I was recently contacted by Heather Bennett, one of the co-founders of Decadent Publishing, a print-to-ebook publisher that will launch in August, 2010. Since they are actively seeking science fiction romance submissions, I subsequently put together a spotlight on Decadent, which includes an interview with co-founder Lisa Olmstead.
I'm cross-posting the feature from TGE. If you have any questions about Decadent Publishing, you can post them in the comments at the TGE post and Lisa/Heather will stop by to answer them.
“Indulge your book fetish!”
That’s the tagline for Decadent Publishing, a new ebook-to-print publisher on the horizon. When Decadent Publishing opens on August 1, 2010, it will release “romantic fiction and erotica.” This is good news for science fiction romance since Decadent is actively seeking submissions in this subgenre.
Decadent Publishing is the brain child of Lisa Olmstead (also known as multi-published author Samantha Gail) and Executive Editor Heather Bennett. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Olmstead about their company:
The Galaxy Express: Could you tell us about the history behind the creation of Decadent Publishing? Who are the movers and shakers behind this endeavor? What are their editing/publishing/marketing backgrounds?
Lisa Olmstead: Decadent Publishing is the offspring of two women, Lisa Omstead (author Samantha Gail) and her buddy, Editor Heather Bennett. After several years of building an online friendship, Heather and Lisa actually met in person at the last RT Booklover’s Convention and found that they had both thought about opening a publishing company but lacked the contacts and skills to tackle the job solo. However, when the two combined their abilities, they formed an awesome team.
TGE: Digital publishing is an exciting new frontier, but it’s not without risk. Despite the best intentions, some digital publishers have come and gone. What can you tell authors about Decadent Publishing’s plan for long term stability?
LO: For starters, we are exploring a new niche – Late Escape is a line of romance for (and about) older couples….the baby-boomer generation of mature adults who don’t necessarily have the sexual stamina of younger couples, but possess a wealth of intimate knowledge that takes decades of life and experience to accumulate. It is romance on a different level – less physical and more sensual and psychologically fulfilling. It will nicely compliment our more traditional genres in mainstream and romantic fiction.
Secondly, we are committed to spending the time and energy it takes to develop unpublished authors, “diamonds-in-the-rough”, who have innate talent yet need nurturing to fully develop.
Last, but not least, Decadent has the passion, dedication and financial stability to pull this off. :)
TGE: You’ve expressed an interest in acquiring science fiction romance titles. Are there any specific stories or characters you’d like to see (e.g., space opera, post-apocalyptic, steampunk, superhuman, etc.)?
LO: We are sci-fi addicts. Anything relating to those genres, we want to see. Lisa recently discovered Steampunk and has been chewing up stories at an obscene rate. Heather is exploring End-of-the-World romance and, since her first hand-me-down Buck Rogers book, has been fascinated by stories set in the stars.
TGE: Please name a few of your favorite science fiction romance titles. What is it about these stories that appeal to you?
LO: Anything by Linnea Sinclair, Angela Knight, Elaine Lowe, Johanna Lindsey, Nathalie Gray, Jaid Black, and more. (Heather adds: My friend, Samantha Gail!) The thing I find most appealing about sci-fi is that an author is limited only by their own mental boundaries. Most other genres have set tenets one has to write by. Historicals, for example, are bound by our known timelines, cultural practices and human capabilities in order to be believable.
In sci-fi, an author can create their own planets inhabited by strange creatures both foul and friendly, people with tails or scales, and foreign-to-us cultures. Or maybe a ship full of virile space pirates intent on James T. Kirk-ing their way across the galaxies. It’s really a genre of endless possibilities. When done well, a reader is engaged on an almost sensory level and feels like a welcomed voyeur into the author’s prolific imagination.
TGE: How would you describe the Decadent Publishing brand?
LO: Quality in our staff, our books and authors, our graphics, our commitment to our readers. We want readers to see our name and know they will receive something special; maybe different, maybe familiar, but a literary experience they will be happy to have indulged in.
We are also committed to making a positive impact in our community. One of the fantastic features on our site will be ‘Read For a Cure’. We’ll spotlight one book per month and all publisher profits for that book in that month will go to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life to fight cancer. Like most people, cancer has touched our lives and this is our way of making a difference.
TGE: What is your specific plan regarding harnessing online social media resources to raise the visibility of your brand? What kind of outreach/social networking will Decadent Publishing perform on behalf of its authors? Please provide specific examples of the tools that you plan to use.
LO: LOL! What won’t we do? We are Facebook addicts, Tweet-a-holics, go on blog benders….get the idea?
We’ll not only hit the traditional PR outlets, we plan to work cooperatively with review blogs and sites, host chats, have fantastic destination contests (we’re giving away a Kindle for our opening!), and have a Yahoo group where readers can talk to each other and our authors and create personal connections.
TGE: In general, how much marketing and promotion will you expect authors to execute?
LO: Marketing should not fall solely on the shoulders of the authors themselves. Creative and interactive networking is a vital part of our business plan. We plan to assist authors in building their own brands as we build ours.
TGE: What percentage and kind of royalties will you offer? Will any terms of the contract be negotiable?
LO: The basic contract is 40% of gross on ebooks, 35% on third-party payers and print books. However, everything is negotiable based on how bad we want it. :)
TGE: Is there anything else about Decadent Publishing that you would like to share?
LO: Besides attracting our wonderful American authors, we would like to see more submissions from authors residing in other countries. The worldwide web is just that. Life, relationships, romance, stories and perspectives from people living around this fragile little sphere we dwell on, is always welcome.
We are hosting a fantastic Submissions Contest from now until June 30. We’ll have winners in 3 different categories and the prizes are fabulous, decadent even. We are looking for new, and previously published authors, who want to increase their visibility and write for a company who doesn’t see their other publishing contracts as competition necessarily, but rather an enhancement opportunity.
Like anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi, we are looking forward to our adventure!
Well there you have it, folks: another shiny new opportunity for science fiction romance! Authors, here are the Submission Guidelines.
Right now, you can follow DecadentPub on Twitter. Decadent Publishing will also feature a blog once the permanent Web site is up.
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