One of the proudest moments of my publishing career came last year when Tyrus Books published Delta Blues, an anthology of crime fiction set in the legendary Mississippi Delta.
On one hand it was great because I had an opportunity to work with the editor of the collection—Carolyn Haines (who is genuinely one of my favorite people), and prominent authors like John Grisham, James Lee Burke, Charlaine Harris, and Ace Atkins. We were even lucky enough to have a foreword to the book written by Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman. In one more cool turn of fate, we had a release party for the book at Mr. Freeman’s blues club, Ground Zero, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and the contributors to the collection formed a blues band for the night to entertain the people in attendance <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt7-x5Ib2ak”>watch it here.</a>
But just as important to me as rubbing literary elbows with authors I’ve long admired, was the opportunity to work with Mr. Freeman and his charity, The Rock River Foundation to help promote literacy and educational efforts in the Delta. $1 for every hardcover and paperback copy sold of Delta Blues went to the Rock River Foundation.
Tyrus Books also partnered with the Mississippi Writers Guild to sponsor a short story contest open to high school students in the Delta.
Being a publisher isn’t about just putting out books that I think will be entertaining or enlightening. It’s also about ensuring that today’s readers continue to read and tomorrow’s readers have a chance to fall in love with books the way I did as a kid reading the Hardy Boys mystery series on my father’s lap. To that end, I think it critical to be involved in efforts to support the people who make up our community.
This June, Delta Blues will be released for the first time as an ebook. I’m excited to make the book available to another set of readers. I’m also proud to announce that 50% of the proceeds from the Delta Blues ebook sales through June 1st will be contributed to the Red Cross to help with flood relief efforts in the Delta. For more information
There are also limited editions of Delta Blues signed by Morgan Freeman, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris, Ace Atkins, Carolyn Haines, and the other contributors to the collection for sale. $50 from the sale of each limited edition will also be donated to the Red Cross. For more information on the limited editions, visit <a href=”http://tyrusbooks.com/books/delta-blues”>here.</a>
I believe in the power of books to make people more connected to the world around them. I also believe that publishing is about much more than editing and printing books. It’s as much about that as it is about connecting readers and authors and the people who make up the very real communities we live in. I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with than the contributors to Delta Blues.