By Jennifer Hallmark
For my post this month, I want to take a different spin on modern literature. Let’s look at some of the people creating modern literature. Not the authors, but the publishers. Specifically, small publishers and presses.
For writers and publishers, these are the best of times and the worst of times. The advent of electronic books has opened new doors for self-publishing and small press publishers alike. Publishing companies that deal almost exclusively in digital format are a different way for a writer to see their work come to light.
Today I want to introduce several small publishers that I know and let you hear what they’re saying. Say hello to Tracy Ruckman at Write Integrity Press, Nicola Martinez at Pelican Book Group, and Jessica Snell at Kalos Press.
Tell us a little about the history of your publishing company.
Tracy/Write Integrity Press: We’ve actually grown to three companies. Pix-N-Pens opened for submissions in 2011, seeking manuscripts for the Christian market. Then a few months later, we decided we needed an imprint that published clean, wholesome stories that didn’t necessarily have a Christian message so we opened Write Integrity Press. Just this month (July, as I write this), we’ve published our 50th book, so we’re excited about that.
We’ve recently reorganized a bit, and now, PNP will focus on publishing nonfiction books and children’s books, while WIP will focus on novels. Our third company is our subsidy press, TMP Books, which launched earlier this year.
Nicola/Pelican Book Group: Our Pelican Book Group division “took off” in 2009 with the purchase of the White Rose Publishing imprint. White Rose is exclusively Christian romance. Since that time, we’ve added three more imprints. Harbourlight Books, which is Christian fiction in all adult sub-genres besides romance; Watershed Books, which is young adult; and most recently, Pure Amore. Pure Amore is a new adult romance line and the first imprint ever to promote sexual abstinence before marriage. Our primary ministry is to publish quality fiction that reflects the salvation and love offered by Jesus Christ. Our titles adhere to mainline Christianity, but are enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians, alike.
Jessica/Kalos Press: Kalos Press is an imprint of Doulos Resources, a ministry which works to provide needful things for the church. Kalos Press was founded in 2011 out of a desire to see books with a high degree of literary excellence in genres and on subjects of interest to Christian believers.
Are you considered a traditional publisher and do you offer advances?
Tracy/Write Integrity Press: Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens Publishing are traditional publishers – we seek manuscripts but are selective about what we publish. We do not pay advances, but we do offer royalties at a higher percentage rate than most traditional publishing companies.
TMP Books is our subsidy press. We offer the same quality we put into our traditional press, but there is no selection process. We offer affordable rates for authors who may have a niche market or for those who want to self-publish but don’t have the necessary skills to make it happen.
Nicola/Pelican Book Group: Pelican Book Group is a traditional publisher. We pay competitive royalties, we don’t charge the author for publishing, and we do offer advances on occasion, but not always.
Jessica/Kalos Press: We are a traditional publisher, in that we pay the author and the author does NOT pay us, but since we’re also a micro-press, we don’t offer advances at this time. Our authors are paid via royalties.
How do you go about marketing your author’s books?
Tracy/Write Integrity Press: We’ve established an in-house marketing team for our book authors to cross-promote one another. We’re always thinking outside the box for ways to market and promote, always with a goal to reach new markets and new readers.
Nicola/Pelican Book Group: We use some traditional methods of advertising and marketing, such as placing ads in magazines. We also have a very active social media presence and do online promotions such as banner ads and site sponsorships, and we currently employ a publicist who handles relationships with the media. That said, we do also expect authors to be actively engaged in marketing.
Jessica/Kalos Press: In addition to building good relationships with brick-and-mortar bookstores (such as our friends over at Hearts & Minds Books), we work to find our authors interview opportunities on podcasts, magazines, & blogs, to procure excellent endorsements, and we happily support our authors in planning book signings. We also encourage our authors to take advantage of opportunities to offer excerpts from their books in order to generate interest in their topic (such as this feature by our author Nancy Nordenson in Comment).
Are you currently accepting submissions? If so, what are you looking for?
Write Integrity Press: Yes, we are currently accepting submissions. Please check our websites for guidelines. We prefer series over standalone books. We’re open to a variety of genres – fiction and nonfiction – but we do not publish horror, erotica, porn, werewolf or vampire stories. We haven’t yet built a market for sci-fi/spec fiction, so we usually refer those elsewhere.
The best tip I can give writers about our companies – we publish clean, wholesome books with great stories and memorable characters. We consider our authors family and work to provide them with the best experience possible.
Nicola/Pelican Book Group: We are always accepting submissions for all sub-genres of Christian fiction. Our guidelines and the form for submission are on our web site. http://pelink.us/write4pbg
Jessica/Kalos Press: We are accepting submissions! Devotional literature, memoirs, Christian reflection, and non-fiction essays are genres we love. We are also open to biography. We are looking to expand soon into literary fiction and poetry.
At Kalos Press, we look to publish work that is beautiful in both form and in function. As our FAQ says: “There is a fine line between provocative and profound. The best books are both. We look for manuscripts that ask the hard questions and seek to answer them through the lens of faith. We resist simplistic ‘inspirational’ literature, but we also tend to resist projects that seem provocative merely for the sake of being provocative. Our audience consists of readers who are culturally diverse, but theologically conservative (sometimes a difficult balancing act!). We look for projects that also achieve this balance.”
As General Editor at Kalos Press, I can confirm that I am especially excited about receiving proposals for literary fiction (particularly novels) that fit this description!
Thanks, ladies, for dropping by! Check out more about each publisher below…
Write Integrity Press specializes in books that provide clean, wholesome entertainment.
Kalos Press was established to give a voice to literary fiction, biography, memoir, essays, devotional writing, poetry, and Christian Reflection, of excellent quality, outside of the mainstream Christian publishing industry.
We believe that good writing is beautiful in form and in function, and is capable of being an instrument of transformation. It is our hope and ambition that every title produced by Kalos Press will live up to this belief.