Friday, April 29, 2011

Six Questions for Celia Kyle, Publisher, Summerhouse Publishing

"Summerhouse Publishing’s intent is to assist authors who are considering self-publishing, but are daunted by all it entails and the unreasonable stigma surrounding such a venture." SHP publishes all genres of romance and erotica. Stories range from 3,000-120,000 words. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: There’s been quite a bit written about the demise of the paper book and the decline in the number of books published. What is your view of the current state of the book and the book market?

CK: I think the print book industry is in a steady decline and has a very dreary outlook. While I agree that there are many readers who prefer a physical book in their hands, there are more readers with iPhones and other smartphones in their pockets who'd rather download their book and take it everywhere. I don't believe it'll completely disappear for quite some time, but e-books are definitely on the rise.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a manuscript?

CK: I look for an awesome hook, intriguing characters and a story that won't let me go.

SQF: What major mistakes do authors make when pitching their books?

CK: Authors are in love with their books, that's a given, but it isn't necessary to explain everything that happens in your story. I tend to lean toward the "less is more" philosophy. I like hearing the highlights with a great hook rather than some of the more involved details.

SQF: Of the books your company publishes each year, how many are by previously unpublished authors?

CK: Approximately 25%, at this time.

SQF: What is your advice to new, unpublished authors looking for a publisher or agent?

CK: Believe in yourself and polish the heck out of your manuscript. Never doubt that your passion will get you there. We all started somewhere. The published authors used to be unpublished, and there was a time when publishers and agents had no idea what they were doing. Regardless of a person's title, they're still a person. And research, research, research!

SQF: What question do you wish I’d asked that I didn’t? And how would you answer it?

CK; A question I received in another interview was, "What sets SHP apart from other publishers?" I believe that SHP is proactive in regards to technology and the way in which we use it to interact with readers and broaden our exposure on the web. We opened a Facebook store right along with our web store in order to reach a larger audience. We also are investigating Android and iPhone apps to better provide updates to readers. Our audience lives online, and we're doing our best to reach them.

Thank you, Celia. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 5/2--Six Questions for Dawn Raffel, Editor, The Literarian

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