Guest & Contest: Caroline Fardig

Self-publishing VS. Traditional Publishing

It’s an indie author’s dream to get that “Yes!” from an actual publisher.  In some ways, it serves to validate your work as an author.  Not that I don’t feel validated with each sale of my self-published works, but it’s just…different.  It’s like when you think your hair looks good and then some random stranger comes up and says, “Your hair is absolutely lovely.”  Validation.  Not that we need it, but it simply feels so good.

Touchy-feely stuff aside, the two have a lot of differences, but also some similarities.  As for the differences, I now have deadlines.  Oh, my, the deadlines.  At least in my case, the deadlines have not been unreasonable.  I’ve had plenty of time to reach each one with ease.  However, life can and does get in the way, so budgeting time is a must.  None of my usual, “oh, I can put that off until tomorrow or next week” nonsense I used to pull in my self-pub days.  A difference I love is that I no longer have to make my own covers (or pay someone an arm and a leg to create them for me).  It’s a big load off my shoulders, and my covers are gorgeous:


JJ 1 & 2 covers


Also taking some stress off is that someone else writes my book description for me now.  No more having to take my 300+ page baby and slash it down into three paragraphs that have to be interesting enough to grab someone’s attention yet vague enough not to give the plot away.  Help with marketing is also a big plus.  It’s still a little ways until my book comes out, so the marketing push is only just beginning, but it’s been positive so far.  I’ll still have to shill for myself for the most part, but I’ve got some serious professional help.

The similarities for me lie with the editing and big picture stuff.  I’ve had a lot of wonderful help with proofreading and fixing the flow of my book from some great friends and family members.  Now I have a dedicated editor who is as candid with me as my husband is, which is a great thing.  In my experience, my editor has been accommodating in the idea that the final say is mine as the author.  I was worried I would be told what to do by The Man and wouldn’t have any artistic freedom, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I feel like I have the same creative freedoms I had as a self-pubber.

I’ll be very interested to find out how the switch to traditional publishing will impact my sales.  It stands to reason that if I have a bigger marketing reach, more professional covers and editing, and a big name like Random House behind me, the leap will be a positive one.  I can say I’m extremely excited and anxious for my release day to roll around on November 17th!


In this scene from Bad Medicine, Lizzie and Blake have decided to break and enter (one of their specialties) into an apartment that was the scene of a recent murder.

I try the sliding door to the apartment, but it’s locked.  Blake gently pushes me to the side and takes a couple of tiny tools out of his pocket.  He sticks them in the lock and wiggles them around.

“You don’t know how to pick a lock,” I scoff.

“Yes, I do,” he says, not taking his eyes off the lock.

“When did you learn?”

“This winter.  I thought having to resort to breaking a window to get into Jed Stewart’s office was a little bush-league.  I know a guy who’s good at picking locks, and I had him give me some lessons.”  Blake always “knows a guy,” no matter the situation.

“How many locks have you picked?”

“On my own?  None.”

I roll my eyes.  There’s no way we’re getting into this apartment.  “I can’t believe you took lock picking lessons.  That’s so thug.”

“Most women think it’s hot that I can pick a lock.”

“You mean most of the ditzy bimbos you date think it’s hot.”

“The woman you saw me with at Vibe is an accountant.”

Snickering, I say, “Riiiight.  She didn’t look to me like she could add two and two together.  Did you test her?”

“No, that would have been rude.”

I hear a click, and Blake effortlessly slides the door open.  My mouth gapes open.  “I stand corrected.  You do know how to pick a lock.”

Blake is so excited he’s rubbing his hands together in anticipation.  We enter the dark apartment, and Blake carefully closes the shades to the sliding door.  He flips one of the light switches.

“Turn that off!  Someone will see it,” I whisper loudly.

“I think two flashlight beams bouncing around in here would be more noticeable, don’t you?  And more importantly, I forgot the flashlights.  Where do you want to start?”

I glance around the room.  “I don’t know—you’re the man with the plan.  What are we even going to find in here?”

“Oh, probably nothing,” he shrugs.

I wheel around to stare at him.  “Wait, what?  Then why are we here?”

Blake grins.  “I wanted to see the crime scene, and I thought I could test out my new skills.”

What?” I explode.

“Shh!  Keep your voice down.”

“You brought me here so you could satisfy your morbid curiosity and practice picking locks?” I hiss.  “This is about to become the crime scene of a double murder, because I’m going to kill you!”



HeadshotCAROLINE FARDIG is the author of the LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series and the forthcoming DEATH BEFORE DECAF, available November 2015 through Random House.  She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

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6 thoughts on “Guest & Contest: Caroline Fardig

  1. June M. says:

    I don’t actually remember reading any teen sleuth books. I didn’t really get into sleuth books until I was an adult, but I do love the Sue Grafton series featuring Kinsley Millhorne. She is probably my favorite “sleuth”. I also love some detective and medical examiner series, Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Lisa Jackson, to name a few.

  2. I loved the A to Z mysteries and sometimes even the “mystery” sections of The Babysitter’s Club. I wasn’t really a follower of specific mystery characters.

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