Saturday, July 26, 2014

BISAC codes do matter!

My sister, Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing, and I collaborated on the Wakefield Plantation: history and cookbook with primer on Southern manners and etiquette. We thought it appropriate with the publication of the Mint Julep Mysteries to get the background of the inspiration for those mysteries out there.

On the continuing saga of publishing the novels. One thing I had not realized was so important was the BISAC identification. What is this? It is how Amazon and Kindle (and libraries) label your books. At first I labeled the books Fiction/Mysteries/Women Sleuth. My first review came in with two stars. That was very disappointing until I looked at the books the reviewer normally reads. They are heavy duty mysteries with blood and guts and a hard nosed female detective. I then realized she did not like my book because it wasn't the genre she was accustomed to. So, she actually did me a favor. I decided my books are more the Fiction/Mystery/Cozy variety. So I have gotten Kindle and Amazon to recode the novels.

Who knew so much hinged on every detail of identification. I am sure folks who like to read a certain genre and get something not quite what they are accustomed to WOULD be disappointed. Also, my books are truly Southern and that may offend some. Sometimes the books are a bit bawdy. That may offend some. In addition, Dabney prays and they go to church. But that is THE SOUTH! 

I looked up a definition for cozy mystery and found one at  

 A “fun read” that engages the mind, as well as provides entertainment…                            Check!

The crime-solver in a cozy mystery is usually a woman who is an amateur sleuth. Almost always, she has a college degree                                                                                                      Double Check!

The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village. The small size of the setting makes it believable that all the suspects know each other.                                                                     Check!

Although the cozy mystery sleuth is usually not a medical examiner, detective, or police officer, a lot of times her best friend, husband, or significant other is.                                                        Check!

In a series, it is important that the characters are likeable, so that the reader will want to visit them again. The supporting characters are equally important to the reader.                                     Check!

Cozy mysteries are considered “gentle” books… no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex.                                                                                                                                             Check

Sex (if there is any) is always behind closed doors. It is implied…. at most!                           Check!

Cozy mysteries tend to be fast-paced, with several twists and turns throughout each book.     Check!                                                                                                                                      

The cozy mystery puts an emphasis on plots and character development.                                Check!

So, Mint Julep Mysteries must be cozy mysteries!

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