If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Interview with Publisher Sheri Gormley

Today on Salad Bowl Saturday we welcome Sheri Gormley, Barking Rain Press publisher. She has taken time in the middle of one of BRP's reading periods to answer a few questions we had from her publisher's perspective.

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Why did you form a publishing company?

I got my start in publishing as the Marketing Director at Virtual Tales. After that closed down, a few of the authors approached me about helping them self-publish their books, and it really drove home how tough it is for authors to get published. I had gotten to know Ti Locke during my time at Virtual Tales, and in addition to being a great editor, she also has a lot of non-profit experience, and so we decided to take the plunge together.

Why choose a not-for-profit incorporation?

One of the lessons I learned from Virtual Tales is that making money isn't the most important consideration for me. I really enjoyed the work I had been doing for Virtual Tales, and I'm at the point in my life where I'm able to start giving back. By forming as a non-profit, we can focus most of our time and resources towards achieving our mission statement (which is to help new and mid-list authors grow and develop). The paperwork and filing burden for a non-profit is a lot less than a for-profit business (once you get your 501(c)3 status, which we're working on now), and that lets us spend more time working on actual publishing activities.

What is your biggest frustration as a publisher?

I think our biggest pain-point right now is with our open submissions. We have a fair number of new authors who just can't (or won't) follow instructions. We clearly list what we want on our website, but we've actually had authors write to us and explain why they should be an exception (I give them points for chutzpah, but the answer is always “no”). We say electronic submissions only, but we still get paper manuscripts in the mail (which we always mark as "Return to Sender" and never open).

And it's disappointing to review a submission, and then request and review the full manuscript, and then make an offer only to find out that the author has already signed with another publisher weeks ago. We ask for exclusive submissions, and we do turn them around fairly quickly (about two months). To have all the editors spend time reading and scoring submissions, only to find that the manuscript has already been signed, is a total waste of our time. I know authors complain about how discouraging rejection letters are, but publishers are just as frustrated by multiple submissions. And most of the time, the authors never bother to withdraw a manuscript from consideration. We only find out when we make an offer for the manuscript, and then they tell us it's already been signed. It's totally unprofessional.

What is the best things authors can do (other than writing a great book) to be attractive to BRP?

Follow the submission instructions. Contact us if you have any questions. And if you sign a contract for a manuscript you've sent to us, please withdraw your manuscript from further consideration.

What percentage of authors don't follow your guidelines?

Almost half of all submissions are missing requested information, unfortunately. We do contact authors to let them know if we didn't receive a file (it is possible for files to get lost in cyberspace, and we realize that), but only about a third of authors respond to our request and send us the missing information. In some respects, it helps expedite the rejection process, because if a submission is incomplete, it is rejected without further consideration.

Best unsolicited advice you'd like to offer?

Run spell check on your manuscript before you send it to us. Please! You'd be surprised at how many people forget to do this before they send it out. Also, we have an FAQ on the website about what we're looking for, which can be accessed here: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/faq/suggestions


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SHERI GORMLEY is the President & Executive Director of the BRP Publishing Group, a Washington State non-profit corporation. Ms. Gormley has been actively involved in fiction publishing since 2004, where she developed the website for KeepItComing.net, an eSerial publisher. In 2006, Sheri became one of the founding general partners of Virtual Tales, which published dozens of books and eBooks before it was reorganized as one of the imprints of the BRP Publishing Group in September 2011.

8 comments:

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

It's amazing how inconsiderate we writers can be. I think email has created a casualness in us that we just can't get past. Then again, i suspect 'back in the old days' paper submissions offered the same problems. we just have trouble following rules and guidelines. ;). Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.

Gloria Alden said...

Good interview showing the other side of the writing business. I've read several books by Barking Rain Press, and have enjoyed them and found them without errors that I often find in larger and for profit presses.

Ricky Bush said...

Hi Sheri. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks, Jim, for getting her done.

Warren Bull said...

I have been in the editor/judge position. Each time authors excluded themselves from consideration by not following simple instructions.

E. B. Davis said...

Sheri, thanks for your candor.

What differentiates good writing from great writing?

Can you make the call after reading a few pages?

Kaye George said...

Thanks for the interview with my new publisher! I enjoyed reading it, although it's dismaying about the fifty percent who can't follow directions.

mail said...

I would like to think that it's just that many of the authors who submit to us are new, and don't have a lot of experience with preparing a query. The worst for me are the hard-copy submissions. I always feel awful returning something that cost $11 and up to send (I can see the postage on the envelope), but our editors are all over, and we do everything electronically.

Marilynn Larew said...

I'm afraid that the world can't follow instructions any more. In my last years teaching history at the university level, I found the same thing. A large portion of the class couldn't follow instructions.

I wondered if instructions damage their self-esteem.