"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Team Canada - A Spotlight on LTDBooks
Laura Adlam, has been involved in the publishing industry for the past eight years. She has an undergraduate degree in English and a post-graduate certificate in publishing from Ryerson Polytechnic University. Most recently, she worked for Tundra Books, a division of "Canada's Publisher" McClelland and Stewart. She has also worked as a freelance editor and is a member of the Editor's Association of Canada (EAC).
love of books has translated into this venture to bring more authors
and their works to the reading public through the Internet. She believes
that electronic publishing is on the verge of a fantastic growth explosion
and will soon become a major force in the publishing industry. Her
plan for LTDBooks is to publish up to three books each month in all
genres of fiction. She is looking for those great stories that need
to be told that may not necessarily fit the mold.
An Interview with LTDBooks Publisher: Laura Adlam
PNR: What prompted your decision to get into publishing?
Laura Adlam: I decided to start my own publishing company because I wanted to help create what I saw as a fantastic opportunity to promote more new authors with the electronic medium of delivery of books.
PNR: Why did you choose the method of presenting your publications-electronic/print/ both?
Laura Adlam: I initially started LTDBooks as an electronic publishing company. I believe in the medium and that it will one day be a force to be reckoned with in the industry as a cost effective viable alternative to (not replacement of) paper books. However, the industry is not quite there yet to make a profitable business in electronic format only and I also felt that it wasn't fair to our authors to limit their distribution to only the electronic media that hasn't quite caught the mainstream.
have your publications been received by the Canadian romance.
Laura Adlam: Realistically, our market is mostly American readers. Over 90% of out sales are to buyers in the States. The other 10% is to Canadian and International customers. The romances have been well received throughout the world with customers in such diverse places as Moscow, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia, Pakistan and Japan.
PNR: As a small, independent publisher, did you or do you find it hard to be taken "seriously"? By that I mean in terms of having your publications carried by major booksellers like Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldens, Amazon, etc.?
Adlam: Certainly like all small presses,
getting the attention of the large distributors and booksellers has
been a challenge. We are persistent though and have finally been able
to get some of our books into the Booksamillion chain and have a number
of individual Barnes and Noble stores interested in our books. We
now have a contract with Baker and Taylor but have yet to see any
of our books placed at this time. As most small presses can attest,
our greatest success has come through independent booksellers. We
can price our books more competitively because the discounts are not
so steep and they are much more willing to help support a small enterprise
as they are one
PNR: Was it difficult to capture the attention of the U.S. and other international markets, or has the internet leveled the playing field?
Laura Adlam: As I mentioned before our International and US based sales far outweigh our Canadian based sales - so I think, yes, the internet has certainly leveled the playing field extensively.
PNR: I would assume that one of the drawbacks in being a small publisher is the lack of corporate advertising dollars. How have you managed to "get the word out" and entice readers to try your books?
Laura Adlam: You are right, the big bucks for advertising are not there with a small press. We have developed an extensive review submission program. We query at least 30-40 venues for each romance title we publish upon publication. We feel that the reviews that are posted throughout the internet about our books entices readers to check us out (we rarely get bad reviews so this has always been a benefit for us).
PNR: With e-publishing and small presses in general, a lot of people may think that the quality of writing, and the presentation in general, is lower than what they've come to expect from the larger publishing houses. Can you tell us something about how you select books, what level of editing they receive?
Laura Adlam: Unfortunately there have been some e-publishing companies that have helped to foster this impression of our industry. Thankfully most of these publishers are no longer in the business. Our selection process is similar to traditional print publishing houses. The main difference is that we accept our submissions, for the most part, electronically (although we are closed for submissions at the moment). The first three chapters are reviewed by one of the senior editors at LTDBooks first and if they are impressed with the writing they will ask for the whole manuscript. If it lives up to the expectations of the first three chapters the manuscript is passed along to me for a read and I make my decision to offer a contract or not. Once a work is contracted it enters the editorial schedule. It is fully edited by a skilled copyeditor and proofread by another to ensure the highest quality book possible.
PNR: We often hear conflicting things from the big NYC publishers about the paranormal romance market--that's it shrinking, that's it's steady--how do you view the market for paranormal stories?
Laura Adlam: I don't believe this is true for a second. Our best sellers at the moment are all paranormal romances.
PNR: Have you found that certain types out sell others?
Laura Adlam: Certainly our most popular books at the moment are our Shadow Dwellers series by J.C. Wilder. This series has the gamut of paranormal elements with vampires, were cats and witches amongst the heroes and heroines.
PNR: Do you think that the recent slew of paranormal television programs and motion pictures has had any affect on the print market?
Laura Adlam: Certainly to have the paranormal element in the mainstream of television shows that the producers still fell that there is an audience for lover of the paranormal. I believe it has an effect on my sales and should therefore affect the traditional print industry as well.
PNR: LTD Books has signed on a number of published paranormal authors whose works were displaced by the closing of several houses. LTD has reissued a number of reader favorites and several of these authors have already or will soon publish new titles with your house. Will you be taking submissions from new authors as well?
Laura Adlam: Unfortunately, as I mentioned, LTDBooks is currently closed for submissions. When we took on the 25 authors and 30 books last year from Dreams Unlimited, it seriously affected our reading schedule. We hope to be open again later this year.
PNR: In November, J. C. Wilders newest story SINS OF THE FLESH, received a TOP PICK designation from RT magazine, and in January became a PEARL finalist in the Shapeshifter category. This had to be very exciting. Do you feel that e-books are finally getting the attention they deserve?
Laura Adlam: Absolutely. LTDBooks has been garnering this attention for a while though. Into the Fire by Norma McPhee - a science fiction romance - was also selected as a Romantic Times top pick last year and will soon be out in trade paperback in addition to its current electronic formats. We also have won several Eppies including one for Wintertide by Megan Sybil Baker - a fantasy romance, Ties That Blind by Dee Lloyd - a romantic suspense and our resident horror writer T.K. Sheils won both the Eppie for the electronic version of Butterfly House last year as well as the IPPY (Independent Publisher Award) competing against 700 traditional print publishers.
PNR: Some readers feel that e-books should be priced lower than print books. What are your thoughts on this?
Laura Adlam: They should be lower in price as the inventory cost for the book is nothing. One should keep in mind that there are the same charges involved in preproduction of the book though so there are still costs to be covered for a well edited, properly formatted electronic book.
PNR: Would you like to give us a preview of upcoming paranormal offerings?
Laura Adlam: The sixth book in J.C. Wilder's Shadow Dweller series, Temptation, will be out in the next six weeks or so with the third print volume (including book five, Sins of the Flesh and Temptation) coming out later this summer. Gabriel's Ghost by Megan Sybil Baker is a wonderful paranormal shapeshifter science fiction romance (oh the glory of electronic cross genre writing!) and is available now in both electronic and print formats.
PNR: Will we be seeing any anthologies?
Laura Adlam: LTDBooks is currently looking at the possibility of a paranormal anthology. If it comes together it will be available for a fall release.
PNR: What other types of romance novels can readers find at LTDBooks?
Laura Adlam: LTDBooks has all genres of romance. We have historical, regency, sciencefiction, fantasy, contemporary, erotic, and romantic suspense. Visit the website at: http://www.ltdbooks.com.
Sadly LTDbooks was forced to close its doors in late 2005, it will be missed.
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