I have a playdate! I have a playdate! Heather Bennett, one of the founders of Decadent Publishing has come over to play today! She and her co-founder, Lisa Omstead, launched Decadent Publishing on August 1, and it’s been kicking up a storm ever since. We’re going to have so much fun together! You can join us, too…
Heather, congratulations on the launch of your company, Decadent Publishing ( http://www.decadentpublishing.com). I’ve been to your website, and I must say, it’s beautiful and easy to navigate. Have I mentioned the sensational book covers, yet? Wow!
Thank you so much, Deena! We are very proud of the quality of the website, the gorgeous book covers Dara England and our other graphic artists have designed, the authors and editors…and, of course, my partner, Lisa Omstead (a.k.a. author Samantha Gail) who keeps me moving forward while making me laugh all the way from Alaska!
So, if you don’t mind, I have a few burning questions to ask you.
OOohhh…..sounds like trouble, but go ahead and hit me. I can take it.
Deena: First, why did you and Lisa decide to start your own publishing company?
Heather: Like most good ideas, it started with a bottle of wine. Sometimes those ideas get you probation, and other times a brand new business, working in an industry you love, surrounded by generous and fascinating people. Lisa is an author and a ridiculously smart woman of the world. I am an editor with a retail management and marketing background. We each have skill sets that compliment each other’s strengths.
Deena: So, what inspired you to name your company Decadent Publishing?
Heather: We were looking at different names and then author Keta Diablo happened to mention this one to Lisa. It stuck. In fact, we liked the name so much we had a poem commissioned by Ross Williams (see our site) that describes how we feel about the pleasure of losing yourself in a great book; sinking into the story and wrapping it around you while you sip tea in a soft, cozy bed or champagne beside a pool. It’s evocative; people bite their lip a bit when they think about their own decadence — what they love to read in private, or taste, or watch. Our motto is ‘Indulge your book fetish…’
Deena: Book fetishes… sounds like the makings of another post! What is your vision for Decadent Publishing?
Heather: Well, Deena, I’m seeing world domination as an attainable goal. Not that I’ve set my goals high or anything….
We’ve gone about it from a 1st quality stance from the beginning. We’ve hired wonderful editors, graphic artists, an Author Liaison, and more. We want to bring good and great storytelling to people. We want to help new authors find their voice and show it to the world. We want previously published authors who are looking for a home to publish stories that are outside their usual genre, or maybe shorter in length than their typical offering. We are about personal attention, squeezing the last bit of ‘fabulous’ from an author for their story and then getting their products out to the public through our website, as well as several alternate sites, like All Romance Ebooks and Amazon.
We’re also going to be venturing into the print market. We’ve left no stone unturned.
Deena: In your opinion, what makes a strong manuscript, and one you’d want to publish?
Heather: A character or plot I think about while I’m doing the dishes (pfft…..not that I do that anymore…<shaking head> Everyone knows all publishers have maids and nannies!). I like stories with personality; be it naughty and tempting, sweet, suspenseful, dangerous, or all of that together. I think some writers can say as much in a thirty page short story as others do in a 300 page novel. THAT excites me.
Deena: So who or what is behind the sensational book covers?
Heather: We have a few different artists with great vision. Dara England does most of them, we’ve also have Fiona Jayde and Sahara Kelly. We give our authors a strong say in what their cover looks like and, thus far, they’ve all been very happy. You may recognize one of our models, Charles Paz, Mr. Romance 2009. He’s done some photography work for us as well. We don’t DO ugly covers. Nu-uh. That’s like asking someone to kiss a toad because he MIGHT be a prince.
Deena: You are a strong supporter of the charitable organization, Relay for Life. Can you tell us about the Read for a Cure program you have going on at your website?
Heather: It’s something we’re most excited about and proud of. Read for a Cure is a Decadent Publishing program that benefits the America Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. We will donate all publisher profits for one book per month to fight back against cancer through Relay for Life.
It’s a joy and a privilege to do something positive in honoring the people we’ve lost and helping to someday eliminate the disease before it strikes more loved ones. I would like to encourage EVERYONE to go to www.relayforlife.org or www.cancer.org . Relay is FUN, a family event, something that touches your heart and makes a difference.
(Pictured is this month’s book to buy for Relay for Life)
Deena: I see you’re running a contest on your website. How can people enter this contest?
Heather: We’re encouraging all hot cover models to enter our <cough> CONTEST and we’re judging….
OOhh, wait, you mean the KINDLE contest. OH! Yes, we’re giving away a fabulous Kindle. Sign up for our newsletter or buy a book (or 12…I’m not picky) and you are entered. EASY! And you can win a Kindle. Did I mention the Kindle? And the hot cover models?
Deena: What genre do you personally enjoy reading most?
Heather: Gardening books. (smacks the laughing husband reading over her shoulder). OK, ok. I love a wonderful, hot and sweaty, heart-pounding, breath-taking, maybe-it-could-REALLY-happen romance. Historical, contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, it doesn’t matter. Love it all.