Rocking Horse Publishing

The other day, I asked a publisher friend of mine WHY she hadn’t warned me about this publishing business thingy. Her answer: misery loves company. Of course, she added a few “hahahas.”


So here’s the short version:

Many of you know that self-publishing, or SP, still operates under a stigma of sorts. Not from readers – they probably couldn’t tell you “who” published their favorite books. Amazon certainly doesn’t care, ha, neither do Kobo or B&N online. Now, getting your SP books on the shelves at B&N, that’s another topic altogether.

The problem is booksellers. Most booksellers. They claim bad writing, poor grammar, nonexistent editing, lousy covers, etc. And sure, some SP books have all these issues – maybe even most of them. And booksellers simply don’t have time to vet every SP book that comes across their counters, which means they can’t recommend them and, therefore, won’t often try to sell them.

Well, I thought, I can solve that – I started a publishing company. Now, SP authors can pretty much say their books are published by _________ and get away with it – unless they run up against a savvy bookseller who does some checking. Not many do, but it’s really simple. If you Google a “publisher” and it comes up showing the author as owner and ESPECIALLY if they’ve only published the author’s books, well, it’s an SP book.

Knowing all of this, I went the legit route – we already had a SAN, thanks to the bookstore, so it was simple to create an imprint and put out a call for submissions. We received quite a few since we started the publishing house, and we’ve chosen two so far with a third being announced in the next couple weeks. We plan to put out print and e-books of just six titles this year, more than likely increasing that in 2014. But here’s the BIG announcement:

SEVEN DIRTY WORDS, a contemporary romance by CHARLOTTE HOWARD, is being launched next Tuesday, January 29!

Let me show you the process that Charlotte’s book went through, which of course is the same process for all of RHP’s books:

First, the submission. The ms is read by at least two beta readers who give their recommendations – whether they like the story or not. Then we make a decision as to the sales potential of the book and, if it’s positive, we offer the author a contract. We do NOT CHARGE FEES for anything. ANYTHING. We are traditional publishers, we take the risk.

The author decides if he likes the contract, if it’s acceptable; if not, there’s a little wiggle room for negotiation. A little.

Then RHP makes the announcement, adds the author to our website, and starts promotional work. Simultaneously, the ms is sent to our editor and to our cover designer. After these two things are finished, both are sent to the author for approval. Line edits are done one more time, to make sure everything is in place and coherent.

When the cover design is completed, promo materials are ordered, and the ms is formatted. We schedule a launch party at the bookstore, send out postcards to bookstores all over the country, and keep promoting the book. We arrange press releases, giveaways, and interviews.

On the release date, the book is available in print and all e-formats.

Simple, right?

Oh, if only I’d known!

Later today, you’ll be able to read a review of SEVEN DIRTY WORDS on the Creve Coeur Patch and Goodreads, and very soon we’ll be announcing a giveaway on Goodreads. The launch party is set for January 29, and we’ll have refreshments and a giveaway there too, and Charlotte will be joining us via Skype!


10 comments on “Rocking Horse Publishing

  1. Bill Hopkins says:

    Thanks for letting us peer into the trials and tribulations of a new publisher!

    Bill Hopkins


  2. Dear God, Robin! I just now connected that you are a publishing co. as well as owner of the store. I think I need to be tested for dementia! LOL I just thought Rocking Horse Publishing was a cute name. I really wish I could come down on the 29th to meet you and join in the launch party, but I’ll be working. When I do finally get there, I’ll try to be just a bit more “educated.”


  3. Good luck with your new adventure into publishing. The waters can be rough, but I know you will persevere and get ‘er done!


  4. Good luck with your new venture! I look forward to hearing more about it.


  5. Linda Kelly says:

    Robin I am so excited about your publishing company. I hope to see you at the Jan 29th party. I am working on a novel right now. I hope to submit to you when I am finished. Good luck and thanks for all your support for us indie authors.


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