1.) Tell us about Tribute Books. How long has it been around and what role did you play?
Tribute Books began in 2004 and we've published over 30 titles since that time. Some of our books have gone on to win awards such as the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year and the Mom's Choice Award while others were endorsed by PBS and The Thoreau Society. We've covered a wide range of genres from children's picture books to history to sports under both traditional and subsidy contracts. In 2012, Tribute Books will transition into a royalty-paying ebook publisher of young adult titles.
Personally, I've spent roughly the last 12 years in the publishing world. I have a B.A. summa cum laude in English and Communications. From 1999-2004, I went from being an intern to an editorial assistant to an associate editor of a regional magazine. In 2004, I started Tribute Books. Since then, I've worked with dozens of authors, illustrators, photographers and editors in publishing our titles.
2) Why should an author choose Tribute Books rather than another independent publisher?
We're an author's support system. We're here every step of the way. An author is not in it alone. We are constantly promoting our titles on a daily basis, even those published years ago. Our efforts continue long after a book is initially released. Plus we employ the full power of our experience, our credentials, our social media platform, etc. on an author's behalf. An author becomes a part of our team and we offer one-on-one support throughout the entire process.
3) How much editing does Tribute Books do on the books it acquires?
In my experience, the authors who tend to be the most resistant to working with a publisher are the first timers - those that have never been published before. I've come across unpublished writers who refuse to consent to changing their manuscript in any way, shape or form. It's refreshing to come across those who are open minded and willing to see their work from different points of view in order to make it the best it can be.
At this point in the game, we are only accepting manuscripts from previously published authors who know the ins and outs of the book business. Any seasoned author is familiar with the editing process. We're not out to fundamentally change anyone's work, but it has to be of the quality level to hold its own against competing books in the marketplace. My hope is that the manuscripts we receive for consideration will be so well-written, very little will have to be changed in terms of editing. We're looking to put out the best quality product that we can, and we're looking to work with authors who feel the same way and are more than willing to collaborate instead of dictate.
4) You plan to focus on YA books now. Why? Will these be only in e-book form?
Our main reason is the explosion in popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad. Over the course of 2011, we've watched our ebook sales outpace our print sales by 2 to 1. The under $5 price point of most of our titles and the ease of purchase and delivery are surely contributing factors.
On a business level, the young adult genre sells especially if it is well written and has a paranormal romance theme. On a marketing level, the devotion of the young adult fan base is unparalleled. On a personal level, I thoroughly enjoy a good young adult novel and review many on my blog at http://tributebooksreviews.blogspot.com.
In terms of formats, we're looking at .epub, .mobi, .pdf and .doc. The ebooks will be available through Kindle, Nook, iPad, Smashwords and as PDF downloads through Tribute-Books.com. They will retail between $2.99 and $4.95.
Manuscripts that have already been professionally edited will receive greater consideration. Our preference is to work with previously published authors who know the ins and outs of book promotion. An established social media platform is a must, and we will not consider writers who do not have a well-followed blog, Facebook page or Twitter account.
Our preference is for damn good writing, the particular topic is secondary in importance. However, books written with a series in mind or those that delve into the paranormal will have a slight edge.
Interested authors can submit their manuscripts via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be no charge for the authors we select to work with, and they will receive 50% of the net profits of their ebook sales in quarterly royalty payments. We're looking for Microsoft Word documents with a maximum of 350 pages of text with no photos, charts, illustrations, graphs, etc.
The complete list of guidelines can be found at: http://www.tribute-books.com/publish.html
5) You want authors that are media savvy. How much and what kind of promotion will Tribute books provide to their authors?
I am a big believer in the power of social media. I even conduct monthly blog tours for outside publishers and authors in order to help them increase the online presence of a book. Book bloggers are a powerful force in the book industry. With more and more book stores closing and book review columns being cut from major newspapers, readers are depending on bloggers to help them find the books they want to read. They are turning to the internet as a reference point to fill this information gap.
In my opinion, social networking is the bread and butter of any author's promotional efforts. Without it, it's like trying to paddle upstream without a canoe. Readers want to connect with the person who wrote the book. They crave interaction with an author. Nothing beats getting a writer to comment on a blogger's book review post or getting a personalized thank you tweet from your favorite author. The days of authors being isolated from their fans is over. They're now able to build an online following and receive instant feedback for their work. They have the opportunity to take part in creating their own literary community.
We try to keep an active online presence with our web site (http://www.tribute-books.com/), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/171628704176), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/TributeBooks) and blog (http://tributebooks.blogspot.com/). We'd love to have anyone who loves young adult literature to join us for the ride.
Thanks for dropping by, Nicole and filling writers in on one more option to get their stories published.