This month we welcome back Sally Quilford who is chatting to Stephanie Patterson of Crooked Cat Publishing.
Crooked Cat Publishing was founded in 2011 by Stephanie and Laurence Patterson. The company is modelled on independent US publishers, with a focus on a community of authors rather than on a small number of bestsellers.
Laurence has gained experience in academic publishing over the past 15 years. Stephanie’s
background is in romantic historical fiction. She was previously published with an independent US publisher, where she learnt much about the publishing process.
In 2016, Crooked Cat will focus mainly on two genres: romance and crime fiction. After diversifying in the early years, the streamlining towards these two genres will ensure an even more focused approach.
How many titles does your company publish each year and where are your books sold?
Crooked Cat releases up to approximately 30 titles per year. This includes new instalments in our popular crime series.
Our titles are sold on a range of e-tailers, such as Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, with print-on-demand paperbacks available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and listed with Gardners and Ingrams.
What do you look for in a romantic novel?
We look for a gripping plot, with fascinating characters who have to overcome obstacles – either in their minds or ‘real’ events – to find happiness together. The setting is also important as it adds to the overall atmosphere of the story.
How might writers improve their chances of being published by you?
A book has to grab you from the start. A hook early on in a novel is important to draw the reader into the story. Also, a good grasp of basic grammar helps. Authors should therefore not submit an early draft, but ensure their manuscript is tidy, neat and also adheres to the publisher’s submission requirements.
What reason might you reject a novel/author?
A slow beginning, genres other than those we list on the website and a poor grasp of grammar.
How long can writers expect to wait for a response to their submissions? This includes acknowledgements or acceptances/rejections.
Crooked Cat usually responds to an author within 12 weeks, however, it can take longer if the volume of submissions around certain dates is particularly high.
Do you read romance (in your leisure time)?
Yes, I love reading romance. I am particularly fond of historical romance.
How do you see the future for writers of romance and the romance publishing industry in general?
The romance genre is hugely popular around the world, and there will always be readers – and not all female – who appreciate a well-rounded, intelligent story with a happy ending.
Do you attend RNA events? (so that our readers might have the chance to meet you)
Sadly, we haven’t managed to attend any RNA events to date, however, we wouldn’t rule it out in the future. It would be lovely to meet readers and authors one day in person.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to be featured. Much appreciated.
You’re very welcome, Stephanie. Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to talk to us.
Links for Crooked Cat Publishing:
Sally is the author of over 20 novels, the majority of them romance. Her first novel with Crooked Cat, The Secret of Lakeham Abbey, is her usual heady mix of crime and romance, and will be published in 2016.Sally’s Blog
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