Tell us a little bit about your press and how you came to be?
I was working as an editor and had taught myself how to convert ebooks, design books in InDesign, and publish books online for authors. All of these were provided as for-pay services. One day I read something that made me realize that I had all the skills and knowledge to start my own publishing company. Once I realized that, I put the wheels in motion.
Are you open to publishing a wide variety of writing styles, or is there a specific style/voice you are looking for?
I’m open to a wide variety of styles and genres, my only requirement is that it’s good, solid writing.
How do you discover new writers? Do you take recommendations from authors or contacts you are already friendly with, or do they tend to be blind submissions?
Right now I’m not doing anything to discover new writers. Somehow the word got out and now I get more submissions than I can currently handle. Most of them are blind submissions.
What is the most common mistake that authors make when querying that, in turn, causes you to lose interest in their work? (i.e., perhaps the way they wrote the query letter, a manuscript that is less than polished, etc.)
I never judge on the query letter; I go strictly by the quality of their manuscript.
A lot of writers submit to multiple presses at a time and are naturally anxious to hear your thoughts on their work. What is the protocol for an author to follow-up with a press about the status of their query? Is it appropriate to follow-up, or is this something that is off-putting?
I don’t mind authors following up. I tell them up front that it might be a month or longer before I get back to them and then longer still before they see their work published.
What do you take into consideration when you’re thinking of publishing an author’s book/novel/whatever? Is it the writing alone, or is it more than that?
I do think about the marketability of their work, but I’m currently not using that as a factor in my determination. It’s strictly the quality of their work.
Since so many authors are going the self-publishing route, why would an author go with you?
Good question! I think many authors want to focus on writing. Many of them have full-time jobs and it’s all they can do to just write well, let alone learn all the skills necessary to publish.
What can you do for them that they might not be able to do for themselves?
Ebook conversion, for example, is something that can be done quickly, but poorly. It takes time to learn how to and then properly convert to the ebook formats. It takes even more time and a certain mindset to market the books. I provide the bridge between writing and selling.
How do you feel about self-publishing and where it is headed?
I’m very excited about it! Everything is getting turned upside down and it’s creating an opportunity for authors to take control in a way they’ve never done before. It’s also creating opportunities for people like me who enjoy both the new publishing process and helping authors.
And lastly, if you could publish any author in history (dead or still alive) who would you publish and why?
My favorite author is John Steinbeck, so I would have to pick him. If I was strictly looking at money, I’d say J. K. Rowling!