Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Industry News

Megan DiMaria is Novel Rocket’s industry news columnist. An author and speaker, she enjoys cheering on writers and loves to encourage others as they journey through life’s demands and delights. Megan is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands

Welcome to October's publishing industry news roundup. There's lots of news with some fun tidbits included this month. Also check out the Q&A about the new imprint, BLING!, at the end of the post.

 As promised last month, here's the Q&A with Sandie Bricker, Managing Editor of the new romance imprint for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas:

Author Sandra D. Bricker, who has been an editor – both freelance and within Corporate America – for many years, has put on the editorial hat again now that she’s been named Managing Editor for a new imprint of contemporary romance at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC). 

Sandie, the last time you spoke to Novel Rocket readers, you were just getting established. What can you tell us now about how things are progressing?
I’ve been so excited by the submissions we received right out of the gate. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of rejections I’ve had to make (my least favorite part of the job); but at the same time, some really great fiction has crossed my desk as well.

Can you give us an idea why you’ve rejected those manuscripts so that writers who might want to submit can benefit from the insider information?
Sure. There have, of course, been a few stories and characters that just didn’t appeal to us, but for the most part the rejections have been mostly about not fitting into the BLING! guidelines.

Can you tell us more about the ideal submission for the BLING! imprint?
The primary issue is that we’re not looking for traditional, formulaic Christian romances. We have a wonderful imprint – Candlelight Romance – that’s headed up by Yvonne Lehman for those stories. BLING! is not traditional romance in that --  even though we require a solid, believable romance at the nucleus of the story – our characters aren’t necessarily church-going, Bible-quoting individuals. In fact, BLING! is more of a crossover line where a faith element isn’t a primary source of characterization. While it can certainly be part of the story if necessary, it’s going to be an organic thread rather than a foundational element.

But isn’t LPC strictly a publisher of inspirational/Christian fiction?
I think for the most part, perhaps we have been. But LPC is run by believers, so that’s bound to carry over in the content and in the way business is conducted. With the introduction of the BLING! line, LPC has opened up an avenue for crossover romantic fiction where readers may or may not find an overt Christian message. That said, however, we’ll never publish anything that will be inappropriate or offensive to our Christian readership. I believe – and Eddie Jones, the founder of LPC, also believes – that good storytelling may include an edgier, more flawed character struggling through very real, authentic challenges, without leaning on foul language, sexual situations or violence to tell their stories.

Now that you’ve begun receiving submissions and are offering contracts, is BLING! shaping up to be a place for authors in the beginning of their careers or are you talking to more established authors as well?
I’m getting a little of both. At the very beginning, I suspected that the submissions coming from more established authors were the ones collecting dust in their files because traditional publishers weren’t interested, so maybe they tossed it at the BLING! wall like pasta to see if it stuck. I think that attitude results from LPC just being a smaller press with a new idea – innovative, in my opinion – on the publishing landscape. But as we’ve continued, I’m seeing more polished and thoughtful submissions that stick with our guidelines from authors who might not have given a publisher like LPC a chance five years ago.

The first contract I offered went to a writer who has been published before, but is in the process of building and growing her career. I think BLING! will undoubtedly help her do that because she’s brought us a wonderful plot guided by a strong female lead. The next one I will likely offer – once my pub board has a chance to confirm my belief in the book – is to a well-known author who really likes the LPC business model.

Although we’re not offering advances at this time – which may likely change in the future – LPC balances that out by offering writers a more-than-generous royalty payout on the sales of their books. As a writer myself, I can tell you that receiving a huge advance for a book isn’t always as great as it might seem. Authors need to remember that the advance has to be earned out before they actually see any additional income from book sales. And even after that happens, their return on the investment of time and talent is about four times less than the percentage they’ll receive from publishing with BLING! or LPC.

If a writer feels like they might be a good fit for Bling!, what should they do?
They can go to the website to review the complete guidelines, and they can LIKE our page on Facebook to keep up with new developments. If they have questions or need more information, they can email me at SandieBlingLPC@aol.com.


Have a great month! Do the work. Be productive.


Ane Mulligan said...

Megan, another wonderful job! I read a number of the articles in full, and I loved the Q&A with BLING! managing editor, Sandie Bricker. Thanks again for a stellar column.

Megan DiMaria said...

Thanks, Ane. It's my pleasure.

Nicole said...

Excellent as always, Megan. Thanks so much for all your hard work.

Megan DiMaria said...

Thanks for your kind words, Nicole!