Save Our Cozies Readathon discussion

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General Information > "conversation" with Berkley / Penguin

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message 1: by Maya (new)

Maya McMullan (hiskyttn) | 3 comments So, I sent an email to Berkley/Penguin about the cozies that they are dropping. Unfortunately since I sent the first contact to them through their site, I don't have the text of what I wrote originally. Below is rest of the email "conversation" that followed:

Response from Berkley Marketing:

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation currently circulating; many of these series had already run their course prior to the industry-wide changes we’ve been experiencing. Of course we’re sorry to see any series end at any time for any reason, but we want to assure you that we are still wholeheartedly in the cozy business! To help readers get the books they want, we feature monthly down priced e-book promotions on BookBub and run regular GoodReads giveaways for all of our original upcoming cozy mysteries. We also frequently run giveaways on our Berkley Mystery Twitter account, our social media platform filled with cozy mystery and historical mystery news. We encourage you to take a look and get involved!

We very much admire the dedication of the cozy mystery fanbase; not just in terms of author or series loyalty, but also dedication to one another. It’s truly heartwarming to see a group of people so closely connected—even if they’ve never met in person, or are separated by miles. We are certainly not trying to ostracize this fanbase, but we are trying to expand and grow it so we can keep the cozy love alive! We’re currently throwing our energies behind building new ways to better connect with readers and ensure that we can give them updates on books and authors they’re excited about. A great place to start is the Penguin Random House website page dedicated entirely to cozy mysteries. You can find news on upcoming and bestselling series and authors here: penguinrandomhouse.com/books/cozy-mys...

Thank you,
Berkley Publishing Group


My response to them:
Thank you for responding. Some of the information I have gotten has been directly from authors. I do keep track of Goodreads giveaways, and I will look into the other things you have mentioned. I will share this email from you with the others who I have spoken with regarding the cancellation of some of our beloved cozies. I am not an e-book reader - I much prefer print books, however, as I have found out that at least a couple of the series that you have cancelled will be self-published as ebooks, I will be following those.

I would be interested in knowing how you determine if a series has run it's course. Is it sales, reviews or lack thereof? Do you need more reader feedback to encourage continuation of series? Is there anything at all that fans can do to save the series that we love, at least of the ones that we know the authors are willing/able/planning to keep writing?

Thank you,


Their final response to me:

The reasons for series ending vary widely, and there are several factors that go into those decisions—oftentimes including author influence. For fans interested in encouraging a love for cozies, we can recommend that you put your energies behind finding new readers and supporting authors with sales.

Thank you,
Berkley Publishing Group


I think the next thing I plan to ask them about is what it would take for them to at least give the book rights back to the authors that they are cancelling so at least the authors can find other ways to get their books to their fans.


message 2: by Patrizia (new)

Patrizia | 22 comments The giveaways are reserved for Usa and Canada. I live in Italy so I can't enter. I think there are others readers who lives out of Usa and Canada...


message 3: by AngryGreyCat (new)

AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) Patrizia wrote: "The giveaways are reserved for Usa and Canada. I live in Italy so I can't enter. I think there are others readers who lives out of Usa and Canada..."

Yes - I see that often in the giveaways on Twitter. It will say US residents only. I understand they are trying to save the postage, but I think that there should a way to include international readers as often as possible. They are never going to grow the cozy market unless they do. Basically they are ignoring the majority of the world as customers for the genre.

In some instances, i wonder if it is a business territory issue? I know that Penguin for instance has different companies set up for Penguin UK and Penguin US - perhaps they don't allow the companies to cross sell?


message 4: by Lynn (last edited Jul 12, 2016 04:15PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 7 comments Patrizia wrote: "The giveaways are reserved for Usa and Canada. I live in Italy so I can't enter. I think there are others readers who lives out of Usa and Canada..."

I live in Australia and find that cozies are not really an option on the shelves here. I find the genre as a whole is not available except through Amazon or other import services. I hate to say it, but I do get most of my cozies at "remainders" stores or other "reminders" bins because (1) I get the most books for my buck there, and (2) I don't have to pay ridiculous shipping prices. But that's a real hit-or-miss option. Sometimes complete series are there, but most of the time it's just random books in a particular series.

I would love it if they marketed cozies in Australia. I know there IS an audience for them here. But when the bookshops call the section "Crime and Thriller" rather than "Mysteries" it rather sets the tone for the books available. And that tone definitely does not run to cozies.


message 5: by AngryGreyCat (new)

AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) Lynn wrote: "Patrizia wrote: "The giveaways are reserved for Usa and Canada. I live in Italy so I can't enter. I think there are others readers who lives out of Usa and Canada..."

I live in Australia and find ..."


I have heard that cozies can be hard to get in Australia from other people on Goodreads. I really don't know why they are not being marketed there, because they would not even have to incur translation costs.


message 6: by Patrizia (new)

Patrizia | 22 comments I read cozy mysteries on my kindle, but I buy some books through Amazon or IBS (Italian bookshop on-line).
I know that some of my friends would like read cozy mystery, but in Italian are translated only 2-3 series (Agatha Raisin, Jessica Fletcher) and they can't read English...


message 7: by Anna Catharina (new)

Anna Catharina It's interessting to read about the situation of cozy mysteries in other countries. In Germany there is no cozy mystery market, only a few series are translated but they are not called "Cozy Mysteries" and there is no good German word to name this books. So the only oppurtunity is to order the books in English, which is no problem because English paperbacks are really cheap. But the big problem is: the reader in Germany does not know that there are so many series, because he doesn't know they are called cozy (and how do you search for something you don't know to call?). And the second problem is: most of the cozy series are the "typical" American taste, no German reads mysteries about cupcakes or cheese shops... :D


message 8: by Patrizia (new)

Patrizia | 22 comments @ Anna Catharina
I think there is German author who is writing a cozy mystery series: the protagonist is a chef or pastry. I saw the translation in Italian, but at the moment I don't remember the name ...
Even in Italy there is the same problem: the few books translated are presented as mystery, no one knows what is a cozy mystery. The friends to whom I mentioned it would be affected, but not all can read them directly in English.


message 9: by Anna Catharina (last edited Jul 14, 2016 04:51AM) (new)

Anna Catharina Patrizia wrote: "@ Anna Catharina
I think there is German author who is writing a cozy mystery series: the protagonist is a chef or pastry. I saw the translation in Italian, but at the moment I don't remember the n..."


Thank you, I didn't know that and I don't know this serie. But I think this shows the problem: I am German and I don't know it because there is no promotion for this genre.
But in the last months I have the feeling it's starting to get a little bit better. There are a few more cozies by M.C. Beaton, Hannah Dennison, James Runice to mention a few. And there is a new hype about french related mysteries, they are more cozy then the scandinavion or american books we got here.

And the typical german cozy reader is about 40+ and most of this generation don't read books in english. So it's nearly the same like Italy.

P.S. I love Firenze, I was there for my study and it was the best time of my life :D


message 10: by Patrizia (new)

Patrizia | 22 comments I wrote the name of the author somewhere ... I'll look and then I'll let you know, perhaps through a message.

I studied English by myself, then I started reading English books that I liked, but they were not translated. Now I read without much difficulty, but do not ask me to write it, or even worse, to speak it. Today I'm following the suggestion given to me by someone in this group and I am using Google Translate... ;-)


message 11: by Maya (new)

Maya McMullan (hiskyttn) | 3 comments For German readers, there are some suggestions here: http://denglish.livejournal.com/12293...


message 12: by AngryGreyCat (new)

AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) Patrizia wrote: "I wrote the name of the author somewhere ... I'll look and then I'll let you know, perhaps through a message.

I studied English by myself, then I started reading English books that I liked, but th..."


I lived in Germany for a few years and that was how I was. Reading it, I was pretty fluent, but writing or speaking. Nope couldn't do it.


message 13: by Patrizia (new)

Patrizia | 22 comments The German author is Brigitte Glaser.


message 14: by Anna Catharina (new)

Anna Catharina Thank you Maya and Patrizia for your recommandations!

@Ronnie: I read both sheep mysteries by Leonie Swann and I really liked them. Did your read the second book too?


message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim (catmommie) Regarding the "run its course," how can three books determine that?? I've read longer series-es and thought "why is this so popular?"


message 16: by Catherine (new)

Catherine No kidding, I totally agree with you. Three books is never enough for a cozy series.


message 17: by Kimberley (last edited Jul 16, 2016 09:51AM) (new)

Kimberley Cornwell | 5 comments Yes, I was troubled by that as well. Maybe it's me, but I thought the overall tone rather patronizing. Especially the line about discovering new authors-- I love cozies and I'm always on the lookout for new series! However, I'm growing weary of finding a new series, falling in love with it and then 3 books it's over!

Totally agree with Catherine & Kim, there are some long running series and I'm thinking -"Why?". I recognize that it is a matter of taste but sometimes, you need more than 3 books to build an audience!


message 18: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I could understand that they felt the market was "saturated" with a lot of new books but obviously there are readers and buyers out there ... this group is a big example of that.


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