The business of publishing is always fascinating, especially in this digital age we find ourselves living in. A new development we’re excited about is the creation of Brown Girls Publishing, run by bestselling authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray. We wanted to know more about this new venture, and the ladies were kind enough to oblige.
Why did you decide to start Brown Girls Publishing?
Our motivation for creating Brown Girls Publishing was the fact that there are so many talented authors who for various reasons, don’t have a publishing deal, or aren’t able to write in genres that are near and dear to them. We also saw an opportunity to introduce some fresh voices in a market where so many genres have become formulaic and repetitive.
Tell us about some of your recent and upcoming releases, and why you decided to publish them?
We’re launching many seasoned authors, some who have been missing for a while, some who had become disgruntled with the industry, some who were trying to take their career to the next level, and some who simply wanted to expand their catalog. We launched our imprint in February of this year with Open Door Marriage a provocative novel by national bestselling author Naleighna Kai and In Strict Confidence, a mystery/suspense novel by bestselling author Dwayne Joseph. We’ve also brought in celebrities such as Nikki Woods, the executive producer of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, whose contemporary fiction piece Easier Said Than Done is sure to delight. A romantic suspense title, Twist, by stage four cancer survivor, Roni Teson, comes from an author and activist with a strength and determination that everyone can admire.
With the publishing marketplace becoming so crowded, thanks to self-publishing and many new digital imprints, what makes the titles from Brown Girls Publishing stand out?
You are absolutely correct that the market is being flooded, but the digital industry is also ever-evolving. Because we are in the trenches, because we stay in the trenches, we are able to stay on top of this evolution. Readers still want good books and we’ve found a way to get those books to them, in digital and in printed formats. Both of us personally select and edit each manuscript that we plan to publish. Between us, we have more than two million books in print and we know that succeeding in this business is much more than writing a good book. Armed with an MBA (Victoria) and two decades of marketing experience (ReShonda), we are the perfect mix to help authors take their books to the next level.
What kind of books are you looking for, moving forward?
We like to bring in talented authors of all ethnic backgrounds and genre who have self-published novels and we welcome new authors as well. At this time, we publish all genres except erotica, poetry and paranormal. The biggest challenge has come in that the two of us are extremely committed to the craft of writing, so we dedicate a lot of time to editing. When you wear both the publisher and editor hat, that can become an issue; but it’s a challenge we readily accept. So we look for quality work that shows that the author not only cares about the novel, but puts equal detail to presentation and technical delivery.
Authors who wish to submit are welcome to visit the submission page for guidelines and should remember that our mission is to put out quality work by fresh voices.