Industry News

Megan DiMaria is Novel Rocket’s industry news columnist. An author and speaker, she enjoys cheering on writers and loves to encourage others as they journey through life’s demands and delights. Megan is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands

Welcome to October’s publishing industry news roundup. There’s lots of news with some fun tidbits included this month. Also check out the Q&A about the new imprint, BLING!, at the end of the post.

 As promised last month, here’s the Q&A with Sandie Bricker, Managing Editor of the new romance imprint for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas:
Author Sandra D. Bricker, who has been an editor – both freelance and within Corporate America
– for many years, has put on the editorial hat again now that she’s been named
Managing Editor for a new imprint of contemporary romance at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC). 
Sandie, the last time you spoke to Novel Rocket readers, you were just getting established. What can you tell us now
about how things are progressing?
I’ve been
so excited by the submissions we received right out of the gate. Unfortunately,
there have been a lot of rejections I’ve had to make (my least favorite part of
the job); but at the same time, some really great fiction has crossed my desk
as well.
Can you give us an idea why you’ve
rejected those manuscripts so that writers who might want to submit can benefit
from the insider information?
Sure.
There have, of course, been a few stories and characters that just didn’t
appeal to us, but for the most part the rejections have been mostly about not
fitting into the BLING!
guidelines
.
Can you tell us more about the
ideal submission for the BLING!
imprint?
The
primary issue is that we’re not looking for traditional, formulaic Christian
romances. We have a wonderful imprint – Candlelight
Romance

that’s headed up by Yvonne Lehman for those stories. BLING! is not traditional romance
in that —  even though we require a
solid, believable romance at the nucleus of the story – our characters aren’t
necessarily church-going, Bible-quoting individuals. In fact, BLING! is more of
a crossover line where a faith
element isn’t a primary source of characterization. While it can certainly be
part of the story if necessary, it’s going to be an organic thread rather than
a foundational element.
But isn’t LPC strictly a publisher
of inspirational/Christian fiction?
I think for
the most part, perhaps we have been. But LPC is run by believers, so that’s
bound to carry over in the content and in the way business is conducted. With
the introduction of the BLING! line, LPC has opened up an avenue for crossover romantic
fiction where readers may or may not find an overt Christian message. That
said, however, we’ll never publish anything that will be inappropriate or
offensive to our Christian readership. I believe – and Eddie Jones, the founder
of LPC, also believes – that good storytelling may include an edgier, more
flawed character struggling through very real, authentic challenges, without leaning on foul language, sexual
situations or violence to tell their stories.
Now that you’ve begun receiving
submissions and are offering contracts, is BLING! shaping up to be a place for
authors in the beginning of their careers or are you talking to more
established authors as well?
I’m
getting a little of both. At the very beginning, I suspected that the
submissions coming from more established authors were the ones collecting dust
in their files because traditional publishers weren’t interested, so maybe they
tossed it at the BLING! wall like pasta to see if it stuck. I think that
attitude results from LPC just being a smaller press with a new idea –
innovative, in my opinion – on the publishing landscape. But as we’ve
continued, I’m seeing more polished and thoughtful submissions that stick with
our guidelines from authors who might not have given a publisher like LPC a
chance five years ago.
The first
contract I offered went to a writer who has been published before, but is in
the process of building and growing her career. I think BLING! will undoubtedly
help her do that because she’s brought us a wonderful plot guided by a strong
female lead. The next one I will likely offer – once my pub board has a chance
to confirm my belief in the book – is to a well-known author who really likes
the LPC business model.
Although
we’re not offering advances at this time – which may likely change in the
future – LPC balances that out by offering writers a more-than-generous royalty
payout on the sales of their books. As a writer myself, I can tell you that
receiving a huge advance for a book isn’t always as great as it might seem.
Authors need to remember that the advance has to be earned out before they actually see any additional income from book
sales. And even after that happens, their return on the investment of time and
talent is about four times less than
the percentage they’ll receive from publishing with BLING! or LPC.
If a writer feels like they might
be a good fit for Bling!, what should they do?
They can
go to the website to review the complete
guidelines, and they can LIKE our page on Facebook to keep up with new developments. If they have questions or need more
information, they can email me at SandieBlingLPC@aol.com.

***

Have a great month! Do the work. Be productive.
                                                          ~Megan