Thursday, October 13, 2011

Six Questions for Buffi BeCraft, Owner/Editor in Chief, Eirelander Publishing

"Eirelander Publishing is a hybrid e-publisher/small press publisher with a focus on quality and innovation. Founded in 2009 by Buffi BeCraft, Eirelander Publishing is a New York style publisher. Our goal is to provide readers with a wide range of stories that contain exciting plots and diverse characters." Learn more here.

SQF: What does Eirelander Publishing offer authors that other presses don't?

BB: Eirelander Publishing is a full service, royalty paying epublisher. We are officially listed as a Green Company, so electronic formats are our main priority, though we do have a print on demand program once an ebook has met the requirement of 50 ebook sales. We give a minimum of three thorough edits on all our manuscripts. More if necessary, so that the quality of the book comes first. At this time, we are offering a 45% royalty on all new contacts.

Authors may have input on covers, though we have the final say. Our policy is to offer one redo if the author truly hates his/her cover art. Authors are offered banners and other digital promotional graphics at no charge. (by request) We try to be available as much as possible, and our authors and staff are encouraged to contact us by email or instant message chat if they have any questions.

Eirelander Publishing is proud to announce our Audio book launch this September.

Our brand new private author and staff forum is set up in the Ning social network. This new format offers members chat, discussion boards on a variety of topics from computer help to online marketing tips, apps, and more.

Finally, we judge a book on it's own merits, not on your letter writing abilities or your past awards. Our favorite submission letters include a brief bio about yourself, what line you are submitting for, a short blurb about your book, and your contact information. Don't forget to attach the entire manuscript in RTF or DOC format. Our current turnaround time on submissions is two weeks.

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

  • The plot lines(s) and character arcs begun in the beginning of the story are completed at the end.
  • The document formatting is easily readable without having to reformat the entire book simply to read. Example: Special backgrounds and pictures added. Fun fonts meant to get the editor's attention. (It does, and not in a good way.) Strange styles meant to stand out, such as capitalizing all of the main character's POV. Writing the entire book in email style or text message style. Gross grammar mistakes that are easily fixed by a basic spell checker.
  • Language and sentence structure is easy enough for a high school graduate to follow. We love complex plots and characters, just not sentence structure and words that need a college degree to decipher.

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

  • Not reading our submission guidelines and following accordingly. This tells the editor that the author can follow basic directions. The number one mistake for guidelines is not including the full manuscript. We do not contract on query or partials.
  • Arguing the point that they follow the stylistic guide of a particular classics author and refuse to make any changes to his/her book. The literary classics are nice for their time period and we enjoy them, but we are publishing for this time period and contemporary readers.
  • Bait and switch tactics. Offering the publishing company one book, then once a contract is offered, offering a different book instead.

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

BB: The number of unpublished authors contracted each year varies. Each book is judged on its own merits; this goes for in-house authors, previously published, and previously self-published works. So far this year we've contracted around 8 books from unpublished authors, some of which are scheduled for release next year. Unpublished authors are always welcome at Eirelander Publishing. If we turn down a work, then authors are welcome to ask what they need to do to revise and resubmit.

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

BB: First, my biggest piece of advice is not to go into this with starry eyes. A good publisher or agent will work with you to polish your work-- and if they're real good, it will be work. But hopefully an enjoyable and rewarding experience on all sides. Expect to work on your own promotion as well. Publishers do what they can to give all their authors some exposure, but the bulk of your promotion is on your shoulders. Some, like us, will be more than happy to help point you in the right direction.

Second, check your ego at the door. Editors and agents, who have gone out of their way to give you the benefit of their experience, do not appreciate drama queens. Nor do they appreciate dealing with an argumentative author slowing the production process to a crawl.

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

BB: How much does the author have to pay to have his/her work published?

Eirelander Publishing is a full service, royalty paying publisher. We do not charge for editing or for artwork or any of the services mentioned earlier. However, we do have a kill cost clause to protect ourselves from fraudulent contracts in which the author only wanted a free full edit before taking his/her book elsewhere. This clause is to reimburse Eirelander Publishing and it's staff for work done on the promise of future sales. Please remember that this is not a fee for publishing and only goes into effect if the author terminates before the contract term is up.

Kill costs are as follows: For the first edit submitted to author, the cost is one hundred dollars (total 100.00usd) For the second edit submitted to author, the cost of the first edit plus one hundred and fifty dollars (total 250.00usd). For the third edit submitted to author, the cost is of the first edit and the second edit plus one hundred dollars (total 350.00usd). The cost of the copy edit is fifty dollars (50.00usd). Cover art may be provided at any time after the first edit is delivered to the author. Cost of cover art is one hundred and fifty dollars (150.00usd).

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

NEXT POST: 10/17--Six Questions for Erin McKnight, Founding Editor & Publisher, Queen's Ferry Press

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