Riptide Publishing Interview

Today we are chatting with Aleksandr Voinov, one of the founders of Riptide Publishing. Riptide Publishing is new e-book publishing company that launched their site on October 30th. Thank you for joining us at Fallen Angel Reviews and taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us Aleksandr.
Thanks for having us. We're really excited to soon bring you some amazing stories.

Please tell our readers about you and how you got together to start your new e-publishing company.
It happened a little bit by accident; basically, once Rachel Haimowitz and me got together as co-writers and author friends, it was like the meeting of nitro and glycerin.

With her business acumen, skills and sheer energy, it was really only a matter of time until something pretty amazing would happen. The starting point was us discussing publisher options for our next books. While there are many things we love at several publishers, there are also things we love a little less (like low royalties, no marketing support, shoddy editing or weak covers). So we at first thought about setting out as self-publishers, but the more we discussed this and the more we researched, we realized we can actually be a "real publisher". And then basically the gods conspired on our behalf. In short order, we got a tech person and Chris (Hawkins) on board, which gave us all the skills we need.

What makes your publishing house different from the other e-publishers?
Ah, the industry is too varied to apply a "one size fits all" judgment here. Our mission statement is to combine the best of what we've seen elsewhere, in both print and ebook publishers. It starts with excellent, Manhattan-level editing (both on the story level and in terms of grammar and spelling), great covers, loads of marketing support and some of the best royalties in the industry, topped off with a contract that doesn't pull any fast ones on the authors (so no rights of first refusal, and we only take the rights that we use, for a limited time only). But of course, there are other small boutique publishers that offer great terms.

E-publishing is a competitive market. What sparked the idea to create Riptide Publishing?
It comes really down to enjoying running a business and the hope to improve the lot of authors in the industry and make books we and the authors will be proud of. We'll never kick a half-cocked book out of the door, we'll never churn through hundreds of authors, and we market the hell out of every release. Basically, we saw what is going wrong and, having the skills, decided we can do better. The spark that set it all off was Rachel looking for a publisher for her book Master Class (now one of the first Riptide releases).

How long did the development process take?
It's been in the back of my mind for around a year, I think (after some pretty abysmal experiences with some publishers). But all in all, I think we pulled this together in around five months. Sleepless nights and long hours included, of course.

How many books do you release each month?
Right now, we're aiming at 2-4 releases (that includes short stories and whole novels). We're also looking at hiring another editor and possibly a freelancer or two, so there is a fair amount of flexibility.

From the publisher's viewpoint, what has been the most rewarding aspect of this venture?
Loads of things - from the grin you get on your face when an author goes, "OMG, my cover is awesome!" to reviewers handing out top marks, to the whole process. I love acquiring authors, making books better, and helping authors improve their craft. Shaping something exactly the way you want it to be is incredibly rewarding. (Also, working with people like Rachel and Chris is amazing. There are some serious forces of nature at work here.)

Will you be having a Grand Opening?
Oh hell yeah. October 30th kicks off three months' worth of parties and giveaways to celebrate the launch. All the details are here: Grand Opening Party.

What can we look forward to seeing from Riptide Publishing in the future?
Compelling, complex, and well-edited gay and trans* fiction with covers that reflect the story (and that nobody has to hide in embarrassment); and happy, well-paid authors, including both "old hands" and fresh, amazing talent. We're dedicated to bringing you stories you can immerse yourself in.

Is there a forum readers can join that will keep them updated on new releases and events?
The best place to follow us is the Goodreads group. That's where you can pitch us a project, chat with our authors, and keep updated what's going on. We're also on Twitter (@RiptideBooks) and Facebook (of course). And if you just want the highlights, plus some exclusive content and contests, sign up for our newsletter.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes! To celebrate in style, we want to invite everybody to enter the drawings for an iPad, Nook, and Kindle (plus over 200 free books, a big heap of swag, and over $500 in ARe gift certificates). All the details are here. We're giving away thousands of dollars in prices and swag, and every comment is an entry in the big giveaway.

Again, let me say thank you so much for sitting and chatting with us today Aleksandr. I know how incredibly busy you must be and we at Fallen Angel Reviews are very thankful for your time and energy doing this interview.
Thanks for having us - we are looking forward to coming back with giveaways and more interviews.

Interviewed by: Tammy