MJN: You were born in the US and have been living in Ireland, and you move quite freely across the proverbial Pond. Your Irish side is incorporated into the name and the logo of your press. Is your mission to bring Irish themed novels to the American market, or American-themed books to the Irish market? Is it to establish a bridge between the two cultures? Or is it just to tell stories without borders?
KS: Our mission is to publish awesome books to readers all over the world. We don't have a target country in mind. Just targeting readers who like great books set all over the world, by authors living all over the world.
MJN: Currently you produce digital books only. Are there any plans to add paperbacks for select titles? I work with a several small publishers that have a POD/e-book model, and they all say that e-book sales outnumber the paperback sales by far. However, paperbacks do come in handy at author events.
KS: Incorrect. We are digital-first. We have several books out in print and have several more scheduled for release this year. For wholesalers, our print books are available on a world market through the likes of Ingrams and Gardeners, or by direct order from ourselves. Readers can buy print books through Amazon, or they can order through their local bookstores with the book's ISBN.
MJN: Is it important for a digital press editors to network with other professionals industry and attend book fairs, even though you don't have hard copies to showcase?
KS: As above, we do have print books available, and more coming available throughout the year. We do feel it's important to network with others in the industry. After all, we all have the same goal...publish great books and put them before readers. We all have different methods in reaching that goal, which makes the business exciting. We feel it's important to be friends with similar houses to our own too. Networking is essential to success. The old saying "A rising tide lifts all boats" is good to remember.
MJN: One of your mission statements which is probably very appealing to authors is that you come up with a customized marketing plan for each author. Can you give me an example of such a plan? For instance, if an author wrote a romance set during WWII, do you reach out to specific magazines and blogs that review material of that nature?
KS: Every book and every author is different so each require different marketing plans because of differing target audiences. We could not apply the same marketing plan used for romance as for horror. The readers are completely different, just as readers would be different if the book was a cross genre Horror Romance. We have basic guidelines for marketing in general, but then add specific areas for the types of books we publish. That would include any number of promotional sites, blogs, promotional companies which organize tours, the types of tours, interviews, reviewers, etc. We're also very lucky to have an amazing team of authors who share their experiences and pass on recommendations for things that worked for them. We're back to tides and boats here :-) We also encourage authors to contact their local bookshops once their books are available in print to get those shops to stock their books as a local author. Local bookstores love getting local authors on their shelves.
MJN: It's very popular among genre writers to come up with an entire series featuring the same characters - or just the same setting. You state on your submissions page that each book is contracted on book-by-book basis. Personally, I am always afraid to commit to writing a series, because sometimes the storyline runs its course, and you have to squeeze yourself for inspiration to complete the series.
KS: Readers love series books. If someone is submitting a book in a series, we always prefer to take the series from book one, and have a basic synopsis for the next couple books in the series, or trilogy. In some instances, we will contract more than one book at a time, but those contract offers are generally given to in-house authors whose reputation and sales figures are known to us. But chances are good, if you're an author who's submitting the first book in a series to us, if we take the first book, we'll be interested in the next books in the series, but will consider them as they're being finished. The only exception to the rule would be if an author comes to us with the first book in a series which has been completed. If we like book one, we'll ask to see the other two books as well, and then *may* offer on the series as a whole, as long as all the books stand up consistently against each other. Some authors have submitting single title books, which we've contract, only later to discover they've turned the book into a series.