Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Publisher Interview: Stephanie Taylor from Astraea Press

Astraea was formed in 2010 when two friends saw the need for a non-erotic e-publisher that offers wholesome reads but still maintains the quality of mainstream romance. The first titles for Astraea will be launched in February 2011.

With over six years experience in the publishing industry and avid readers, owners Stephanie and Jane look forward to working with their authors, having fun, and bringing you the best books available.

With us today is Editor-in-chief of Astraea Press, Stephanie Taylor.

Welcome, Stephanie. First, I'd like to ask you a little about the genre/type of books Astraea Press will be publishing. The word "wholesome" is used. Tell us what this means.

I’d like to think that it means…wholesome! LOL. Astraea will be publishing anything from inspirational to mainstream where the focus is solely on the relationship. Think romance from the 1950’s. Remember a time when romance wasn’t about Sex Ed 101 and was a beautiful thing? That’s what Astraea strives for. We also publish genres outside of romance.

It’s hard to put a definitive answer on what we accept. For instance, a more sensual love scene between married couples would be more appropriate than one between unmarried couples or two people who don’t love each other. In essence, if you have something you think Astraea would like to see, we’d love to look at it! We only ask that sex scenes not be graphic with euphemisms or language and focus on the emotional aspect of the relationship, not the physical.

Writers love getting an inside view of the mysteries of publishing. What are you and the rest of the Astraea Press staff doing to get ready for your February 2011 launch?

In one word? READING! We’re reading submissions, we’re working on edits, we’re marketing, we’re spending a great deal of time online trying to get our name out there and doing interviews with wonderful people like you!

I'm sure you're getting pelted with questions about your sustainability as a new press on the block. It's a valid concern we writers have that a small/new press will close its doors and our precious work will be lost forever. Do you offer any guarantees to authors who sign with you concerning the rights to their work should Astraea Press calls it quits in a couple years?

This is a question I keep getting over and over and I appreciate you addressing it! It’s hard to maintain a reputation when you start with nothing. When my close friend Jane and I decided to open this e-publisher, we decided we wanted to be a step above the rest.

Sure, everyone says that, right? On a personal level, I’ll just be honest. We’re southern belles. We’re friendly, we’re Christians and we’re going to treat you right. I’m an author, too, and I can’t imagine how scary it would be to lose the rights to one of your “babies” and then your publishing house just disappears! I live by the old adage, “treat others as you would have them treat you”. I have people who have questioned whether or not we could handle this since we have families and marriage and LIFE. Well, let me tell you. Just like our family and our marriage, our religion, everything is a PART of our life that makes up the whole. Jane and I have an understanding that we will step in for each other if we are needed elsewhere.

Also, many publishers who fold are only run by one person. I began with a team of five people, all talented, excited and willing to step in no matter where they’re needed. I only hope to add to our team as we grow.

In a professional capacity, we offer a clause in our contract that we will have the rights to your work returned to you within 30 days of Astraea’s official closing, should that happen. If we don’t have it back to you by then, we EXPECT a call from an attorney, because it’s YOUR book! Astraea is only the house lucky enough to publish it.

Most writers start off with visions of BIG contracts and BIG publishing houses dancing in their heads. And most writers will end up finding their home with a smaller press. For those still unsure as to whether or not a small/newer press is right for them, can you tell us some of the advantages of signing with one?

Smaller presses equal closer relationships. Don’t care about that? Well, at Astraea, we hope to have your book available in digital and print form within 6 months, most likely less. Right now, all edits are done by me and I have experience with five different publishing houses in editing and experience in the industry that goes back over six years.

We’re also planning a wider distribution through third party vendors than a lot of other houses, so you not only get the close relationships with our staff, but also the availability of larger houses.

I noticed you had a pitch contest on December 7th. Is that over? If not, how do writers enter this contest? If so, will you be having another one anytime soon?

The pitch from Dec. 7th is over, but I’m hosting another one in January. I’m also in negotiations for a few other places, so stay tuned for those to be announced.
Keep in mind that even though the pitch contest is over, we’re still trying to fill our schedule for the February 2011 launch and accepting submissions in all genres. Our goal is to have ten books at this launch. You can see our fabulous cover art by Elaina Lee on our Facebook page. You won’t be disappointed!

Elaina will also be hosting a free header giveaway in January, so watch our site and Facebook page for details on that, coming soon!

Where will Astraea Press's books be sold?

Of course the biggest dream would be for us to be in brick and mortar. But right now, we’ll be available at amazon, B&N, overdrive.com, and numerous other third party vendors, as well as our website. Print books will also be available on Amazon.

Thanks so much to Stephanie Taylor for stopping by and telling us about Astraea Press! Visit Astraea Press here or by going to http://www.astraeapress.com/ where you will find their submissions guidelines, contact information, and blog.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous interview! So many questions were answered here and I'm so excited about this press!