Diamond Crime sparkles in world of indie publishing
What sort of demonic possession caused three experienced and published writers to look at the world around them, see the turmoil and tragedy wrought by the pandemic, and think that it would be the perfect time to explore the possibilities of starting a small independent publishing house?
It was 2020 and I suppose a certain madness must have set in to convince them it was worth the risk of failure, family fury and financial folly.
We knew what we wanted from a publisher: care, support, trust, guidance, and creative collaboration.
We realised that after months of research into the world of digital publishing that it would be feasible to produce e-books and paperbacks at a cost that wasn’t astronomical – an important factor because, to avoid carrying a large debt, we were going to fund it ourselves.
But the real driving force behind it was to provide a platform for talented writers, both debut and experienced, who could not get their work read, let alone published. We wanted to create space for new voices to be heard.
So, in May 2021, we launched Diamond Books and its first imprint Diamond Crime.
As we wanted to grow organically and take the time to get a book ready for publication, we felt that the authors who joined us in collaboration would have to buy into our ethos. And then, together, we would publish the best book we could.
So, how has the journey been so far?
Well, we now have nine authors with two more soon to come on board and by the end of 2023 will have published 23 titles.
We have a fantastic team of freelancers, design and typesetting from Jackson Bone and marketing from Bethan our wonderful social media whizz. The rest of it – editing, event organisation and promotion – we do ourselves.
For example, the editing: when a manuscript is submitted, all three of us read it and, if we decide it is for us, then one will take the lead for the first couple of drafts. Then the other two join in until we and, most importantly, the author, are satisfied it’s ready to go out into the world.
It has been great working with our writers. They are getting good reviews and coverage, but – and yes, there’s a but here – it has not translated into bestseller numbers. That will come eventually, but it’s tough old business and will take the time it takes.
Until then we will try to get our social media followers to share with others to help raise our profile, push the books hard and – using our collective experience as producers, directors and screenwriters in the TV and film world – make inroads into the adaptation marketplace.
We know it will take time; we don’t have as many resources or teams as the larger publishers – for example, we’d love a marketing genius to help develop our brand but we’re not there yet financially.
So, for now, we must consider the best way to utilise and build on what we have already achieved at Diamond Crime.
We’ve known and worked with each other for many years and so we trust and understand our strengths, our tenacity, and our resilience.
Diamond Crime is a project born out of love for telling and sharing stories.
So, for now, we enjoy the journey which, while bumpy, is far from dull.
Have a look at our website, explore our authors and join our mailing list. For budding crime writers, we are not taking new submissions right now – but keep an eye on our website here for when we are open again to new manuscripts. Please check the guidelines for submitting and we will get back to you within four weeks. Diamond Crime is based in Wales and the West of England.
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