For this month's IWSG post, I'm sharing an interview about publishing with a pro!
L. Diane Wolfe
Senior Editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
First, we'll talk about the IWSG Anthologies... How do you choose judges? and Themes? Can I ask - how much participation/entries do you receive?
We all search for judges based on the genre. Alex (J. Cavanaugh) probably does the most work on this.
For the theme, we all make suggestions and then vote on them. I always remind the other admins that simple is best and keep it to one-two words. We usually pick the best although I have the final say since it will be the title of the book my company publishes.
Alex said we had a record number of entries this year. That’s probably why this year’s top stories are the best we’ve ever had—lots of competition.
Fantastic - better and better every year!
As a publisher, how's business?
It’s been an interesting couple of years. 2020 we had no live events, which really hurt, but fortunately eBooks and audio books sold better than previous years, balancing out the lack of print sales. Last year was better although some of our live events allowed fewer attendees which certainly reflected in sales.
This year we have four amazing releases. It’s all a matter of getting them in front of their target audience.
I hear you and am also feeling the pinch. Hoping to get back to business soon!
Do you work with agents?
We’ve had agents approach us, but we prefer to work directly with authors. We are a small press, so it is my opinion that any agent contacting us is really aiming low and the author deserves better. (Agents take a 15% cut. Since writers can query us directly, I feel they deserve a better deal.)
That's reasonable and thoughtful! Many authors appreciate a direct approach.
What sells the best? Anthologies? a specific genre? popular authors?
Science fiction is one of our top sellers along with middle grade historical. But sometimes titles will surprise us. We have a fantasy/paranormal romance coming out later this year that’s garnered more positive review request responses than any book we’ve ever published. Some of our anthologies have done well and we are hoping that the upcoming romance title will perform great.
I think romance is a standard and usually does well.
What do you love about your job? (btw, do you have another job? Seems like this would be full time!)
I love the ability to work from home and set my own hours. Of course, my husband says I am the worst boss ever as I am at my computer (off and on) from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm or later doing work. I have a few other sources of income—book formatting, speaking engagements, teaching sessions at community colleges across NC, etc. I try to keep all of that spread out so it doesn’t take away from what I need to do for Dancing Lemur Press.
Well, your hard work pays off! Thanks for enlightening us on the IWSG Anthology and giving us info about publishing trends. All valuable info. Great chatting with you!
L. Diane Wolfe is the Owner of Dancing Lemur Press LLC as well as a Speaker & Author. Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation. Wolfe is the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
- Last little side note - I met a fellow local author recently, Janet Irvin, and she has a great blog and following. And I'm honored to be featured as her "Author of the Month!" Here's my interview...
Make sure you follow Diane and check out her imprints and blog!
Looking ahead to better weather on the horizon.
Ready for sunnier skies and dispositions!