Please help me give a big welcome to Maria Rogers and Liquid Silver Books.
Who are they, those behind the scenes gods and goddesses of the literary industry? They take great novels and help their authors to make them better. They inspire and sometimes smack authors upside the head when they need it. Most of all, they keep the gears of the publishing industry well oiled and turning.
So, you’ve been pitching, querying and submitting your manuscript. Sometimes you get a letter that gives you a brief glimpse about what you’re doing right or wrong and sometimes it’s the dreaded form letter, the same one your writer buddy got last week. It tells you nothing. It drives you crazy. What did I do wrong? What are they looking for? Why isn’t it right for them?
Authors talk with each other. It’s a given. We talk about our rejections. We talk about what we could do better and we scratch our heads and wonder what the person on the other side of that letter was thinking. How do we get their attention? How do we get that yes? Here’s a chance to find out.
Maria worked with me on two of my novels, Slipping the Past and Last Flight of the Ark. She was amazing, challenged me to expand my horizons and she helped me to carve my novels into better books. She’s offered to give us a little insight into what Liquid Silver is looking for. So let’s get started and get a behind the scenes peek.
Maria, please tell us a little bit about the publisher you work for. When was Liquid Silver Books founded and by who? How many E-books do they publish annually and do have they any awards?
Liquid Silver Books is an imprint of Atlantic Bridge Publishing founded in 2000 by owners Raven Moore and Mike Feury. Seeing the potential for erotic romance books to flourish in the ePublishing industry, Raven and Mike opened Liquid Silver Books in 2003.
We're currently publishing about 200 books a year with a stable of over 100 plus authors, many of whom are award winning recipients of Eppies, Best of at many review sites, and award winning covers.
What are the most common reasons a novel is rejected?
A lot of time an author has the heart for writing, but his or her talent still needs honing. Storylines that aren’t ready for the primetime are often the biggest reason a book is rejected. Another one is passive writing, as that keeps the readers from really being drawn into the characters personalities and the story. Another reason for rejection is that it doesn’t appeal to our target audience. We publish romance and erotic romance in several genres, but if your novel isn’t something we think our readers will fall in love with then we might not be the right fit for you. Nothing personal!
What are the biggest mistakes new authors make?
Lack of self-editing. Double-check your grammar, your spelling, your punctuation and paragraph structure. Not that you have to hand in a perfect manuscript, but showing that you can produce a polished product says a lot about your dedication to your craft and your professionalism. It also means that there will be less for your editor to tackle in revisions, and thus less time to your release date.
What kind of things do you look for in a submission?
I like a good story arc, with plenty of emotional development in the beginning and middle, and hopefully some tension between the hero and heroine too. I like to see emotions coming from the characters, even if they are not aware of it on the surface. Vibrant scenes and concrete detailing is very desirable as well.
What grabs your attention, makes you sit up and want to read more?
In a word, atmosphere. For me, this encompasses a lot—the setting, the details, the world-building, even the language and speech style of the characters. The overall feeling the book gives you is, to me, just as important as the plot.
How far do you read into a submission before you know if the novel is right for you?
I usually know within a few chapters if the author’s talent and voice is a good fit for us, but sometimes I have to read an entire submission before I can really know whether or not the whole story will be a Liquid Silver release.
Tell me about a few of your favorite Liquid Silver science fiction romances and what they’re about. What really stood out in these stories that made them unique?
Well, you can accuse me of playing favorites, but Slipping the Past blew me away. That book is chock full of tension, atmosphere, excitement and romance. I really loved how much thought you had put into really creating a unique and original plot, and characters that the reader could both be surprised by and identify with. It’s not an easy thing, and you pulled it off beautifully.
I also love Loribelle Hunt’s entire Delroi series, which yes, I am the editor for as well. She has a great grasp of emotional tension and the way reluctant lovers can ignite when they are together. Her heroes and heroines are truly kick-ass and she’s always got loads of action that keeps your heart racing.
What is Liquid Silver looking for now? What kinds of submissions would you like to see pop up in your e-queries? Anything you’re dying to see more of? Steampunk? Futuristic? Space Opera? Any dream novels?
Our Acquisitions Director Tracey West has put out several submission calls, including “Geeks Need Love Too,” “Villain Romances” and Holiday-Themed Stories (Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah are still open). I’m a Trekkie at heart, so I love stuff that is set on spaceships and other worlds. I enjoy just about every variety of sci-fi there is, whether it is post-apocalyptic futureworld, deep space adventures, or alien invasion. The authors’ unique vision brought to life is always a pleasure and an adventure to behold.
Last but not least, how do we submit?
New authors should submit the first 3 chapters of their work in the required format to firstname.lastname@example.org; authors who already have contracted/published stories with LSB can submit their full manuscripts, same format standards, same email address. For our submission guidelines, please check out our website: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/guidelines.htm
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and welcome to the Brigade, Maria. We’re thrilled to have you in our group.