Top Five Sites For Mystery/Thriller Writers
Guest Post by Erica Verrillo
One of the chief advantages of writing mysteries is that you can actually make a living at it. Usually, mysteries are published in series. Once you have established an engaging main character and a perfect setting (according to Bowker, Americans like their mysteries set in “the misty bogs of Scotland and London’s Trafalgar Square” – but New York or Rome will do in a pinch) you are in business forever. Because human beings are hunters at heart, there is an insatiable demand for whodunnits. Roughly 48% of those who purchased novels last year bought mysteries.
Whether you are just starting your career as a mystery writer, or have a book or two under your belt, these should be the top sites to put on your “favorites” list.
1) The Mystery Writers Forum
http://www.zott.com/MysForum/links.htm#Agents & Publishers
The Mystery Writers Forum is a little peculiar looking, but it is the most useful site I’ve found for researching a mystery or crime novel. Some of the goodies you will find on this site are: forensics (everything from fingerprints to poison to forensics to photography), handwriting analysis, law links to law libraries, journals and internet resources, organizations, police procedure, DNA analysis, print publishers, ebook publishers, short story publishers, writing resources, and a long list of review sites. You can even consult a cop (for a fee) if you want firsthand information from someone in the trenches.
Special feature: The “Find a Death” link will take you to a site listing the deaths of celebrities – always useful fodder for a crime novel. Sadly, the link to the Mafia home page is broken.
2) Stop You’re Killing Me
This site lists over 4,100 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 46,000 titles), both series (4,700+) and non-series, which you can search alphabetically or through specialized indexes: diversity, historical, genre, job, and location. The site also features a comprehensive list of mystery/thriller awards with archives going back to 1988. New hardcover, paperback, and audio book releases are listed by the month, which makes this is a great resource for researching your competition. Stop You’re Killing Me also hosts giveaways. This is a great place to have your book reviewed!
3) Sisters in Crime
What a fabulous organization! Sisters in Crime offers an enormous list of mystery websites. The resource section on the website includes a helpful book publishing glossary. Membership dues are a mere $40 annually for an author pursuing a career in mystery writing, a bookseller, a publisher, a librarian, an editor or anyone who has a business interest in promoting the purposes of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Membership includes:
inSinC, a quarterly 16-page newsletter
Sisters in Crime listserv, including special guests on “Mentor Mondays”
Regional chapters, including The Guppies, a support and critique group for unpublished writers
Website link to titles by Sisters in Crime authors via WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections
An institutional presence at national and regional book events, mystery conferences and festivals with opportunities for individual author participation and/or distribution of promotional materials
An ongoing mystery review project that monitors media coverage of female and male authors
Our blog written by board members and other distinguished SinC members
Our monthly “SinC Links”—a digest of “news you can use” about the mystery business
New Sisters in Crime interactive map to find SinC authors and their most recent titles
Discounts for Members in 2013 – Gotham Writing Workshops and Writers’ Police Academy
Reports from SinC’s annual publishers summit
Networking, mentoring, and fun
3) Blog Rank Top 50 Mystery Novels Blogs
If you want to locate the top 50 blogs for just about any genre, go straight to Blogrank. This service ranks blogs according to the number of unique visitors, RSS feeds, Alexa ranking, and monthly visitors, all of which is useful information if you are looking for a high-profile site to submit a guest post. Aside from offering venues to increase your visibility, these blogs offer valuable insights into the
publishing world, the latest industry trends, and, of course, great tips from top mystery writers.
5) Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America is the leading association for professional crime writers in the United States. Founded in 1945, MWA presents the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre.
Membership is open to professional writers in the crime/mystery/suspense field whose work has been published or produced in the U.S., and who reside in the U.S. (special memberships are offered to those living abroad); agents, attorneys, booksellers, editors, reviewers, librarians, journalists, and publicists. Dues for all categories of membership are $95.00 per year.
The MWA website features an extensive list of author newsletters, author blogs, and an extremely useful list of over 150 approved publishers (including periodicals and ezines).
Erica Verrillo is the author of three middle reader fantasies: Elissa’s Quest, Elissa’s Odyssey, and World’s End (Random House). She also writes medical reference books. Her most recent book is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition. Visit her at http://www.ericaverrillo.com and at http://www.cfstreatmentguide.com/