A Week of Champagne Books-- Meet J. Ellen Smith, Publisher

This week, I thought I'd try something fun and different. As you know, my book "Blunder Woman" was published by a company called Champagne Books. The book came out in July as an ebook and is now available in audio. (If things go well, it will go to paperback in November.) I'm grateful Champagne Books took me on, and they'll be publishing my first romantic-comedy-mystery in February. I've talked a lot about my own work, so I thought it would be fun to talk about someone else's for a while.

It occurred to me that many of you might not know about Champagne Books (a small publisher with a big heart and dreams). If you're a person who likes to read (I'm raising my hand) then you'll get a chance to find new books in a variety of genres and be the first to tell your friends. If you're a writer, you just might get the inside scoop on how to get your work out there. Today, we'll meet J. Ellen Smith, owner and publisher, and general magic-worker.

What brought you to Champagne Books ?

J. ELLEN SMITH: Stupidity? Seriously though, I had been an author in epublishing for years, got busy with a publisher who went belly up, heard horror stories from other authors  and figured there had to be a better way. One day I went for coffee with a friend, and while we sat over vanilla lattés and complained about the latest thing we’d read, the idea that would become Champagne was born. Several more months of research ensued, and then it was time to either put up or shut up. I’d been saying for two years that I could do it, and I decided that the time had come.

What do you do for Champagne Books?

I’m the owner, and publisher. That means I handle all the paperwork, the logistics, the hiring and firing of staff, the hand-holding of authors who’ve had a bad day, the financials. Basically, if no one else will do it, I do. Keeps me busy and out of trouble!

Are you currently looking for submissions and if so, what kind?

Our submissions are open, and we are actively acquiring science fiction, steampunk and fantasy. I’d also like to see more romance in the same genres.

Is there anything aspiring writers should avoid? Any pitfalls or "Kiss of Death" mistakes to avoid?

The advice I always give to an author is to do their homework when submitting to a house. Always know what they’re looking for and submit according to their guidelines. That means, if a house isn’t looking for science fiction, don’t send them your latest laser-shooting space epic. It won’t matter how good it is if they don’t publish it. Be professional and respectful. There’s no quicker way to get a rejection than to send an email to us that is of the same tone you’d send to a friend. Remember, we’re not your friend, we’re your perspective publisher.

Are you currently reading anything for pleasure right now, and if so, what is it?

I’m always reading, whether for work or pleasure. On my computer, I’m currently reading one of our November releases, Love Sam by Linda Rettstatt. Fabulous book, just be sure to have a full box of tissues handy. On my e-reader, I have The Face of Betrayal by Lisa Wiehl open right now to satisfy my  current mystery/suspense kick.

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To learn more about J. Ellen Smith and Champagne Books, please visit the website at http://www.champagnebooks.com . There's also a sister site of spicier books at http://www.carnalpassions.com/ .

Coming Soon: Interviews with acquiring editors and writers for Champagne Books.

If you have a few bucks (not the deer kind), why not take  chance and try one of the books at Champagne?

AUTHOR HIGHLIGHT: Check out this Champagne Author, David Boultbee and his piece "Venus Inferno". J. Ellen Smith also created the cover for his book. To read an excerpt, click on the book cover below.