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Interview with Betsy Reavley, founder of Bloodhound Books

by Kathryn Bax

Bloodhound Books is a digital publisher of crime and thriller fiction started by a husband and wife team. To date we have sold over a million books, have 20 international top 100 bestsellers and now have a stable of nearly 50 authors.

I am a writer of psychological thrillers and have published 5 books to date. Being a writer is what led me to start the company with my husband, who has expertise in marketing.

The company has gone from strength to strength, over the three years it has been up and running, and we are now launching an imprint for women’s fiction.

Bloodhound Books Logo

Betsy, you and your husband Fred started Bloodhound Books as a way of helping authors publish their books in late 2014. What was the catalyst for going down this route?

We wanted to build a company that put the authors at the centre of everything we did.

What roles do each of you play within the company?

My husband is the marketing man and the technical brains behind the company. I deal with submissions, contracts, authors, editors and designers. We also have a really strong team of people who help behind the scenes and make it all possible.

What services do you provide for prospective authors and what is expected by the authors, in return?

Once an author has signed a contract with us we walk them through the editorial stage and involve them in the cover design. No writer should be forced to have a cover that they don’t like. We do marketing and offer support every step of the way. None of our authors are expected to pay a penny from their own pocket.

When you started Bloodhound Books you had a handful of authors in your stable. Within a relatively short time it has grown to be a respectable imprint of good books and you are now responsible for quite a number of authors. You have followed this up with a second imprint company called Bombshell Books. Talk us through the way you have grown the company and how different each imprint company is. Are there other imprints in the pipeline?

At the moment our focus remains on Bloodhound. However, we were approached by a bestselling author who wanted to work with us to bring the imprint to life and it was an offer that we couldn’t turn down. We believe that our pairing will give Bombshell Books, our women’s fiction imprint, the best possible chance of success. There are no other imprints in the pipeline currently, but never say never.

Being an author of several crime thrillers, what do you look for when you accept a manuscript to be published under your respective imprints?

Not being an expert on women’s fiction I am not as heavily involved in the submissions process with Bombshell. With Bloodhound I work extremely closely with my team to consider each submission that is sent to us. We are searching for new voices, a fresh approach and great writing.

What has been your biggest challenge to date and which elements of the business have your found easier than expected?

The biggest challenge, in some ways, is the amount of time required to dedicate to social media. It is extremely time consuming but has proved a very valuable way of connecting with readers and writers. I was not a business woman, prior to Bloodhound, and was daunted by the prospect of selling the company to the authors we wanted to sign. It turns out that I’m actually quite a natural sales woman and that came as a bit of a surprise.

What do you attribute to your success so far? Name a highlight of the business to date.

The success is a result of working with great people and talented authors. Every single time we sign a new author or launch a new career I am thrilled and honoured to be a part of that journey.

How difficult has it been to get people to read and review your authors’ books? How did you meet this challenge?

Social media has been key to getting the word about our books out there. That, combined with the fact that we have built an exclusive ARC list of our own, has meant we get the reviews for our authors that they need in those early days.

What would you have done differently, in hindsight, when you first started the business?

We started the business with £100 in the bank. I had no experience in publishing and both my husband and I learnt on the job. We made a few mistakes along the way but we have always worked as hard as possible for every single book we publish.

What does the future hold?

More authors, more books, more success. Hopefully! We are now turning our attentions to the American market and looking globally.

Books

The Quiet Ones

Betsy Reavley

£1.99

"A chilling thriller that creeps up on you and grabs you by the throat."Mark Edwards, Bestselling author of The Magpies and Follow You Home What if you didn't know where you came from?
Who am I?
This is the question Josie asks herself when a mysterious letter arrives. Then a brutal murder turns her world upside down.

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Frailty

Betsy Reavley

£1.99

How far would you go to protect your family?
Danny and Libby are about to face every parent's worst nightmare.
When eight-year-old Hope Bird disappears without a trace, from the idyllic village where she lives, life for her family will never be the same again. Her parents know she would never have gone off alone and the police have no idea where she is. Then a child's shoe is discovered and the case takes an unexpected turn. Soon a suspect is identified but this is only the beginning.

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The Optician’s Wife

Betsy Reavley

£1.99

"The Optician's Wife is a stylish, brilliantly crafted thriller which really delivers."LJ Ross - Bestselling author of The DCI Ryan books.Can you ever really know someone?
When Deborah, an unpopular seventeen-year-old, meets the charming and handsome Larry, he sweeps her off her feet. The trouble is Larry has a secret.

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