Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. Die-hard Whovian, Scaper, and Sith-in-training, and mum to three redhaired little monsters. I’ve not been published three years yet, but I’ve learnt a lot in that time – some of it the hard way, lol. One thing I have is a list of things I hope for from a publisher, and I thought I’d share some of the reasons I choose a particular publisher to submit to.
- Covers. Some might think going for a publisher with pretty covers is shallow. WRONG! As authors we know how important that cover is. It’s the first impression a potential reader gets. It’s the first thing to catch their eye. There are over 10 million books on Amazon, and more published every day. If you don’t have a cover that grabs a reader on a casual glance while browsing (and you may well be competing against favourites that reader already has), you’ve probably lost that person before you’ve had any chance to hook them. So if an author’s book or a publisher’s website full of covers grabs your attention, that’s a good start.
- Social media presence. I like to see that a publisher has one, and relatively active. Most publishers will expect their authors to do so – I expect the same from a publisher. Twitter is my favourite platform (BTW, that’s the best place to find me if you want to chat and hang out) so I’ll often find and follow a publisher there, and any links they post will lead me elsewhere. An active blog and FB presence is also good, plus engagement with their readers. It shows they’re committed to promoting their books and their authors.
- A good sales site. Something that not only looks good but is easy to use. These days people want gratification of some kind straight away, so being able to find and buy what they want with a click or two is necessary.
- Editing. All authors need editing, no matter how good they are. As an author I take great care in putting out the absolutely best book that I can, and a publisher that provides a good level of editing is essential. It also shows they’re just as committed to putting out a polished project as the author. I’d also advise reading a few books by a publisher that you’re interested in to get a feel for what they’re looking for and what their work is like after publication.
- Happy authors. You can check out Absolute Write and Preditors and Editors for any warnings or happenings with publishers, but it doesn’t hurt to talk to a few of the authors too (I know for a fact that one disgruntled author can make a publisher look bad when the other 99% of the authors are very happy there, and that ‘bad’ publishers may not get a mention on either site). Most authors will be willing to answer your questions if you approach them politely, or you can get involved with a few author groups where they discuss the publishing industry.
- Clear guidelines. Always, always read the guidelines carefully and follow them, otherwise you’re wasting your time and theirs. Most will answer questions if something isn’t clear, but I avoid publishers where the guidelines leave me with more questions than answers.
I look for all of these things before I submit, and I tend to follow a publisher and some of its authors around for a while beforehand. Like everything else, ALWAYS do your research! Do you have anything else you look for from a publisher?
How far would you fall for love?
Centuries ago, guardian angel Lucien committed a terrible sin. He gave into his own desires and revealed himself to the mortal woman he’d been charged to protect. By kissing her, he condemned himself. Torn of his wings and his angelic powers, thrown down into the City Below, Lucien now serves Satan as an incubus who claims souls for his master from the City Above, and who feeds on the energy stolen from his mortal lovers. Dark, sexy and charming, he’s been top of his league for decades uncounted.
Until His Infernal Highness decides to send Lucien looking for a lost angel. Lucien has no idea what he did to deserve such a punishment, and the touch of an angel could destroy him. Yet the challenge and the potential kudos of seducing one of his former heavenly kin leads him on.
But when he finds the angel, he learns he still has more to lose than his already forsaken soul.
A new burning consumed his body. He wanted to reach out and hold her. Wrap his arms around her, and drown in her kiss. But even as he took one shaky step toward her, the light and goodness within her scorched him and he staggered back a step, one arm thrown up to shield himself.
“Lucien.” Her voice washed over him like a sweetly scented summer breeze. He dared to drop his arm and look at her again.
“Miranda.” Her name came out as a growl, and he cursed himself for it.
Her frown deepened. “Lucien, what’s happened to you?” She took a step closer and he shied away. No matter how she’d come to him, welcomed him, her angelic powers could still be deadly. “Oh, my love, what have you become?”
My love. The words cut him as deeply as the priest’s forgiveness. The pain stirred his resentment. She had been the cause of his fall. The reason for his torment. And now she was scolding him for it?
“What I am is what you helped turn me in to.” He raised his head, glared at her. “What I am is because of you.”
She shook her head. “Is that really what you think? That it’s all my fault?” Tears glimmered in her eyes. “I’ve watched you for a long time now. Waiting for the right time to come to you. I’ve seen how your existence has come to trouble you more in the last decades. How the tasks set to you have crushed what remains of your soul.”
Lucien snorted. “My soul? I lost that with my heart. And my wings.”
“No. You didn’t. You hate what you do. You sealed your heart in stone to protect yourself, but you can’t bring yourself to fully give into the darkness, no matter what.”
Lucien shuddered. “You’re wrong.”
“You know I’m not.” She took another step toward him, and though he tried to back away he found himself trapped against the brick wall. She put up her hand, palm outward, as if to touch him. His breath stalled in his chest and his whole body might just as well have become stone. He couldn’t move.