Finding the right publisher
Hello all, it has been a while since I sat down to write about anything other than what you can do for your writing. Sure, I have talked about promotions and getting past issues all writers face, but it has been a while since I focused on the publishing side of writing. As some of you know, I am a multi-published paranormal romance author, and one of the biggest hurdles that I have noticed is finding the right publishing house for your babies. Let's face it, that is what a book is; it is your baby, you have spent countless hours pouring every tiny word into it, and now you face the daunting task of finding the right people to help you get it out to others.
Many have taken different routes to finding the right house, from asking other authors, reading sites devoted to telling us what each publishing house has or hasn't done, but also just searching the Internet. Well the time has come for someone, anyone, to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with these companies. So that is what I did. A few of the folks at Linden Bay Romance were kind enough to let me question them about anything and everything I could. We talked about the stages of submissions, what an author can expect from them, and then what they expect from us. I also asked them a question I'm personally hearing more from authors: "I was burned by another publisher, what's next?".
Up until recently, Linden Bay had its doors closed to new submissions; however, they are open once more and the owners have decided to entice both reader and author alike to check them out. You can review their submission guidelines here: http://www.lindenbayromance.com/submissions.html
If you go to their website (http://www.lindenbayromance.com) you'll notice that they are holding a contest for authors. Each book contracted to release after July 2009 qualifies as one entry in the drawing. Barb Perfetti, Chief Publisher at Linden Bay, had this to say about the contest: "We're very excited to be able to offer our authors a quiet week away with nothing to do but eat good food, take long walks on the beach, enjoy a swim in the pool, soak in the hot tub, and most importantly...write!" As you can imagine there is quite a lot of excitement about the contest.
The Prize is a 1-week writing retreat with other authors from Linden Bay Romance. Winners will be staying in a 6-bedroom, 6-bath house with such amenities like a hot tub, bar, pool, several decks to bask in the sun or moonlight, and a bar to help the nights flow smoothly. There is also wireless Internet and a lovely fireplace. This doesn't count the fact that you will be with others just like you that are there because they love what they do (writing) and needed a chance to spend time doing just that. You can go to http://www.lindenbayromance.com/retreat.html to learn more about this great getaway.
Lori James, Chief Operating Officer, had this to say about it, "We wanted something with a secluded feeling, either up in the mountains or at the beach. And it had to sleep enough for us to take 10 people comfortably. This house on Hilton Head is just perfect."
Now back to other reasons you might chose Linden Bay Romance for your next book. And before you ask, yes, I believe in them enough that I have submitted there as well. There are a few things that you may or may not know about Linden Bay Romance, such as all their books are both eBook and print without any printing fees by the author. The submissions process is short and painless, and if your book isn't chosen you will be told why and if possible, given some suggestions on where else you might submit it. Now this may not sound so fantastic to some of you, but when you have submitted your fair share of books you will find that many of the publishers send you a standard drafted email and no real information on why you were turned down. So, this individual approach is to be appreciated.
I asked author Cat Johnson why she chose Linden Bay Romance. "I did a lot of research online among the smaller indie pubs looking for a good fit for me. When I read a few things in the LBR catalog, I thought my voice would be a good fit. And they had a good rep on Editors and Predators, which as a newbie to the eBook world I checked out first thing. I like the small intimacy of LBR. I know I can get in touch with Lori for marketing questions, and Barb for editing questions and get an answer. I like how they take into account author feedback," said Cat.
I asked Cat about other things as well, such as how it feels to be a part of Linden Bay Romance. "I have always felt more than comfortable. We are really almost a family. I have great loyalty to LBR and plan future works with them in mind first and foremost."
Once I knew why Cat Johnson had decided to be there I had to know more from the others. So Barb Perfetti was asked the same question: "We wanted to be a high quality epub and have worked to build a reputation for having print standards in our products, from covers to marketing materials to the work itself. We have a three-stage editorial process that is very thorough. But we also like to keep things personal, and we feel that enjoying the process is key to long-term success for ourselves and our authors. We have a long-term business plan. We're not out to make a quick buck today to the detriment of our long-term reputation or standards."
Now onto to those what type of books are they looking for questions. Barb told me, "Our books tend to center on a true love story. They can be fun, light romps or heavier, more reality based stories of overcoming tragedies or challenges, but they all have two (or more) people who are in strong, committed relationships that they want to work to make lifelong."
I have read some of the books published by Linden Bay Romance and I can tell you that what Barb said is true. For the current submissions call it looks like they want previously unpublished works ranging from 40,000 - 65,000 words in the following sub-genres: (1) Non-traditional relationships (multiple partner, older female/younger male, etc.), (2) Gay romance, (3) Anthologies of 3 themed short stories for their Trilogy Collection, (4) Contemporaries that are sensual, edgy (light bondage, etc.) with heroes involved in action/adventure careers (police, firemen, spies, cowboys, race car drivers, etc.), (5) Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy, particularly shapeshifters, and (6) Cross-genre Historicals if highly sensual (of particular interest if set during unusual time periods and/or unusual places, i.e. Medieval, Regency, Westerns, Civil War).
I also had the pleasure of talking to Samantha Sommersby, another Linden Bay author recently. Check back tomorrow for that interview!
Author Samantha Sommersby
What made you decide to become an Author?
I've always loved reading and writing. Writing wasn't my first career choice though, it didn't seem practical to me and I'm almost embarrassed to say that early on I didn't even consider it an option. It wasn't until around the age of 40 when I found myself in the midst of very stressful and demanding job with insomnia that I started up again.
I began posting my work on the Internet for critique and it was actually the little fan-base that I managed to acquire that encouraged me to think about publication.
As of 2007 I've been writing and working in the publishing world full time and I've left behind that other career.
What books have you published?
In the Still of the Night, Blazing Sun Burning Hearts, As You Wish, Shelter for the Storm, Trilogy No. 101: Turning Up the Heat, Forbidden: The Claim, Forbidden: The Awakening, and Forbidden: The Revolution. Then I have 2 pieces in anthologies. One in Heroes Unwrapped and another in Coming Together: Under Fire.
The last 2 are charity works.
I'm currently working on Forbidden: The Temptation.
Do you have any preference on the story you write?
My first love is paranormal romance/urban fantasy.
I see that you publish with Linden Bay, if you could describe your fellow LBR authors and what they have done for your career what would you say?
The authors at Linden Bay Romance are a wonderful support on a day-to-day basis. We have an authors' loop where we can ask questions, get tips and share information. There I have a built-in network of people to willing to celebrate and commiserate with me.
Where do you see yourself say in the next 3 years? Will you continue writing and around the same area or will you expand to different genres?
In 3 years? I'm guessing I'll still be writing paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I have more to do in the Forbidden Series and I have the germ of an idea for a new series rolling around in my head.
Nice. Would you like to share a short blurb about any book in particular?
Here's the summary for Forbidden: The Temptation. I'm hoping it will be out this winter/spring.
Jacob Madison got a bit more than he bargained for during his last trip to Yosemite. A freak rock-climbing accident left the tough cowboy badly injured. If it hadn't been for the wolves that rescued him, he'd be dead. He'd also still be human. Now he's back, hoping to find out who he is and what he's become. Instead, he finds her.
Forensic psychologist Allison Connelly is smart, sexy, and proudly standing on her own two feet, until a storm blows in unexpectedly. Then the bank of snow she's poised on shears off, plunging the newly divorced Aly down an icy ravine and into the arms of tall, dark, and Texan Jake Madison, and the couple discovers an unexpected passion that pushes their boundaries, luring them towards seduction and tempting them to reveal the secrets of their past.
A mysterious legend, a dangerous and deranged rogue Were turned serial killer, and a fight to the finish that will have your heart pounding. Join Samantha Sommersby in the world of the Forbidden, a world where there's a fine line between man and beast, where love is blind, and where the heroes howl at the moon.
What do you think of the process Linden Bay has for its submission to final printing?
The process is, I think, very tight. I can honestly say that I feel that my books are always improved as a result of the editorial process. I've always been pleased with Linden Bay's desire to turn out quality work and the open manner of the editorial staff. I think that the proofing stage is my least favorite. By that time, I tend to be tired of going over the manuscript. It helps that I start working with someone new by that time. Fresh eyes are much more likely to pick up that comma I forgot to insert. (Or the one I inserted that shouldn't be there.) I am normally working with one person at the content edit stage, another at copy edit, and a third for proofing. Then I get to read the final formatted copy after that.
Would it be safe to assume that you feel your work is a nice surprise by the time you get the to final copy?
No, I wouldn't say that. My book isn't changed essentially. It's a matter of fine-tuning and polishing.
What do you think of the Prize being offered by Linden Bay for its authors?
I'm very excited about the opportunity. Having a week away to write in a stimulating environment with other authors is like a dream come true. It's also a great opportunity to connect face to face with some of my fellow authors.
If there was one thing that you would want to say to those authors considering submitting to Linden Bay what would that be?
Honestly, I would say, "Just do it"! LBR doesn't discourage multiple submissions. You'll never know if you don't try. Going through the submissions process, even if it doesn't result in a contract offer or acceptance, gives an author first hand knowledge and experience.
Linden Bay is a great company. I'm proud to be a part of it.