Bagpipes, Brides, and Homicides, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $1.99
Vampires, Bones, and Treacle Scones, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $1.99
Ho-Ho-Homicide, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $1.99
The Scottie Barked at Midnight, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $1.99
Kilt at the Highland Games, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $1.99
X Marks the Scot, regularly $7.59, is on sale for $ .99 (a Book Bub promotion)
Overkilt, out in paperback reprint format on August 27, has been reduced from $22.10 to $2.99
As a special bonus, the first book in my newest series, Crime & Punctuation, is also on sale in August. The price is $2.99, down from $13.56, and it’s part of Kensington’s “It’s Never the Wrong Time to Get Cozy” promotion which features all first-in-series cozies.
You may have noticed that the regular prices are all odd amounts, and that some of them are exorbitantly high for an e-book. I don’t understand how these prices are determined any more than the average reader does. The publisher is the one who sets the prices, not me. I will note, however, that books that regularly sell for $3.99 or $4.99, and have never been priced any higher are (generally speaking) either self-published or electronic editions of older titles (or both).
What about free e-books, you ask? “Free” can be explained in a number of ways, especially if the book on offer is the first in a series. In that case, the hope is that readers will be hooked and buy the rest of the books in the series at full price. I’m not saying that a higher price guarantees a more professionally written and produced novel, but in some ways the old adages “you get what you pay for” and “buyer beware” certainly apply to e-books. Personally, I am willing to pay more for an author whose work I know. I’ll take a chance on a free book by a writer I’ve never heard of only if I’ve heard from someone I trust that it’s a good read. Reading samples before buying is always a good idea. And those reader reviews on Amazon and elsewhere? I’d take them with a grain of salt. The good ones may well be written by friends of the author, especially if the book is self-published with Create Space or some other “you too can be an author” platform. The bad ones are equally likely to be written by some frustrated wanna-be writer who is jealous of someone else’s perceived success.
I seem to have gone off-topic a bit, although it is all related to the e-book marketplace. I’ll end by simply saying that although none of the books listed above are free, they are now inexpensive enough to give one a try, especially if you haven’t yet visited Liss MacCrimmon’s Moosetookalook, Maine and the many eccentric characters who inhabit it.
With the June 2019 publication of Clause & Effect, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett will have had sixty books traditionally published. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries and the “Deadly Edits” series as Kaitlyn. As Kathy, her most recent book is a collection of short stories, Different Times, Different Crimes. Her websites are www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com and she maintains a website about women who lived in England between 1485 and 1603 at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women.