Lisa Omstead, CEO of Decadent Publishing - Behind the Scenes
This month, Lisa Omstead, Publisher/CEO for Decadent Publishing agreed to answer questions ranging from when Decadent opened their doors to what she sees for the company’s future. The back and forth with Lisa on the interview and just chatting about weather (she lives in Alaska and was bragging about 40+ temperatures while I shivered in Colorado), helped me realize this is a publishing house to consider for some of my works.
So, here’s Lisa answering questions for us.
When did Decadent Publishing open its doors?
Our virtual doors opened on August 1, 2010.
Did the publishing house start as an eBook publisher or were print books available also?
It was always about eBooks. :) We started as an eBook publisher although print books were available on select titles. We also have an active audio program.
Looking at the website, there appears to be a number of different genres. With such variety, what is the heat range on Decadent books?
Heat levels span from 0-5. We’re quick to create new genres and sub-genres to fit our needs but since erotic romance comprises the lion’s share of the submissions we receive, the majority of our stories live in the 3-4 range.
How many books are scheduled to publish during a year?
We maintain a comfortable release schedule of 3-5 new stories per week with an average of 200 per year.
What is the approximate turnaround time from signed contract to published book?
4-6 months depending on the word count of the book and how much pre-editing has been done.
Some publishers have strict word count guidelines. What are the Decadent submission guidelines on word count?
Our submission guidelines are 10k-65k. We’re firm on the minimum word count of 10k but there’s wiggle room on the maximum. In cases where the manuscript is 100k or greater and the story is one we want to publish, dividing the manuscript into several smaller stories will be suggested to the author. The main reason for this is the shift in reader preference. Our readers and reviewers tend to shun sweeping epics in favor of smaller novellas.
Will an author have interaction on their cover design, or is the cover decision entirely up to the Decadent staff?
With the exception of anthologies or boxed sets, we don’t make a unilateral decision about cover design.
Blurbs and book covers are critical components in marketing a story and our authors have a great deal of input on their cover design. The process begins with the initial paperwork and a book cover questionnaire for the author to complete. A graphics artist will use this information in building the mock-up so it’s important to get as much detail as possible. Most of the time the artist “nails it” on the first or second round. Occasionally there is a larger disconnect between the author’s concept and the artist’s design. When such an impasse occurs we have alternative options to ensure everyone is satisfied.
Are Decadent print books available through distributors such as Ingram Book Service, Baker & Taylor and other book suppliers and wholesalers?
All of our print books can be found in the Baker & Taylor catalog and a few through Ingram. They can be purchased at most global online bookstores.
Does Decadent help authors with promotions, or are authors expected to take care of that part of their business on their own? If Decadent does help with the promotions, what are some of the ways they do so?
The short answer is both. We have a publicist (Babs Hightower) who works one-on-one with new release authors. She also coordinates online parties and is a great resource for marketing information. In addition to a strong social media presence, Super Street Team and frequent newsletters, we also purchase targeted advertisement for every story. Our review coordinator submits each book to around 20 different review sites.
Does Decadent pay advances or only royalties? How often are royalties paid, and what is the percentage?
Royalties are paid on the third month after a new release and then quarterly (Feb 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15) thereafter. We pay 40% of the net sales received via our DP or Bono Bookstore websites and 35% on secondary sites, print and audio.
We have offered signing advances to authors in the past if we were confident their story would be well received. We also give royalty advances to our contracted authors in hardship situations.
Are authors able to buy copies of their print books at a discount for craft show booths, conferences and other appearances?
Absolutely. We offer them to our authors at wholesale + shipping costs. Print books have never been a viable source of income for our company and are viewed more as promotional aids.
What do you see as the future of Decadent Publishing?
My personal opinion is that we will continue to see small publishers merge with larger houses and I see this at some point in our future. We have strong financial backing and creative individuals who are free to pitch new ideas at any time. In fact, some of our most successful series (such as 1Night Stand, Beyond Fairytales, ROAR and Black Hills Wolves) began in casual conversation that took root and blossomed. I anticipate more specialty lines as we encourage our authors and editors to bring us new ideas and reward them with a share of the profits.
How does an author submit to Decadent Publishing?
Read the submissions guidelines on our website and send your information to Val at: email@example.com
The submissions page also contains links to other sites where more in depth information and shared-world “bibles” are located so be sure to click on those. For any lingering questions, write to Val and she’ll steer you in the right direction.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Since the recent closing of Musa Publishing, we have acquired the Wiccan Haus from its co-creators Dominique Eastwick and Liz Silver. Beginning April 1st we will release one Wiccan Haus story per week. If you have plans to write for this wonderful line, we are now accepting submissions.
To learn more about Decadent Publishing go to: http://www.decadentpublishing.com
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.