My Photo

Roses in the Tempest

  • Jeri Westerson: Roses in the Tempest

Though Heaven Fall

Cup of Blood

Shadow of the Alchemist

Blood Lance

Troubled Bones

The Demon's Parchment

Veil of Lies

Crispin Store

Author Newsletter

  • Subscribe to our mailing list

    * indicates required
    Email Format

  • indiebound

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Become a Fan

    « One Minute History--Battle of Hastings | Main | Hachette and Amazon and the Vicious Slap Fight »



    This is soooooo interesting, Jeri. Thank you very much for detailing your process so far.

    Jeri Westerson

    My head is still reeling from it myself. I'm sure it has gone smoother with others. But there you are.


    Wow, this is so informative. Thank you so much for sharing in such vivid detail.

    jill amadio

    Thanks for sharing and being so honest. Some writers hide the truth. Hope you attend Sisters in CrimeLA Sept 7, when the topic is - you've guessed it- pros and cons of self-publishing.

    Andrew Kaplan

    Great article, What you said about hybrid writers really struck home. I've only ever been published by big New York publishers, but like everyone else, I have a couple of manuscripts that my agent doesn't think would appeal to what publishers expect from me, so I've played around with the idea of publishing those on my own. Of all the articles I've read on this, yours was really helpful. Thanks.

    Diane Vallere

    Jeri, this is a fantastic post about the process from your perspective. I found many of the same things, but I did start with self-publishing and moved the opposite direction. One thing I say repeatedly is that self-publishing a book is not the easy way!

    Rebecca Dahlke

    IF and when you decide to go all Indie, let me know and I'll help anyway I can.

    See you at B-Con?


    Jeri Westerson

    I don't think I will go all indie, Rebekah... but you never know! Thanks for offering. I'll take you up on it.

    Jeri Westerson

    I'm going to be out of town, Jill, but take good notes and share!

    Jeri Westerson

    That's for sure, Diane. If it happens I have to self-pub another Crispin, at least I'll have the hang of it.

    Jeri Westerson

    Give it a whirl, Andrew. But do pay close attention to your contract. Email me with any questions.

    Craig Faustus Buck

    Very useful info. The timetable stuff is especially revealing and difficult to come by. Thanks, Jeri!

    Christopher J. Lynch

    Great article Jeri. I've only self-published and still didn't know some of the the things you mentioned. I've been asked if I would ever go traditional and my answer has always been, "It would take a big advance to make me give up what I have going."

    Jeri Westerson

    How big is big, Chris? I'm a pretty cheap date myself.

    John Mullen


    Thank you for sharing what it took to self-publish. I think I'll be following in your footsteps soon. Good luck with Cup of Blood. Great cover.


    Cindy Sample

    Congratulations, Jeri and thanks for sharing so much detail. My traditional publisher closed suddenly last summer after the tragic death of one of the owners. With my luau launch party scheduled two months out, I jumped into the indie pool with all appendages. I couldn't be happier. I love having control of cover art and promotions, getting paid on time, and best of all, two of my books hit the top 100 Amazon bestseller list. Anything is possible these days. Now keep that great series coming!

    Mary Keesling

    You get the Crispin Guest Tenacity Award! I'm
    not kidding!!!
    I'm so glad you haven't given up on CG and
    Jack. They are truly marvelous characters &
    their stories are well worth the telling.

    This explains why our library system's acquisitions librarian couldn't find Cup of
    Blood early on via B & T. She's trying again, now. We're only 7 branches... Wish we were
    more. But if all the fans ask their libraries
    to get a copy or two of at least several of
    the titles.. It grows, slowly, but it grows.
    People browse the mystery section and see the
    the titles, the font on the spine label, they're intrigued, as I was-- they try it... They're hooked.

    It's like slow food... It takes longer to get these
    good books out to the public, but boy , is it
    ever worth it!

    Stephen Buehler

    Great information, Jeri. I'm bookmarking it for future reference. I applaud your tenacity to stay your course. Crispin would be proud.

    Jenny Milchman

    Jeri, I wish you great luck and am glad you didn't just hang out there waiting with Crispin--though I hope the right offer does come along for you. I was wondering whether you looked into Lightning Source for your print version? Not only is this mode more bookstore-friendly than Createspace, but it also allows for returns and a standard discount on orders. You pay more per book than with CS, but then again, that is for books being ordered. You may already have checked this any case, lots of luck! I'll share your article and new release.

    Jeri Westerson

    I did, in fact, check Lightning Source, Jenny. At first, I thought I'd use them for ARCs, but there were special costs involved, I couldn't tell if this would violate the "exclusive" thing with Amazon, I'm a confused individual...lots of things. But I think I will delve deeper next time. I have to say, Amazon really makes it easy, but it isn't the only platform.

    Gay Yellen

    Thanks for illuminating the dilemma of self-pub vs. traditional. I have only one book out, but with all the work I'm having to do to promote it, and little control over the publisher's meager marketing plan, I'm thinking about going the indie route for the next one. Learning about your experience helps. Best of luck to you.

    Jeri Westerson

    I'm still a fan of the advance, Gay. And I don't particularly need all that "control," but it's nice to have options. And don't get me wrong. There is a lot a publisher can do for you, even if their promotional chops suck. Just having your book in their catalog is a big boost, though I'd love to see some analytics on that.

    Cydney Fox

    Congratulations on your bravery. Joel, too, decided to publish his second mystery himself. There's a lot of hassle you're right. You have given us a lot of information on marketing and we appreciate it! His next book can come out as early as Oct, but we also hired a publicist on the East Coast to help out with that area where we know no one but family and friends. Thank you so much for your journey and your willingness to share it with your fellow writers. All the best-


    So much useful information here, Jeri - this is like a primer for anyone considering self publishing. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    D. J. Adamson

    Congratulations to brave taking the plunge.
    I had to make this decision myself with my novel. I did have a big 5 publisher interested as well as a small press. But I pulled back from both. I have been around the business for a long time. I have known many midlist authors. Your story is not new. What IS new is that authors no longer have to sit by their phones waiting to hear if their contract is going to be extended or if their next novel is going to be picked up. The digital age has created a new publishing industry. Tables have justly turned. When I asked the big 5 editor why I should go with them, he said he didn't have a whole lot of reasons. He said, I wouldn't have to pay for the production and expense of editing. But he admitted that I might also make more money on my own. Others are. He even admitted publishers were now stalking places like Amazon looking for their next bestseller.
    I like creating my own deadlines. I like the control over my own work. I like the pace I can create within my marketing. And yes, while there are those advances, still the advances have to be reckoned with in sales. It's all in the numbers, baby. At least now, you'll discover ways to create your own, better numbers.
    You are a good writer, Jeri. You'll be an even better author-publisher.

    The comments to this entry are closed.