Jan 28, 2010

Laurie Rauch - Executive Editor of Samhain Publishing- Questions and Contest

Please welcome Laurie Rauch Executive Editor of Samhain Publishing. 

She will be stopping by throughout the day to answer your questions about Samhain and publishing in general


Place your questions in the comments field!

[Questions sent to me earlier have been forwarded to Laurie]



Contest: Two commenters will be selected to receive a copy of an ebook. This contest open internationally!


To get things started Laurie has answered questions I sent to her earlier.


PVN: How long have you worked in the publishing industry?

LR: I’ve been with Samhain Publishing since 2006, and I took on the
Executive Editor role in mid-2009. I've worked as an editor since
1997, in all sorts of industries, including finance, marketing,
telecommunications, legal, and insurance, but I find editing romance
the most fun. Education-wise, I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Theatre and a post-graduate diploma in Book and Magazine Publishing.

PVN:  Describe your typical day as an editor.

LR: I answer emails, process forms, review cover art, review blurbs, talk
books with my authors, talk books with aspiring authors, talk edits
with my editors, and spend some time editing. And try to get in some
time reading submissions. And answer more emails.


PVN:  Are you looking for any particular types of manuscripts  at this time?

LR: We are open to all genres and all heat levels of romance and erotica,
as well as fantasy, urban fantasy or science fiction with strong
romantic elements.

PVN:  Would you discuss Samhain's interest in paranormal romance?

LR: We love paranormal romance. Shifters, vampires, any kind of paranormal
creature, we want to see it.






24 comments:

Keta Diablo said...

Hi Laurie (Hi Pat),

Thanks for stopping in at Patricia's Vampire Notes. Love her blog!

Samhain has done very well in the past few years so kudos to you and all others writing and editing for them.

What is the total turn-around time on a submission -- from beginning to end (either rejection or acceptance)?

I only ask because I submitted once to your biggest competitor, three chapters only, and NINE months later they asked for the full. It's hard to believe it could take any house nine months to read three chapters, and it's really, really hard for an author to sit on her/his work this long.

Thanks so much, Keta Diablo
http://www.ketadiablo.com

booklover0226 said...

Hi, Laurie.

What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

Laurie M. Rauch said...

@Keta Samhain has done very well in the past few years so kudos to you and all others writing and editing for them.

What is the total turn-around time on a submission -- from beginning to end (either rejection or acceptance)?


Thank you for your kind thoughts. :)

You should hear an answer about submissions within 12 to 16 weeks. A lot of it is dependent on the editor's schedule, and how many submissions are in her inbox.

@Tracey D
What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

I'm going to be a little vague on this one... it depends. :) I think if you have a trailer that does something unique and really attracts an audience, then yes, I think they can be very helpful. But, like any marketing strategy, it's dependent on how many people you reach and how they react to it.

Terri said...

Hi, Laurie:

I have a question about the Red Hot Fairy Tales Anthology. Can I submit a novella based on the Rip Van Winkle story (urban fantasy romance - demons and curses and such) or are you looking primarily for bibbity-bobbity-boo?
Thanks!

-- Terri

Dot S. said...

Laurie, Does an author having an agent influence your publishing decisions?

Eva Gordon said...

Thanks for stopping by. As a fantasy/paranormal romance author I have been following your publishing house plus I love the name, Samhain.

Judi said...

Hi, Laurie.
Thanks for giving this opportunity to ask questions.

I have a couple of questions. Is 25K to short for a story? and What are the various heat levels you're looking for?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Hey Laurie!

How does someone start editing for an epublisher? Was there a job ad or is it more of who you know?m

Patricia Altner said...

Posted for Roxie (answered}

Roxie said...

looking forward to this, very interested in her opinion about the rising tide of interest in vampires (swings like a pendulum over the decades), and what the next generation of readers want.

from Laurie Rauch:

Right now, we're not seeing a lot of vampire stories. I don't think
that their time has passed completely, there's still room for vampire stories, but the tides have shifted to other types of fantasy -
shifters, fae, and though I haven't seen any yet, zombies. With the
popularity of vampire-influenced movies and TV shows - Twilight, The
Vampire Diaries, etc - I don't think vampires are going anywhere, but perhaps there will be more creative license taken with the mythology, allowing for more interpretations. We're in a time when people want to escape into the fantasy, so I think that the paranormal genre is going
to remain strong. As for the next generation, I think readers are
becoming more discerning, and expecting stronger story lines and more fully developed plots, especially when there's so much competition of books on the market.

Patricia Altner said...

Posted for Honolulu Girl from Trueblood Twilight (answered)

Patricia, can I ask the publishing firm, what is the first step for a
new author? Copyrighting your work first? Finding a company to edit?
Just any tips for new authors would be great.

Laruie Rauch: Do a self-edit, and polish your manuscript to within an inch of its
life. Find a good critique partner or critique group to work with, and
when it's ready, send it to a publisher. Hopefully, at this point,
you've done your research and you know which publisher or publishers
you want to target. As far as finding an editing company, as you will
go through edits with any publisher, I'm not sure this is a necessary
step. If, after many, many rejections, you're getting the same
feedback, you may want to hire someone who will work with you to help
make your book more salable, but it's not a requirement. And, you will
not need to copyright your book prior to submission.

Laurie M. Rauch said...

@Terri

I have a question about the Red Hot Fairy Tales Anthology. Can I submit a novella based on the Rip Van Winkle story (urban fantasy romance - demons and curses and such) or are you looking primarily for bibbity-bobbity-boo?

Nope, I'm open to anything fairy tale or fable related. Go for it. :)

@Dot S
Laurie, Does an author having an agent influence your publishing decisions?

Not really. For us, it's all about the story, so it doesn't matter if it comes from an agented author or a non-agented author.

@Eva Gordon
Thanks for stopping by. As a fantasy/paranormal romance author I have been following your publishing house plus I love the name, Samhain.

Thanks! I hope you love our books too. :)

@Judi
I have a couple of questions. Is 25K to short for a story? and What are the various heat levels you're looking for?

Not at all. We publish books with word counts from 12,000 words to 120,000 words. And, we publish all heat levels, from sweet, behind the door sex to menage and multiples and hanging from the chandelier sex.

@Katiebabs
How does someone start editing for an epublisher? Was there a job ad or is it more of who you know?m

For all of the epublishers I've worked for, I answered a job posting on either their website, or somewhere on the 'net (I think I found the Samhain posting on Romance Divas). I was very new to the industry when I started, so I didn't know anyone. :)

Patricia Altner said...

(posted for Aristella's World by PVN)

Aristella's World

I have written several stories but have not submitted then to anyone. I would like to know what Ms. Rauch is looking for in new submissions? Also how does Samhain do their submission process?
Thanks;
Teresa Miller
teresa2956@yahoo.com

Patricia Altner said...

(posted for Susan by PVN)

Where would you suggest a new author market/advertise for the best bangs for the buck?

Thanks so much,
Susan

P. S. My message to all the writers out there who wonder if they'll ever get published is to STAY THE COURSE!

Susan J. Blexrud
susanblexrud@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Laurie

-- Terri

Cathy M said...

Hi Laurie,

Just popping in to say that as a huge romance reader, I can always count on Samhain to offer an exceptional variety of genres, with great editing and affordable prices.

Getting the editor's perspective is really interesting and I am enjoying all the questions and answers today.

caity_mack(at)yahoo(dot)com

Dottie (My Blog 2.0) said...

Hi Laurie (and Patricia)

I wanted to know if Samhain has open submission all the time, just for certain genres, or at certain times of the year; and how much of a novel would you like submitted (I read that some publishers want the entire book, but other only want to see the first few chapters.)

Thanks for all the excellent information!

Dottie :)

Laurie M. Rauch said...

@Teresa
I have written several stories but have not submitted then to anyone. I would like to know what Ms. Rauch is looking for in new submissions? Also how does Samhain do their submission process?

I'm looking for a good story. I know that sounds vague, but really, that's all I want. :) Our submission guidelines on our website detail the genres and word lengths that we are looking for.
http://www.samhainpublishing.com/submissions

The way our process works is books are received by our submissions coordinator who distributes them among the editors as they come in. The editor reviews the story. If she loves it, she makes an offer. We aim for a response within 12 to 16 weeks.

@Susan
Where would you suggest a new author market/advertise for the best bangs for the buck?

Hm... honestly, I really don't know. I think there are so many factors - the ad itself, the audience, the book, the timing of the ad, the location of the ad, that there is no hard and fast "this is the best way to advertise" rule. That said, I think that building a presence and name recognition is important, but not nearly as important as consistently putting out good books.

@Dottie
I wanted to know if Samhain has open submission all the time, just for certain genres, or at certain times of the year; and how much of a novel would you like submitted (I read that some publishers want the entire book, but other only want to see the first few chapters.)


We have closed to submissions in the past for a short period of time, but we have no plans to do that again soon. So, we are open to submissions. Personally, and I think all of our editors would agree, I prefer receiving the full manuscript. It speeds up the process and I'm not left hanging if I fall in love with a book.

@Cathy M.

Thank you! :)

Virginia C said...

Hi, Laurie! Samhain has opened a up a whole wide literary world for both authors and readers. It's fabulous : ) What are some examples of the type of submissions which are considered unsuitable for publication by Samhain?

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Laura Kamoie said...

Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions! I'm wondering about your view about the place of e-publishing in an author's career. Do you think e-publishing is viewed as "credible" or "real" as traditional print publishing? I ask this as someone who has work under consideration right now by a primarily e-publisher and is very excited about it! For instance, right now, at least, I don't *think* e-publishing allows you to advance from PRO to PAN membership in the RWA. I'd be curious to hear your and Samhain's thoughts on these kinds of issues, and thank you in advance!

Laurie M. Rauch said...

@Virginia
Hi, Laurie! Samhain has opened a up a whole wide literary world for both authors and readers. It's fabulous : ) What are some examples of the type of submissions which are considered unsuitable for publication by Samhain?

Thank you, Virginia! I'm so glad you enjoy our books. I don't have much in the way of examples, really, anything that doesn't follow our guidelines - with respect to word count or genre or our plot elements we find unacceptable - would be considered unsuitable. Anything that does meet our guidelines is fair game and we'd be interested to see it. :)

@Laura

Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions! I'm wondering about your view about the place of e-publishing in an author's career. Do you think e-publishing is viewed as "credible" or "real" as traditional print publishing? I ask this as someone who has work under consideration right now by a primarily e-publisher and is very excited about it! For instance, right now, at least, I don't *think* e-publishing allows you to advance from PRO to PAN membership in the RWA. I'd be curious to hear your and Samhain's thoughts on these kinds of issues, and thank you in advance!

I think epublishing is a very credible publishing credit. Many of our authors continue to write for us as well as for traditional print publishers, and don't consider epublishing a stepping stone or halfway point to the show. Many authors have found a balance publishing in both venues, and many more are perfectly content building a career in epublishing, without ever considering a more traditional route.

And, quite honestly, my first editing job was for a traditional publisher, and I don't think the work I did there was any more credible than the work I do now.

With respect to RWA, I know many authors who used their epublishing sales to qualify for PAN. And, in light of recent changes announced over the past couple of days, I'm hopeful that Samhain and many other epublishers will soon be considered a qualifying market.

Tara S Nichols said...

Hi Laurie and Patricia!

I'm a great admirer of Samhain, the titles and the stellar cover art make a dazzling combo.

I've seen many creative anthology calls for this pub and was just curious how well Erotic Sci Fi stories (specifically anthology length (5k+) do in comparison to paranormal at this particular publisher? Most of my work tends to be contemporary erotica and paranormal, but I do have the odd sci fi flitting around in my head.

Thanks!

-Tara S. Nichols
http://tarasnichols.blogspot.com
www.tarasnichols.webs.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Laurie. I saw some editors and agents discussing this issue in an issue of the RWA newsletter from about a year or so ago and just wondered what you thought. Thanks for reiterating what I felt like I was seeing through other reading, etc. Laura

Laurie M. Rauch said...

@Tara
I'm a great admirer of Samhain, the titles and the stellar cover art make a dazzling combo.

Thank you so much! :)

I've seen many creative anthology calls for this pub and was just curious how well Erotic Sci Fi stories (specifically anthology length (5k+) do in comparison to paranormal at this particular publisher? Most of my work tends to be contemporary erotica and paranormal, but I do have the odd sci fi flitting around in my head.

We don't publish anything shorter than 12,000 words, but we do do a fair bit of sci-fi/fantasy romance. It's hard to say specifically how one genre does against another - it's so dependent on the author, the story, the heat level, the cover, the... everything. If you look at our current releases this week, we have a space opera anthology and two paranormal stories. At the top of our bestseller list, we have witches, futuristic, and shifters. So I'd say both genres sell well, and our readers like them.

Patricia Altner said...

Laurie

Thank you so much for visiting PVN and taking time from your busy schedule to answer questions! It is greatly appreciated!


To All Participants

Thank you for your interesting and insightful questions and comments! I love hearing from all of you!