Monday, July 18, 2011

WiDo Publishing Seeking Submissions

Today I’m pleased to welcome Karen Gowen as the specialLogo Button 2 b copy guest blogger not as an author or fellow blogger but as a publishing executive to talk about how a family-owned publishing company came to be.

Karen is the author of FARM GIRL and UNCUT DIAMONDS. She blogs at Coming Down the Mountain: A Writer's Blog. She is also an Assistant Editor of WiDo Publishing, which is currently seeking submissions. I ask Karen to explain a bit about this small indie press and what it can offer authors.

WiDo Publishing is a small, family-owned press located in Salt Lake City, UT, started in 2007 for the purpose of publishing my book, FARM GIRL. Some say a publisher launches a book, in this case, a book launched a publisher. I blogged about how all this happened in this post (add link). For the first couple years of WiDo’s existence, I was just one of the authors. Now I am more involved in promoting WiDo online and actively working as an editor.

A number of editors live outside the area– one in California, one in Minnesota and one in Germany. There are five editors, two interns and two copy editors who go over each manuscript numerous times to make sure it is polished and professional before it heads to the typesetter. Once typeset, it is again reviewed by an editor and at least one copy editor. No book is released until it is thoroughly and completely edited even if that means release dates are pushed back.

Genres accepted for publication range from memoir, women's fiction, YA, fantasy, mystery, to action adventure. With WiDo, the story is key. If we like the story, the writing style, the characters and feel that the work has something special, we don't care about genre. WiDo likes a manuscript to be around 50K- 80K words, but will publish less than 50K and up to 100K if the work merits it. We do not publish illustrated children's books, middle-grade (unless it has wide appeal), how-to books, self-help, or erotica.

Cover designs vary from original artwork, photography, to computer-generated designs, depending on the genre and the tone of the work. For this reason, WiDo's books do not look anything alike. It would be very difficult to pick out three titles from a group and say "these all look alike and must be published by the same company."

WiDo distributes through Ingram to bookstores and through Follett to libraries. WiDo's titles are sold in numerous independent bookstores from East to West in the United States, although bookstores are cutting back on their purchases for obvious reasons. For this reason, WiDo wants their authors to have a strong online presence to maximize online and ebook sales. Online, WiDo's books are available through their own website as well as the usual online sites, with a select few available through Borders.com and The Book Depository.

WiDo has been slowly building. There have been several business models that have had to be readjusted based on economic and industry changes. An advantage to a small press is the ability to adapt quickly when times call for it. For this reason, WiDo has kept its releases down, with only nine titles published since it started in 2007. There are six more planned for release in 2011, and twelve in the works for 2012. WiDo is currently seeking new submissions. The submission guidelines are here

There are those who question our contract because it is short and simple. Any author who has been offered a contract with us is welcome to negotiate any segments they feel uncomfortable with or might want further explanation. We are flexible and easy to work with. We seek to develop a relationship of trust with each of our authors. The highest compliment we can receive is when an author expresses how thrilled they are to be part of the WiDo Publishing family.

Karen, thanks for guest blogging. It’s interesting learning more about your Indie Publishing Company. As more and more author are looking in that direction, I see the demand growing. It’s a wonderful way for readers to find new authors they might not otherwise discover. I think sometimes authors may not realize just how much a small press has to offer them. Wishing your company much success.
For more on WiDo Publishing, check out their website, like them on Facebook and find them on Twitter.

What are your thoughts on small publishing companies? As an author, are you surprised by how much they can offer? As a reader, do you read books published by indie companies? As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


 

29 comments:

  1. Yay Karen! Sounds like a publishing company with a good plan. How great is it to hear the words "looking for submissions". And a short contract sounds like a dream escape from a bunch of convoluted legalese.
    Karen, wishing WiDo great success.
    Mason, thanks for hosting Karen today.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  2. Mason - Thanks so much for hosting Karen.


    Karen - Thanks for sharing what WiDo offers. It's good to hear about what you do, and I wish you and your company the best. It all sounds really intriguing.

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  3. Hi Mason .. great to see you guesting the publisher Karen Gowen.

    So interesting to read the background, I've seen people say 'have a book, start a publishing house' .. and some definitely have been successful.

    It does sound as though you all have your heads screwed on and know where you want to go with the publishing arm ..

    Such an interesting post - thanks to you both .. enjoy the week ahead .. Hilary

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  4. Mason, this is different...a publishing house and so greaaaaaat! Thanks

    Karen, thanks for letting us know what WiDo is all about. Very exciting!

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  5. Great post. I think many of the big publishing houses have sadly missed out on many great novels. Authors have so many more avenues to publication these days - thank goodness.
    Ann

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  6. I do enjoy reading small press books because they're frequently very different from some of the books the larger publishers put out. :)

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  7. This is wonderful, Mason, because I guess I missed Karen's post about how WiDo got started. How wonderful, Karen, that this family felt so good about your book it inspired them to start a business. I have a question - with indie presses like WiDo, does the author have any costs incurred or does the press pay for all the editing and printing?
    Karen

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  8. Sounds like a great company. I'll check it out! ;)

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  9. Mason, thank you for hosting me and giving me this opportunity to share more about WiDo Publishing, a company I am very passionate about!

    Karen, As for costs to authors, WiDo operates along the traditional publishing model, which is that a publisher's job is to pay the author not the other way around.

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  10. Mason and Karen - thank you both! This was a very interesting read and I want to explore in more detail. So I will...
    Jan Morrison

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  11. As an author with a small publisher, I feel involved and more than a number.

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  12. Thanks Mason for hosting the lovely KarenG! My latest purchase straight form the WiDo website was Ann Best's memoir and it's been a brilliant read! I also got Farm Girl via amazon. I loved both!! And because of these I say, YAY for WiDo!!!! The reading world is a better place for their existence!!! Long may they continue!!! Take care
    x

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  13. Karen, I love how you wrote a book that launched a whole publishing company! Not, that's initiative. :)

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  14. Congrats on your books and publishing venture. A friend is published in non-fiction with a small indie press and loves being able to talk with her publisher and having had input on her cover.

    Small presses can be an advantage. At least the author doesn't get lost in a sea of authors.

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  15. Small, indie publishers are definitely popular! Ones with a good plan is always a good option :)

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  16. That was very interesting. I'm glad to hear about how much editing take place before publication.

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  17. Small publishing companies are really starting to come out of the woodwork and really allowing writers the chance at their dream.

    I know the editor I had a chance to work with was an absolute gem and I've been hard at work sense making sure my work shines for whoever will decide it's a right fit for them.

    I love hearing about success sories and Farm Girl was just that!

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  18. The nice thing about an indie publisher is that if you plan on going indie, it's so comforting to have someone guiding you and doing all the 'hard' stuff.

    Thank you, Karen. You do a marvelous job.

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  19. Fantastic post about WiDo. I think small presses are brilliant--especially ones with an emphasis on professionalism and polish.

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  20. Yes, Old Kitty. I'm glad I went with Wido. I'm glad they took me on! And I'm happy to see KarenG hosted today by the lovely Mason Canyon. In the 16 months that I've been blogging, I've seen what a great support she is to authors and publishers. Long live blogging and *small* (in the case of WiDo, a misnomer) publishers!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

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  21. Hi, Mason,

    Whenever I read a book I love, I research the publisher and start reading their booklist. Almost every time, it's one of the smaller houses that inspire me to do this. When you're more of a name than a number, it must be easier for both sides to give more to the relationship.

    What an excellent post about WiDo Publishing's philosophies. I agree with Ann that "small," in the their case, a misnomer.

    Michelle

    P.S. I'm delighted to be a new follower. And it's not just because your playlist is the best I've ever seen!

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  22. Mason and Karen, Thanks for this. I just submitted a book. Hope they/you like it!!!

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  23. I signed on with WiDo this year, and I can honestly say it's been a fantastic experience. I count them as friends of the highest order. Their philosophy fits perfectly with my own views on what should be expected of an author.

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  24. Hi, Mason,

    Nice to meet you...

    Thanks Karen for giving us more information on WiDo. I plan to send a query soon. I just want to polish my ms a bit more before sending it out to anyone,

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  25. I've just learnt something very valuable here about Karen thanks Mason.

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  26. Thanks for explaining more about WiDo, Karen. I just started querying my new manuscript this week. I may query WiDo as well. I found the editor's comments extremely helpful when I entered two of your contests.

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  27. I also signed on with WiDo this year, and am very happy about the decision. I love being one of their (soon to be) authors, and I hope the word spreads. Share the love.

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  28. A fascinating insight to WiDo. It is always interesting to learn more about publishers and small press companies.

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  29. Wi-Do sounds like a good place to publish!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.