Today, I’m interviewing Steven Radecki, one of the managing editors of Paper Angel Press. As you may know, the second edition of Due Date was published by Paper Angel Press on March 1. I couldn’t have been happier with the press and the process. I thought I’d find out more, and am happy to share this interview with you.
As an aside, in addition to being a Paper Angel Press managing editor who works on all things business- and production-related, Steven also has a full-time tech job, and is an author. Check out his book here: Building Baby Brother.
This is the first installment in a two-part series. I’ll publish the second part of the interview on April 8.
Where did the name Paper Angel Press come from?
I am a huge fan of real, physical, paper books and I wanted a name to help demonstrate that we didn’t just do digital editions and that we also appreciate and cherish the tradition of printed editions. Part of the name came from my original concept for our logo, which was a ring of clearly diverse paper-cut people holding hands in a circle. (As you can see, we didn’t go with that, for several reasons.) As our goal was also to help authors get published in a supportive manner, I liked the “angel” concept as a kind of nod to “angel investor” concept – where we invested our time, energy, and resources to do our best to help our authors be successful.
Tell us about the history of the press. How long have you been around? What was the first book you published?
I would say that we officially started in July 2015 (although there was definitely some planning long before then, actually some of it as early as 2011!). The first book we published was Is Home Your Happy Place?: The Unruly Woman’s Approach to Space Healing by Christy Diane Farr in October 2015.
Your logo is unusual and unique. How was the logo developed?
Our logo went through a lot of iterations before we settled on this one. With the name, we struggled with coming up with a symbol that didn’t inadvertently convey something potentially too religious or spiritual. We also needed a design that would scale down well and still be recognizable when printed on the narrow spine of a book. Fortunately, our incredibly talented illustrator, Niki Lenhart, finally arrived at the logo you see today.
How many authors/books have you published?
As of right now, if you don’t count the free stories for download, we have 23 books either published, or scheduled to be published, before the end of 2019. We currently have 8 authors, but are always looking for more!
What types of books do you publish?
We publish pretty much anything – fiction and non-fiction – except for erotica. If a story appeals to us, and we and the author believe there is a market for it, we are generally willing to give it a try. Thanks to you, we just expanded into mysteries this year, which was a genre we hadn’t published before (at least not in the specific genre sense, as some of our fantasy novels are mysteries at their core).
One thing that drew me to your publishing company was your mission. Tell us about that. How does that translate out to a published book?
Without going into all of the detail (which is available on our website: https://paperangelpress.com/mission), our mission is to help make the publishing easier and less intimidating. Our goal is to try to turn around books from final manuscript in a few months, rather than the several months or few years that it takes for traditional publishing through the major publishing houses. As an author myself, knowing my book will be available for sale within a few months is much more exciting than “sometime late next year”. People have short attention spans, so it’s difficult to maintain enthusiasm and interest in a book that might not available for a year or more.
What do you offer authors that other small presses don’t?
I can’t speak about all small presses, but based on my experience, I believe we do more to help support our authors – even those we might decide not to work with. If we decide not to work with an author, they will almost always receive specific reasons for our decision, instead of the typical (and usually very unhelpful) form letter they might receive from other publishers.
When we publish a book, we provide authors with a complete promotional toolkit to help them promote their books, including such materials as social media banners and promotional business cards. Their books are included in our quarterly brochure, and are also sold at events at which we or our authors participate, such as last year’s WorldCon or Rhode Island ComicCon.
Tell us about the anthologies you’ve published, and the upcoming anthology titled Corporate Catharsis.
So far, we haven’t officially published any anthologies, but we have three scheduled for release this year (2019). The first, Grimaulkin Tales by L. A. Jacob, is a collection of stories involving some of the secondary and background characters from her “Grimaulkin” novels. We thought readers might be interested in those rather than trying to develop them into full-length novels. The next one, Sometimes After Dark by J Dark, is a collection of unrelated short stories in different genres. In both of these cases, it was also that I didn’t want to give away all of their short work for free, and anthologies seemed like a good way to try to solve that problem.
The Corporate Catharsis anthology is a concept that we had when we first started Paper Angel Press – it’s just taken us this long to assemble all of the pieces needed to create such an anthology. The idea behind it is that writing can be a cathartic process and what better source for that than what almost everyone has experienced in a corporate environment or as the result of corporation bureaucracy. If anyone is interested in learning more about it, they can visit our web page for it: https://paperangelpress.com/corporate-catharsis. Also, we are still open for submissions for that anthology! (Tell us you heard about it from here.)
Thanks for stopping by, Steven! Be sure to visit next Monday for the second installment.