Sunday, May 29, 2011

Author Awakening by Evelyn David

The author of Murder Off the Books, Murder Takes the Cake, and The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries e-book series, Evelyn David is the pseudonym for Marian Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett.  Marian lives in New York and is the author of eleven nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics ranging from veterans benefits to playgroups for toddlers! For more information on these books, please visit her web site at   Rhonda lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is the director of the coal program for the state, and in her spare time enjoys imagining and writing funny, scary mysteries. Marian and Rhonda write their mystery series via the internet. While many fans who attend mystery conventions have now chatted with both halves of Evelyn David, Marian and Rhonda have yet to meet in person. 

Please check out Evelyn's website at  and their blog – The Stiletto Gang -  for information about Evelyn David's appearance schedule and writing projects.

Murder Off the Books and Murder Takes the Cake have been printed in a 2nd Edition with Wolfmont Publishing. Trade paperback and all e-reader formats of both books are available.

The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries include: I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries, The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah, The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah, Undying Love in Lottawatah, and A Haunting in Lottawatah. All e-reader formats of these books are available.

Evelyn David has also written an ebook collection of short romantic stories - Love Lessons


Author Awakening 
by Evelyn David

The topic of authors and how much, when, and by whom they will be paid for their literary efforts has always been part of the creative conversation. Lately we've seen much Internet chatter about major mystery authors boldly walking away from traditional publishers offering bucketloads of money (we definitely consider$500,000 one big sandpail of cash) in order to self-publish their own ebooks.  Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler discuss the long-term financial implications far better than we can (

Also helpful in understanding the history and the future of e-book publishing is Mike Shatzkin's blog ( He gives the long-view of the biggest change in publishing since Johannes Guttenberg printed the Bible on a moveable type printing press (and wanted to be paid for it, by the way).

And then there's the story of 26-year-old Amanda Hocking, who made her first million dollars by self-publishing her paranormal romance tales, and now has elected to sign with the same traditional publisher that Barry Eisler rejected.  But she got a tractor trailer full of cash for her next four books, $2 million in all.

As it happens, the collective Evelyn David has not been late to this particular party. Last October we decided to get on the self-publishing bandwagon and began releasing The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries. The stories feature a psychic who inexplicably ends up in Lottawatah, Oklahoma. It's a small town with a population of 1482 and an unknown number of ghosts wanting to move on, but who need Brianna's help to solve the mysteries that are keeping them tethered to this world. These tales are intriguing, funny, romantic, and have captured our imaginations and stirred our creative juices. Bottom Line: We're having a blast writing this series.

But as every self-published author will tell you, there's work in them thar hills. All of a sudden, we're not only authors, but cover designers, editors, marketing execs, tech wizards, and a myriad of other tasks formerly handled by publisher's staffs.

And the funny thing is: that's more than okay with us. Because what we've discovered about self-publishing is that it feeds directly into our Type-A personalities. In some ways, authors are consummate control freaks.  Who else beside an author (and God) gets to fashion man any which way she wants? We decide who lives and who dies. With a stroke of the keyboard, we can make a character filthy rich – or just filthy.

The payoff has been pleasantly surprising. While neither of us can give up our day jobs, we weren't able to do that with traditional publishers either. But from our self-publishing "empire," we are getting steady monthly checks, rather than waiting for twice-a-year royalty checks. Our cut of the sale price is bigger. The books are released when we are ready – not when the publisher slots us into a schedule.

Lori L. Lake argues convincingly that this self-publishing ebook craze will wane as the market becomes glutted with some good, but many bad books ( But frankly that's always been the case with traditional publishers as well. Cream rises to the top, so to speak. Readers figure out who they want to read – and who was a waste of $2.99.  And it's a lot easier to forgive a bad book if it hasn't set you back $25.

We're not giving up on traditional publishers. Though perhaps a tad late, they too have discovered that they need to figure out a new business model that works for both the author and the publisher. The third book of our Sullivan Investigations Series will be published in print and ebook version by the incomparable Tony Burton of Wolfmont Press. We don't see this as an either/or situation. Sales of our print books helped develop for us an audience who are willing to try our ebooks. The synergy is working.

Special thanks to Kaye who has supported and encouraged Evelyn David from our very first book. We invite all her fans to visit us at our website or stop by our Facebook page at

Any of Kaye's readers who email us the correct answers to the following questions will receive a coupon equal to the purchase price of any one of our e-books at Smashwords ( )  To qualify to win we must receive the emailed answers by 5 pm Eastern time on May 31, 2011. Send your emails to

1. Name the Irish Wolfhound in the Sullivan Investigations Mystery series.
2. Name the English Bulldog in the Brianna Sullivan Mysteries series.

Special bonus question worth a second coupon – Name the towns and the states where the two mystery series are set. 


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Welcome Back! Always a tremendous pleasure for me to have you here.

This is a terrific post. I'm always interested in reading what everyone has to say about the changes the publishing world is going through. Interesting times, to say the least.

(is this dog, Leon, just THE most adorable? What a photogenic pup!).

Hugs to you both!

The Stiletto Gang said...

Thanks so much Kaye. We really appreciate your support and encouragement.

All the best,
Marian and Rhonda aka Evelyn David

Anonymous said...

Love this blog. One of the best I've read lately. Good luck with the Lottawattah books.

I could name two dozen Oklahoma towns with names just that goofy. One of my college roommates was from Bowlegs, Oklahoma. I think there really was an Indian leader named Bowlegs. And of course I'm living in a town named after a Canadian Gold Rush.

And this could go on forever. lol
Best of luck to you!

Pat Browning

Jill said...

Great post! I agree with Kaye...that dog is just too cute! He he he..

The Stiletto Gang said...

Thanks Pat and Jill. "Leon" is definitely adorable. Pat, hope the weather where you are in Oklahoma has not been too bad.

Marian and Rhonda aka Evelyn David

Anonymous said...

Fun to read, and wonderful to hear about your thoughts and experiences. THANKS!

Radine Trees Nehring said...

Humpf...I've done this before. My comment went flying through space before I could finish signing my name. So mark "Anonymous" as Radine

The Stiletto Gang said...

Thanks Radine for stopping by.

Marian and Rhonda aka Evelyn David

jenny milchman said...

Work...and also gold.

I think you're both right about cream rising, whether that's to the traditional publishing or indie publishing top.

In some ways, everything has changed.

In others, nothing has.

Thank you for the post--and Kaye, of course, for keeping the conversation always real & lively.

Evelyn David said...

Thanks Kaye for hosting us today. Just a reminder that we'll be taking emails from those who enter the free ebook contest through tomorrow afternoon.

Evelyn David