The Romance Review

The Romance Reviews

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Come meet the ladies that run the successful epub Decadent Publishing.

Hey Gang!

I want you to meet some people. My Publishers! These two ladies are just too much fun. I had the pleasure of meeting them at this years RT and had a blast. But you have to watch them, they can get kinda carried away. You know the type. WINK

Anyway, these lovely ladies are the ones who accept by books, market them and make my life pleasurable, because trust me, the writing business can drive you to drink sometimes. LOL!

But besides these two being party animals, they are serious businesswomen. In fact, the own and operate Decadent Publishing. They started a year ago and they just took off like a rocket!

Go here to check out their extensive library:

And here are the lovely ladies!

Heather, Heather & Lisa, Lisa in Barrow

Here I ask them the secret of there success. Enjoy!

What made you two decide to become the owners of a publishing company?

Heather- A bottle of wine, rather delicious wine, and an understanding of each other’s strengths and abilities in regards to the business. We’ve also been friends for several years, and can read each other pretty well by now. I trust her—something very important in a partnership.

Lisa – I’ll take the blame. LOL! It was an idea that had been rolling around in my head for awhile. I was on the cusp of retiring from my former career and wanted my own business. I wanted a publishing business. There was plenty of funding, but I needed Heather’s help. As far as plying her with wine? Well, timing is everything.

Why the name Decadent? What does that name represent to you as it reflects your company?

Heather - Lisa and I love quality—quality chocolate, quality wine, quality sci-fi television, quality men, and definitely quality reading. We indulge in it, we revel in it, we get passionate and excited about sinking into a great story and losing ourselves in another world. Many women say fine chocolate is as good as sex. So what better word association when it comes to passionate indulgences than ‘decadent’? It carries a hint of dark hedonism and an air of luxury, much like a fabulously hot romance novel.

Lisa – If you go to the “About Us” page on our website, there’s a poem written by Ross Williams that sums it up. The actual name is one we have Keta Diablo to thank for. We had bandied about several options, but nothing worked quite the way Decadent did. For me, it embodies all the luxuries in life, and books are a luxury.

Where do you see epublishing going?

Heather - First of all, epublishing is not going to fade away as some hope. It will only get bigger as devices like iPad and the new Android tablets become more affordable and versatile. The younger generations are ‘plugged in’; they do everything on their electronics. Carrying a hundred books in their pocket on their phone is more convenient than schlepping around even one copy of, say, Outlander. Paper books will decline, but hopefully not go away. I like both in my library. Technology is about to become very available for ebook signings; I talked to the developer of a big program a few months ago about it and I am excited to implement that at our company as soon as possible. But with all the wonderful and fancy inventions now and in the future, loyalty is an individual decision and a fan base is best built on a personal level. It will be just as—if not more—important for ebook-only authors to attend signings and Cons so their readers can form a tangible connection to them and their work.

Lisa – “What she said.” LOL!

What’s the best thing about being an owner of a publishing company?

Heather - Free books. Actually, for me, it’s being enmeshed in the creative community and being able to control the quality of the product we wish to present to the world. I was given the gift of good reading at an early age, and I wish to pass that along. I also enjoy utilizing my strengths to help people reach their goals through this company. Lisa is the analytical one. She is terribly creative, but also loves stats and organizing things and that all gives me hives. I like the HR aspect, the marketing and promo.

Lisa - The best thing about being an owner? I help decide how and where this business is going. It’s a control issue, for sure.

Do you see any improvements that can be implemented in the epublishing business?

Heather - Personally, I would like to see the day when a customer doesn’t have to wonder which of the 6 or 7 formats their ereader uses. It’s rather baffling for someone not familiar with the lingo. It’s one of our FAQs.

Lisa - Besides what Heather mentioned above, I think the epublishing industry needs to help modify the way older folks view ebooks and ereaders. We’re missing out on a large portion of the population.

My husband and I own a motor home and we frequently take to the road for vacation. It’s hard not to notice the numbers of RV’ers who are lugging their print books around with them. When asked, the overwhelming response is, “I don’t understand how they work” or “I like the feel of a real book.” The basic fear of something new and different. Yet, with a little instruction, they could be carrying an entire library in the palm of their hand. Just think of the savings in fuel costs!

What suggestions/advice do you have for people that are sitting out there saying “Hey, I want to start an epub, looks easy.”

Heather - I would never tell anyone NOT to follow their dream if that is it. But lordy…this is not ‘easy’. We many times work 7days a week EACH--at least 5 full days--and I mean 10+hours. Even on the days off Lisa made me take over the 4th of July, I was checking email on my phone, posting on Facebook/Twitter, etc. If you want to do it well, you can’t go in half way. I REALLY admire those ladies and gents who started off doing it all themselves and made a real success of their business. I personally thank God for my business partner all the time. J She is there when I can’t be or cannot figure something out, and her strengths are different than mine.

Lisa - She sure is sucking up to me today. LOL! I think she wants this chocolate bar sitting on my desk.

My advice is to take the time and do your homework. Heather and I did a lot of research and brainstorming. We came up with our own vision, and a business model that includes working hard everyday and let nothing sway us off course. “Success is the best revenge.”

What’s a bad day at an epublishing company? What really gets your dander up?”

Heather - What makes me upset? When I am out of coffee creamer. NOT a good way to start my day. My kids are calling Nana for a 911 on Coffeemate.

Lisa - I plead the fifth. LOL!

Will you just stick to being an owner, or have you/will you author books yourself? Can you merge to two without going Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs?

Heather - I have some WIPs—many—but I tend to write so many emails and posts and texts each day I don’t want to look at a computer screen in my down time. My Senior Editors bust me when they see me online at 2a.m. It happens about once a month and those nights are when I get about 3k written. Yeah, it will take me awhile to get a finished product. J But, luckily for me, I have a FANTASTIC group of editors who can crit me before I send anything out for submission! They’re tough. Which I like. J

Lisa - My focus is different nowadays. As spare time increases, I plan to pursue a fine arts degree in film studies and try my hand at writing television and movie scripts. Screenwriting is a different path of creative expression than I envisioned myself traveling down, but Heather planted the seed a few years ago and it has started to germinate. When the muse calls, there’s no choice but to follow.

How do you market your authors and find new marketing venues?

Heather - Lisa does a lot of advertising all over. She’s done a lot of print in RT and other places, but we’ve also done MANY ads at NOR, TRS, CTR, etc. We have a Review Coordinator who sends each book out to numerous review sites. I do a bi-weekly newsletter and post to social networks daily. We have a very active company author’s blog, and give Decadent authors information regularly about opportunities we find for them to market themselves.

We also like to look around, follow blog links to new places we’ve not seen before, study the trends, make up our own campaigns and initiatives. We created ‘Read For a Cure’ which I’ve not seen other pubs doing. It’s a Decadent program where all publisher profits for one book per month benefits Relay For Life. We do blog tours and guest features at places like Books on the House. Last holiday season we had a separate and very successful contest at a secondary blog where we had some mom-owned vendors and artists sponsor our grand prizes, then our authors wrote holiday-related pieces and gave away daily prizes. It was fantastic and the brain-child of author Amanda McIntyre. I also like to ask the authors what THEY would like to do, get their input. We will be starting a Decadent Publishing Book Club, as well.

Lisa - We’re also a member of IBPA (Independent Book Publisher Association). The organization has opened many doors to us that ordinarily wouldn’t have been available.

Where do you see Decadent Publishing in the next 5 Years?

Lisa – Bigger and better. It’s the journey, after all, and we have a lot of things
planned, including the creation of another website for our mainstream titles.

Heather- Doing this and coming up with new angles or a new slant on an old idea. It’s inspiring and motivating! Also, I’m all about 3D book covers. If someone can figure out a way to make THAT happen on an ereader, call me. I have a few cover models on speed dial.