Craig, Deep Desires Press - Behind the Scenes
There is a new kid on the block, or in this case a new publishing house opened its doors January 2017. Deep Desires Press launched January 3, 2017 with their focus being hot and sexy books. If you write in the erotica and/or erotic romance genres check out their submission guidelines.
Craig, what led to your opening Deep Desires Press in today’s world where so many of the small publishers are closing?
I see the closing of small publishers to not be a sign to stay away, but rather, as an opportunity. With publishers closing, there are numerous authors who are looking for a new publisher to sign on with. Yes, some or even most will go the self-published route, but not everyone has the time, skill, or even desire to become their own entrepreneur. There is still a need for publishers in today’s rapidly-changing marketplace – but a publisher starting up in this environment has to be agile, experimental, and dedicated to the highest levels of quality.
Because we are a small company, we can be responsive to changes in the industry. Because our staff is tech-savvy, we are experimental with social media outreach. (We just launched on SnapChat – there aren’t many publishers doing that yet, but it’s what you have to do to stay in touch with millennials.) And because we are dedicated to quality and have a team of experienced editors, our publications will be as good or better than you would find in the bigger romance and erotica publishing houses.
What type of genres do you publish? Are you looking for submissions?
We publish erotica and erotic romance, from short stories to novels. We initially focused on short stories so that we could fill up our 2017 publishing calendar – and now that we’ve done that, we’re looking more for novels to complement our catalogue. Deep Desires Press believes that love and passion should be positively expressed among all genders and orientations. Thus, we are looking for (and will soon be publishing), straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, and trans erotica and erotic romance. While few people would want to read everything, we want everyone to find something.
We are open for submissions. Our call for submissions is found on our website, as well as an FAQ that explains how we do our business and what sets us apart from other publishers. You can find it all at www.deepdesirespress.com.
How frequently do you plan release books? Do you plan to have eBook and print for novels?
Initially, we will be releasing an ebook a week, with a new title coming out every Tuesday. Our reasoning behind this is to build up an initial volume of shorter works to create a brand and strong presence. Starting in March, we will be skipping the first Tuesday of the month, so that we can segue toward working in longer publications. Once we’ve reached a good schedule of work, we will be back to one release per week.
Initially, we were intending to be ebook-only. However, we received some submissions that were simply too important to publish exclusively in electronic format. Our print publications will be rather few and far between, but our first one will come out in March. (For the authors whose ears might be perking up at the mention of print publication, I should specify that we will be using Amazon’s CreateSpace, so the print books will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but unfortunately will not appear on physical bookstore shelves.)
At some point in the future, we would like to create audiobooks. However, that requires considerable research and preparation before we embark on that adventure. (As well, we would be utilizing Amazon’s ACX platform, which is currently not open to residents or businesses of Canada, which is where we’re located.)
Have your editors had experience with other publishing houses? If so, could you share a few examples?
All of our editing is performed by Story Perfect Editing Services (www.storyperfectediting.com), and their editors have a wealth of experience. John, the lead editor at Story Perfect, who doubles as senior editor / creative director at Deep Desires, edits for a writing coaching company, as well as for a number of bestselling romance and erotic romance authors and an erotic romance publishing house.
The rest of the editing team ranges from experienced editors who work with other agencies or apprentice editors who are honing their skills under John’s direction.
What type of royalty plan do you offer authors?
We offer 50% of gross publisher receipts on ebooks and print. This means that whatever Amazon and Smashwords (and other sites) send us after they’ve taken their slice of profits, the author gets 50% right off the top.
In your contract, do authors assign all their rights such as international, film, audio and print?
We ask for worldwide digital (ebook), print, and audio rights. Film rights remain with the author. We also do not have exclusivity clauses or right of first refusal clauses. We understand that an author in this marketplace needs a hybrid platform, with books through various publishers and even titles that are self-published. We recognize and support this hybrid platform and would never penalize authors for doing what is best for their own careers.
Does Deep Desires Press help authors with promotion, or is the author expected to do their own?
Promotion is to be a team endeavor, with both the author and the publisher promoting the work. When submitting to us, we ask authors what social media platforms they’re on, and we have a private collaborative group chat where we work with our authors as a team to strategize various co-promotional strategies. Our ideal author is one who can write a great story as well as one who is excited about exploring all the channels available to them to work with us in getting that story to their target readers. Having mastery beforehand is not a prerequisite, since our co-promotional strategy allows experienced authors to work with and brainstorm with authors new to publishing and promotion.
For our part, we are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and we recently launched a blog. For those who are interested, the social media links are at the bottom of every page on the Deep Desires Press website.
Do you look for specifics in manuscripts such as a certain voice, heat level or writing style?
We’re really flexible because what’s most important is that the story is told well. We are an erotica and erotic romance publisher, so we are seeking a heat level of five (out of five). Even then, that’s not set in stone. We recently had two MM submissions from two different authors that were extremely engaging and enjoyable, but had a heat level of about two or three. We signed both of them.
What would be your dream manuscript?
In our Call for Submissions, we state, “While we are open to any and all submissions that meet the criteria of this Call For Submissions, we are particularly keen on submissions that reflect real life, including, but not limited to, multi-racial casts of characters, accurate depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships and sex, and settings outside of Canada and USA.”
We’ve received many wonderful submissions that meet these requests on the wish list. Essentially, we want something that’s different in some way from what defines mainstream erotic romance, something that’s fresh and feels like it hasn’t been done before, or where the author voice and concept is so unique it stands apart.
Where can interested authors find out more about your publishing house, and where can readers find published stories?
The easiest place to start is our webste – www.deepdesirespress.com -- and go from there. Our ebooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and more. Print books will be available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Thank you for taking time to answer our questions, Craig. Is there anything more you’d like to share?
I wanted to thank you for inviting me to this interview. I’ve really been amazed at the positive attention Deep Desires has received thus far. As you mention earlier, there are a number of small publishers closing down and I know this has led to a lot of mistrust among authors, but we’ve been received by writers and readers with warmth, love, and support, and we intend to make the most of that as we build our team and our brand in the years to come.
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, sprung to adulthood in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She is a member of RWA and has served as President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband.