“I love seeing a work in progress, and seeing a project published is the apex in happiness. Similar to being a proud parent of a newborn, I can’t wait to share a new book to the world. Helping authors with my knowledge in marketing and writing is something I was compelled to do. It was my calling and I hope to find the best writers out there and watch their career blossom.”
Why did you become a book publisher? I love seeing a work in progress, and seeing a project published is the apex in happiness. Similar to being a proud parent of a newborn, I can't wait to share a new book to the world. Helping authors with my knowledge in marketing and writing is something I was compelled to do. It was my calling and I hope to find the best writers out there and watch their career blossom.
What do you like best about publishing? Being a part of everything, whether it's editing, proofreading, cover design, or marketing, I enjoy watching every part of getting a book published.
What do you publish? There are no specific genres and we are open to good writing overall. Merge is new, but we are dabbling with fiction, women's fiction, new adult, mystery, and literary.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? The most effective form of marketing is word-of-mouth and good pr. We help the author with some marketing included with every book we publish. We believe it's difficult for new authors to get good press because some are not knowledgeable about marketing. We've heard of authors being rejected because they didn't have a decent following on Twitter or Facebook, and some don't even have an author platform or website. That's ridiculous. The book itself is the deciding factor--if it's a decent story, good writing, and if we think there is a market, we will publish it. Regardless if have Bookface account :)
How do you define a successful title? A successful title has to capture the story's essence. It has to correspond with the genre as well because readers are comfortable with what they know. They want to pick up a book and realize it's a thriller, or a memoir just by the title. And while some book titles can be misleading or fall into several genres, it has to be compelling, memorable, and relevant to the story.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. What You Don't Know Now, by Marci Diehl is a great title because it's intriguing. It could be a mystery, thriller, but it's actually a romantic coming of age story which is in part a memoir. I think this title grabs the reader right away, and lets them know there is quite a tale waiting to be told.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? I think one of the biggest challenges in achieving success is an over saturated market of books that are following a trend. We try to follow what is selling, but avoid what will be a flash in the pan.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Continue to write, above everything else. Your writing will sell itself. There are a lot of resources available online and before you decide to publish with a publisher, or self publish, please invest in a good editor and/or proofreader. Before that, however, join a reading or critique group. Just because you think you have a best seller, doesn't mean others will share your sentiment.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? Merge will be a great position in five years (fingers crossed). We have laid the groundwork and protocol to discover good writing and have started merging with reputable editors, proofreaders, and designers. The book world is changing rapidly, and it still is difficult for newcomers to break into the field--we are ready to merge with new talent and give readers what they want.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? Movies, reading, and sometimes pool or darts at a pub with friends. When I'm not enjoying a good conversation with a colleague or friend, I enjoy peace and quietness. The world can be quite noisy and chaotic, and I think it's important to unwind so you can reflect and be able to hear your own thoughts.
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