An Interview with Susan Bays of Arbutus Press

16 11 2012

Hello Readers!

Today we have an interview with the founder of the small literary press, Arbutus Press, Susan Bays.

Can you tell my readers about Arbutus Press?

My company was established in 2002 with the self-publication of the award winning book, Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island. People began to ask me to publish their books and I began a rewarding career in Regional Book Publisher.

Why does Arbutus Press focus on literature with a connection to Michigan?

Starting small, it was what I felt I could handle and it was what I knew since I am a life long Michigander. We have expanded now to the Midwest but have no plans to expand beyond that reach.

When reviewing a submission, what do you look for?

I look for what a reader would look for. A well-written compelling story or history. I have learned through experience what sells and what does not. Literary fiction is a tough sell, no matter how well-written, however some stories must be told. I believe that I have an obligation to publish great stories regardless of their potential profit.

Does Arbutus Press publish authors without an agent?

Yes. All of the manuscripts that come my way are unsolicited and without agent affiliation.

What should an author expect, if anything, when dealing with a publishing house?

I can only speak about Arbutus Press’s writer-publisher relationships. Small presses like Arbutus are readily available and responsive to writer participation at every phase of the process, from editing to marketing.

Any suggestions or comments on how a writer can break into the publishing industry?

By breaking into the publishing industry do you mean work for a publisher? There is an active jobs listing on Publisher’s Weekly web site and perhaps others. Working for a local newspaper or even the college newsletter will provide some experience for creating a resume that would relate to publishing.

Aside from excellent writing skills, what are the literary factors that make an author successful?

I have seen one factor consistently in successful authors, but it’s not a literary factor: a tireless marketing efforts. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, book signings, library talks, event sales, interviews, book club interviews, anything you can think of to get your book out in front of people.

How does Arbutus Press distribute their titles?

 I have contracts with many distributors ranging from national distributors to regional ones. We also have distribution for specialty markets such as libraries and box stores.

Where can my readers buy titles from Arbutus Press?

 Books are available from bookstores everywhere. If they don’t have it in stock, they can get it. Online through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com and through Arbutus Press directly through www.Arbutuspress.com or by contacting us directly at info@arbutuspress.com.

Are there any upcoming releases from Arbutus Press that you would like to tell my readers about?

Snowblood’s Journal is an American novel about men and dogs in Vietnam. This literary fiction is described by Jerry Dennis, author of the Living Great Lakes.

I’ve long been a fan of Bob Linsenman’s writings about the outdoors, but nothing I’ve read by him prepared me for Snowblood’s Journal. With a cast of unforgettable characters, both human and canine, and set in a place brought to vivid, poignant, and sometimes terrifying life, it is a wild ride on foot and by chopper through a war. From the moment Jason Snowblood set foot in Vietnam I was hooked. I couldn’t put this astonishing book down.”

Look for this title, Snowblood’s Journal in summer 2013

Interested in being interviewed for this blog or purchasing editorial services from Charles Henry Editing? Email Carolyn at carolyn@charleshenryediting.com or go to http://www.charleshenryediting.com

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