Posts Tagged ‘publisher’

Have a Manuscript and Don’t Know What To DO?

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I looked high and low for a publisher for my works.  I can tell you one thing, after searching for months for agents, months for publishers, and losing a good portion of my hair, I finally stumbled across Echelon Press.  “Who are they?”  Yes, I’ve heard the question before, so let me tell you exactly what I’ve told everybody else.  They’re my new family.  The president of the company, Karen Syed, actually cares about her authors, is probably one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, and is a pleasure to not only work with, BUT WORK FOR AS WELL.  You heard me right.  I loved the company so much, I got a job.

They are currently looking to publish experienced authors and new upcoming authors as well.  So GO TO, click on the submit tab, and follow the submission guidelines!


Echelon is seeking submissions for ALL eBook divisions. Please visit our site for guidelines.


Echelon Explorations is seeking submissions for eBook publication. Guidelines at


Echelon Shorts is seeking submissions for eBook publication for all genres. Guidelines at

Deadline for Holiday submissions 11/10/10. Guidelines at


Quake is seeking submissions for eBook publication for all genres. Guidelines at

Deadline for Quake Holiday Shorts submissions 11/10/10. Guidelines at

An Ode to Publishers

September 16, 2010 1 comment

You write the books and keep them neat

Proud enough at your noble feat

You seek publication through email and query

Hitting “SEND” makes fingers weary

Agents sought yet to no avail

They send you letters etched with “FAIL”

Alas a dim hope on the road of despair

Finally, this life seems a little more fair

You find a publisher open to submissions

You scoff at their unfair and unseemly conditions

Ignoring the guidelines you send in your piece

You sit and wait praying your heart doesn’t cease

Now put yourself in the shoes of the one you did send

The one whose rules you did just shatter and bend

Rules set up to keep everything organized and straight

Rules in place to make their company great

Now you’ve sent in a submission without pause

Shirking all of the publisher’s laws

How likely are you to see your book in print?

When you couldn’t take the publishers hint?

Do yourself a favor and follow the rules

Publishers will less likely label us fools.

Categories: Poems Tags: , , , ,

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

July 16, 2010 13 comments

My blog today is going to be a little different than my usual posts.  Today I have the honor of interviewing the amazing Karen Syed, President of Echelon Press.  Why is she amazing you ask?  Well I think the answer to that question will become quite clear after you read my interview.  Before we delve into the interview, I’d like to tell you why I think Karen, her company, and the work she is doing earned the title amazing.  Imagine being an author (if you’re not one already), and imagine writing a book.  You have this wonderful creation in your hands.  I can only liken it to a child, if you haven’t written one.  You have this amazing thing, and you want the best for it, you want it to succeed in life, you want people to like it, and I’ll stop there hoping you get the idea.

The question that is left is, what do you do to get all the things you wanted for your book?  Everybody recommends finding an agent.  Easier said than done.  Everything about trying to get your book published was difficult, or so I thought.  Then I was introduced to Echelon Press and Karen Syed.  With that being said, take everything you know about book publishers, walk over to the closest window, and chuck it.  Karen’s company is rewriting what it means to be a publishing company.  The largest of the houses fear what is coming in the changing market of books with the dawning of eBooks and eStores.  Echelon Press is not only embracing this future, but paving the way.

The Interview

How much does an author’s personality figure into you working with them?

For me, personality is a huge aspect. I have made a point to try and personally know every author I bring into Echelon Press. It’s crucial for an author to have the personality and ability to connect with people in any situation. Often at events there will be people who want to criticize or talk down to an author whose work they don’t see as “worthy.” On the other side of the coin, there will be those people who are so smitten with them that they will want to hang on their every word and monopolize their time. Authors often need to be diplomats.

I often hear authors say how shy they are, and this drives me insane. Okay, you’re shy, so in the world go into a career that puts you in front of people all the time? Hel-lo!

How strongly do you follow what is trending? Do you only publish what is hot now?

Oh rubbish! I am not a fan of trends. Think about it, a trend is a pattern that has already happened. Why would you put all your eggs in that basket? What’s hot now may be lukewarm tomorrow and who’s to say what is hot. We all have opinions and they are almost always different, so who decides what is hot or not? Millions of readers think James Patterson is hot (as an author, not a man) but I have not been able to finish a single one of his books. I just don’t like them. Not to say he isn’t a wonderful man, I’m sure he is. I just don’t like his writing.

Same with Janet Evonavich. Readers lover her books, I hate them. No offense to her, just my personal taste. I think that the publishing industry needs to focus more on originality and less on rewriting the same stories.

Is it more difficult to be an author trying to get published, or being a publisher working with first-time authors?

They are so different. On one hand, being an author trying to get published is like trying to get your first job. You have no experience, and you have to get a job to get experience, but you can’t get a job because you have no experience.

On the other hand, being a publisher working with a first-time author is horrible. They are insecure, they are arrogant, and they are overly enthusiastic about finding the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Most of them think that they will write that first book, it will sell tens of thousands of copies, and they will make hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is almost impossible to fight this battle with them as the myth just keeps getting told and we all want to believe it.

I’m sure you have found the internet to be an invaluable marketing tool; can you think of any disadvantages to it that can be detrimental to book marketing?

Oh yeah! No one seems to understand that in almost all instances what you put up on the Internet is going to be there for as long as the Internet exists. What you post on your Blog on a really bad day will still be there years later when you least want it to be. I am a blogger and I have bad days. I post all kinds of crap, but I try to make certain that it won’t hurt me or anyone else now or later.

When a writer sets out to be an author (I believe a writer writes, an author gets published) they must make a commitment to behave in the most professional manner possible. Getting published means you are putting yourself out there for all the world to see. The other thing that tends to make the Internet dangerous is the frequency of myths and misinformation. Anyone can say anything whether it’s true or not and that is always an uphill battle.

What is your favorite reward, job, or even part of being a publisher?

My favorite part of being a publisher is finding the talent. I love the feeling inside me when I read a manuscript that moves me. I love being able to hear the pride in an author’s voice when they hold that first book in their hands.

How do you feel about literary agents?  Do you think the benefits of having one outweigh the costs?  Do you recommend authors having one?

Okay, I will infuriate agents everywhere with this answer, but I’m not a big fan. An agent gets a portion of an author’s income for doing something that an author can well do for themselves. Okay, perhaps after an author has had a few things published and they have learned the business end of things, an agent can help them. But when an author sets all their hope on getting an agent to get published, they miss out on valuable education in the industry.

I’ve also had some very bad experiences with agents. I’ve gotten submissions that were simply horrible. I’ve gotten query letters from agents riddled with mistakes. There’s one agency that has sent me dozens of submissions, despite the fact not a single one of them has adhered to our submission guidelines. I’ve told them we are not interested and yet they continue to send submissions.

I don’t think an author should be too willing to give away money they haven’t made yet. So my advice is, get your feet wet in the business before you drop your fate into the hands of someone who isn’t as committed to your success as you.

As a publisher, what would you rather have submitted to you, a poorly written novel with a great story line, or an extremely well written novel with plot holes or a weak plot?  Which is easier to fix?

I would definitely prefer a  great story that is well-written, but if you make me choose, then I would pick a great story that needed extensive edits. Anyone can learn to edit, but storytelling is a gift.

How ironclad are contracts?  Have you, or an author, ever tried to renegotiate before or after a book has been released?

Our contracts are pretty standard and they are what they are. I won’t normally renegotiate a contract and I can’t honestly think of a reason to do it. Unless of course an author gets Oprah or Ellen to bring them on the show, then I might add an extra percent to their royalties.

Karen and some of her wonderful authors at the Printers Row Festival in Chicago

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