Winter Goose Publishing is an independent publisher founded in 2011. We are a royalty-paying publisher dedicated to putting out the best literature in poetry and prose, and covering a variety of genres. We strive to support our authors and create long lasting relationships with our artists, readers, customers, partners and vendors.
We believe writers are artists and are deeply involved in many aspects of the art community. We work to maintain the integrity of the artist through each quality release. Winter Goose believes in every book we publish and will carefully bring each project through the editing, design, and launch phases.
Winter Goose has a small staff but works with a variety of talented editors, designers and typesetters to ensure a beautiful end product.
Tell us a little bit about your press and how you came to be?
Winter Goose Publishing is a small press in its first year of operation. Jordan Adams and I came together with a common goal of starting a publishing company that was focused on bringing new talented authors to the public, while supplying an extremely comfortable creative environment for everyone involved.
Are you open to publishing a wide variety of writing styles, or is there a specific style/voice you are looking for?
I think we are open to different writing styles, but nothing so extreme that it will hurt the book’s chances of doing well. We want everyone to be successful while maintaining their artistic style. The biggest question is whether or not the author can pull it off.
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?
We have discovered good writers from both of these methods, and are open to recommendations from trusted professionals. If I had to choose, I would probably prefer blind submissions because that way we don’t know anything about that person but the writing.
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.)
The number one thing that loses you points is not following directions. If you can’t follow the submission directions how likely will we want to deal with you through an editing process? We understand that authors often struggle with writing query letters and the story synopsis. That is fine; they just need to do their best to interest me in their vision. But I have certainly refused people who did not follow directions.
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?
Honestly, it can be a bit off-putting. I know authors are curious about what we think or what their status is, and I completely understand that, but we have many submissions to go through so if we haven’t looked at yours it’s because we haven’t gotten there yet. That being said, we do respond to people who have submitted. We will tell you even if you have been declined, so just be patient with the process.
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?
The work is our number one concern, but it’s not the only concern. We are also very interested in who the author is. We want the publishing process to be smooth and comfortable for everyone, and I am not interested in working with difficult authors.
Another big concern is marketing. We are going to do everything we can to get our author’s books out there, but they must understand that they need to be an active participant in promotions. The author must be willing to do public appearances, social media, interviews, and whatever else may come up. As we grow we will continue to add more on our end as far as marketing goes. This is a primary focus and concern with us but unfortunately takes time and will enhance and evolve as we do. A goal of ours is to put a package in place by the end of next year that will make this process easier on everyone. This will just be another benefit of being an author with WGP.
How do you feel about self-publishing and where it is headed?
Here’s the problem with self-publishing: it has opened up the market to all kinds of bad work. This is why people look down on it. This is why authors still look to publishing companies. When I look around at self-published work, I see work that needed several more drafts. I see bad editing, I see tons of horrible book covers, and I see concepts that were not fully thought out. The big problem is; there are a lot of great self-published books that are being weighed down by the anchor of other’s mediocrity. There have been great successes with self-publishing, but that has unfortunately made many people delusional about the quality and potential success of their work. Just because you can publish your own book doesn’t mean it’s ready to be published.
What people also may not realize is the costs of publishing. When an author is published through Winter Goose they are not putting up any money for editing, professional book cover development, typesetting, or domestic and international distribution. If you can pull all this off, then self-publishing may certainly be the path for you. But if that is your path, you must have someone else edit your work. That’s rule number one. And I mean an editor, not your uncle who thinks he’s pretty good at that.
And lastly, if you could publish any author in history (dead or still alive) who would you publish and why?
I would love to publish Clive Barker. His ability to craft elaborate alternate worlds is really unparalleled, but mainly, while he is a big name, I feel like he does not get the respect he deserves.