By Rodney K. Hays
A Prosper resident is taking the book publishing game into her own hands. Janet Davis, who goes by the pen name J.M. Davis, has been writing mystery books of seven years. After a few unsuccessful attempts at getting them published the traditional way — in print — she e-published them on the Amazon website.
The electronic publishing, or e-publishing, game is virtually new to the publishing industry, but in recent years it has grown by leaps and bounds. Between 2010 and 2011 the amount of e-books published doubled from to 388 million versus 125 million, according to an article on digitalbookworld.com. Many writers make less than $10,000, most make much less, but there are a few shining stars making in the six-figure range.
When the Amazon Kindle reader was released in 2007, many people probably didn’t pay attention at first. But by July 2010, the Kindle book sales were outpacing the hardcover variety.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told the magazine Fast Company, that "We had high hopes this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly." He was comparing Amazon’s 15-year heritage of selling physical books to just four years of e-book sales.
With the explosion of tablet sales, including Apple’s iPad, e-books sales will surely continue to grow and capture more of the market share.
Davis, who has lived in Prosper for a little more than five years, said she has had some success at e-publishing, but would still like to get her books published the traditional way. Still she sees the benefits of e-books.
"The good thing about Kindle is they can be read all over the world and I have several people in Great Britain, Germany and Canada to name a few who have read my books," Davis said.
Davis started writing at the urging of her husband. "Since I was staying at home with my daughter Kelly who had just had surgery for a brain tumor. I really didn’t think I could, but my father, Edward Mathis was an author of nine published books, also mystery in the 80’s and 90’s, so I sat down one day at the computer and have been writing off and on ever since." She says her husband continues to assist her writing with new situations and ideas for future books.
She finished her first novel — "Evil Has Many Faces" — in three weeks, then spent several months editing and rewriting. The book is about the Stevenson family who go on vacation to Maine where the father is murdered and their two small children were kidnapped and almost killed, Davis said. "Sheriff Hunter Blackwell ends up saving them, and ten years later he visits the mother, Marcy and her two children, Jake and Gracie in Texas. He moves down to Texas and becomes a detective in Denton and starts solving the murders of several well respected family men that have been murdered." He also finds a love interest named Marcy in the book.
She has also completed novels number two and three — the second being a sequel to the first called, "Another Face of Evil." Her third, "Dumbfounded," is also a murder-mystery.
Before she puts the third one on Amazon, she is going to try to go the conventional route.
"I am going to try and get this one published before it goes on Kindle. It is almost impossible to get a book published these days, so I am glad they have places like eBooks where authors can go to at least get them in print," Davis said.