Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Top 6 Sites For Mystery/Thriller Writers

Updated 1/9/21

One of the chief advantages of writing mysteries is that you can actually make a living at it. 

Usually, mysteries are published in series. Once you have established an engaging main character and a perfect setting (according to Bowker, Americans like their mysteries set in “the misty bogs of Scotland and London’s Trafalgar Square” – but New York or Rome will do in a pinch) you are in business forever. 

Because human beings are hunters at heart, there is an insatiable demand for whodunnits. Roughly 48% of those who purchased novels last year bought mysteries.

Whether you are just starting your career as a mystery writer, or have a book or two under your belt, these should be the top sites to put on your “favorites” list.

As an extra bonus here are two  great publishing resources for mystery writers: 

12 Paying Markets for Mystery and Crime Stories

11 Mystery and Thriller Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

The Mystery Writers Forum is a little peculiar looking, but it is the most useful site I've found for researching a mystery or crime novel. Some of the goodies you will find on this site are: forensics (everything from fingerprints to poison), handwriting analysis, law links to law libraries, journals and internet resources, organizations, police procedure, DNA analysis, print publishers, ebook publishers, short story publishers, writing resources, and a long list of review sites. You can even consult a cop (for a fee) if you want firsthand information from someone in the trenches.

Special feature: The “Find a Death” link will take you to a site listing the deaths of celebrities – always useful fodder for a crime novel. Sadly, the link to the Mafia home page is broken.

This site lists over 4,100 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 46,000 titles), both series (4,700+) and non-series, which you can search alphabetically or through specialized indexes: diversity, historical, genre, job, and location. The site also features a comprehensive list of mystery/thriller awards with archives going back to 1988. New hardcover, paperback, and audio book releases are listed by the month, which makes this is a great resource for researching your competition. Stop You’re Killing Me also hosts giveaways. This is a great place to have your book reviewed!

What a fabulous organization! Sisters in Crime offers an enormous list of mystery websites. The resource section on the website includes a helpful book publishing glossary. Membership dues are a mere $40 annually for an author pursuing a career in mystery writing, a bookseller, a publisher, a librarian, an editor or anyone who has a business interest in promoting the purposes of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Membership includes:

  • inSinC, a quarterly 16-page newsletter
  • Sisters in Crime listserv, including special guests on "Mentor Mondays"
  • Regional chapters, including The Guppies, a support and critique group for unpublished writers
  • Website link to titles by Sisters in Crime authors via WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections
  • An institutional presence at national and regional book events, mystery conferences and festivals with opportunities for individual author participation and/or distribution of promotional materials
  • An ongoing mystery review project that monitors media coverage of female and male authors
  • Our blog written by board members and other distinguished SinC members
  • Our monthly "SinC Links"—a digest of "news you can use" about the mystery business
  • New Sisters in Crime interactive map to find SinC authors and their most recent titles
  • Discounts for Members in 2013 - Gotham Writing Workshops and Writers' Police Academy
  • Reports from SinC's annual publishers summit
  • Networking, mentoring, and fun

If you want to locate the top 50 blogs for just about any genre, go straight to Blogrank. This service ranks blogs according to the number of unique visitors, RSS feeds, Alexa ranking, and monthly visitors, all of which is useful information if you are looking for a high-profile site to submit a guest post. Aside from offering venues to increase your visibility, these blogs offer valuable insights into the
publishing world, the latest industry trends, and, of course, great tips from top mystery writers.

Mystery Writers of America is the leading association for professional crime writers in the United States. Founded in 1945, MWA presents the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre.

Membership is open to professional writers in the crime/mystery/suspense field whose work has been published or produced in the U.S., and who reside in the U.S. (special memberships are offered to those living abroad); agents, attorneys, booksellers, editors, reviewers, librarians, journalists, and publicists. Dues for all categories of membership are $95.00 per year.

The MWA website features an extensive list of author newsletters, author blogs, and an extremely useful list of over 150 approved publishers (including periodicals and ezines).

6) International Thrillers Writers

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas.

There are two ITW membership classes, Active membership for commercially published writers, and Associate membership for industry professionals, non-commercially published writers, and others. ITW is an honorary organization that does not charge membership dues for qualified, active members. Membership is free. Instead of charging dues, ITW asks its members for their volunteer work, their effort on behalf of fellow writers, and their time and energy supporting reading and literacy.

Some benefits of membership include:

  • Marketing and promoting your work to over 12,000 readers, bookstore owners, librarians, reviewers, and other thriller fans through THE BIG THRILL monthly webzine.
  • The opportunity to participate in successful ITW thriller collections. Previous bestselling projects include THRILLER ANTHOLOGY and the award-winning CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT audio book. Recently published projects include THRILLER ANTHOLOGY 2, FIRST THRILLS, WATCHLIST, COPPER BRACELET, and FEAR (YA Anthology).
  • Being a part of ThrillerFest, the publishing industry’s fastest growing writer’s conference along with accompanying CraftFest and PitchFest
  • Opportunities to participate in exclusive strategic relationships with,, and other author-oriented websites.
  • Participation in the exclusive Debut Author Program helping to launch new thriller writers into the exciting world of publishing
  • Opportunities to have your book reviewed by noted websites such as and others
  • Many opportunities for midlist authors to advance their careers through special programs, signings, events, free promotions, publicity, and advertising, networking, and participation in anthologies.

Additional sites of interest

Crimespree Magazine - a recently updated website has given Crimespree a sleek new look. Founded in 2004, Crimespree is an award-winning print magazine that covers all aspects of crime fiction, including books, movies, DVDs, comics and more.

The Criminal Element - "Murder. Mystery. Mahem. Boiled daily." Criminal Element is a community website featuring daily content for fans of the crime and mystery genres in all of their forms. The site features original short stories and excerpts from upcoming crime and mystery novels along with daily blog articles.

Top 100 Mystery Book Blogs And Websites For Mystery Readers & Authors

Feedspot media database has over 100k Influential Bloggers in over 1500 niche categories. You can submit your blog here for free. 

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