Monday, August 1, 2011
Please Welcome My Guest - Mystery Author, Nancy Lynn Jarvis
My husband and I own a small real estate company which we have wound down because the market is so difficult. Our plan was to declare ourselves retired until the real estate market got better. Our original plan was to travel but, while we are fine for day to day expenses, our investments aren't generating enough income to let us do what we planned. With so much time on my hands I got bored, so I decided to start killing people instead of selling houses.
I set up a micro publishing company, took my real estate experiences, used them for background, and began writing a mystery with a Realtor protagonist. The new company was what you would call, "very carefully" self funded. Initial costs were $35 to copyright a company name and logo and $35 for a printer set-up fee. I could have purchased an ISBN number for one book for $55, but they are cheaper in bulk and I had plans, so I purchased a bank of them for $250. We have discovered how to find free or almost free graphics for book covers and books are print-on-demand so I order a minimal number and return profits to order more books so we are never out of pocket too much.
It's good we took this route for a couple of reasons. It turns out it is almost impossible to become a non-celebrity first time author after the age of fifty; we older individuals are not considered to have the stamina for promoting our books. Other older writers have started approaching us about publishing their books, (we now own gezzerwriters.com) which is also going to be fun.
My writing-as-a-game has become a book series: the fourth book in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries was just released. I've never had so much fun in my life, and I've enjoyed a variety of jobs. I never aspired to be a writer, this is a newly discovered passion, something I will do as I age, in retirement, as long as it's fun and I sell books.
Writing hasn't produced an income anything like being a Realtor in the good times and I don't expect this adventure will never make me rich, but we are making money and I wake up every morning excited about what the day may bring. I've had adventures I would never have had otherwise and met people from all over the world I would never have known without promoting the books.
Our investments are doing better and we are talking about traveling again, but now we'll be taking books on the road and doing a booktour. It's going to be fun to have a focus for traveling and as an added bonus, I've discovered I enjoy public speaking. I'm getting better and better at free publicity, and that bank of ISBNs was a good investment, as it turns out.
You may read opening chapters of the books at http://www.goodreadmysteries.com/. Samples are free, and you can pick up a copy of the recipe for "Mysterious Chocolate Chip Cookies" while you are there. I created the recipe to go with the books. (We spunky seniors are so multi-talented;)"
Nancy Lynn Jarvis
The Death Contingency
The Widow's Walk League