Small Press Spotlight
Welcome to our Small Press Spotlight, where we are pleased to introduce some of the smaller publishing houses offering romance fiction in print format. This time we're visiting with Diana Saenger, president of SANDS Publishing, a new publisher specializing in original romance fiction as well as selective re-releases. We also talked with author Elaine Raco Chase, whose book Special Delivery has been re-released by SANDS.

Talking with Diana Saenger, President of SANDS Publishing:

Tell us how and why your press got started.

Sandy Scoville and I started our epublishing company after seeing the poor quality of books going up on the web and seeing innocent authors being duped out of their money by so-called publishing sites that want the author to "Pay" to have their work published, or "take" unnecessary rights. An epublishing company that wants the author to pay anything towards the cost of putting their books into electronic format is a vanity press no matter how they phrase it.

What do you feel you offer to readers that a mainstream house might not?

It's usually a 2 - 3 year process by the time a traditional publisher reads a manuscript, okays the project, gets a printing date and distributes the book. Using our publishing firm, from reading the manuscript to book in hand is usually about six months. The author has an extra year and a half to earn royalties.

Did you have a mission in mind when you began producing books?

To offer readers the highest quality books written by gifted authors and thoroughly edited. And to market our authors with advertising and promotion.

In what format are your books published?

We publish ebooks that can be downloaded to a computer or hand-held device, and we publish POD (a printed book shipped to your door in 48 hours)

How does POD work for you?

We submit the electronic files to our affiliate who prints 1 to 1,000 books and ships in 48 hours.

How are your books distributed? Do you get help from Ingrams or B and T, or are you on your own?

The big distributors haven't caught on to epublishing yet. They don't seem to realize that ebooks cost more to print one at a time and the formulas for traditional publishing don't work. We've attempted to work with a few but the numbers don't allow us to reach the high royalty we offer our authors and we won't compromize. We will sell directly to bookstores, and authors sell at booksignings. Our authors have already worked with major stores to sign and sell for a percentage.

Tell us how you advertise. Where do the dollars go, primarily?

We place print ads in major magazines targeted to specific audiences; send press releases to members of reading and writing organizations; send press releases to hundreds of on-line sites, do flyer mailings and place banners on other sites.

Who are some of the authors you've contracted with?

Award-winning authors Sharon Ihle, Linda Wisdom and Elaine Raco-Chase, multi published romantic suspense author Cynthia VanRooy, and Elise Sereni Patkotak who is now #3 on the best selling author list.

What recent releases do you have out?

The whimsical parallel logic by Elise Sereni Patkotak, the page-turning Operation Rescue by Cynthia VanRooy, the heart-tugging true-life based Saturday Night Dance Club by Karen Riehl.

What is the price range for your releases?

$4.99 (e book) - $15 (print).

How can readers purchase your books?

Go to our website: http//

Talking with Elaine Raco Chase

You are a multi-published author. What led you to SANDS Publishing?

Another author, Linda Wisdom, emailed me about SANDS and I asked them if they would be interested in one of my romance novels. I've been really intrigued with ebooks/print-on-demand and I get emails and letters all the time from fans requesting copies of the Ecstasy Romances or telling me how much they are going for on various Amazon auction sites...I find it fascinating and it gives an author quite a thrill. So I sent a copy of Special Delivery to Diane and waited to see if this was the type of book they were interested it...then the "fun" began!

Tell us about getting Special Delivery back into print. When was it originally released? What made you decide to bring it back?

Getting Special Delivery back into print was the 'fun' part. It was written in 1984 on a typewriter, which meant I had to retype the whole book into Word format for an ebook. I'm a fast typist - formally in a steno pool - but it took me longer than I thought. It's one of my favorite books too and made book of the year for Dell and was the number one romance at Waldens for the year. Secretly...I think it would make a great TV movie!

Did you make any changes or additions to the story?

Yes, I did do some upgrading to the story. Diane went through it and found a few 'aged' references, and as I was retyping I found a few more to update, then I needed to do a bit of math to make sure Aunt Mathilda's career as a Minsky's stripper would work since it was 2001 rather than 1984. Guess what? Minsky's was still in business till 1940's...yeah for strippers!

What's it like writing for a small press vs. a larger publishing house?'s the same. Both demand quality work for their readers, and that's what I hope always to give to readers as well. I'm anxious to see a copy of the print on demand book which is coming my way shortly. but I have no doubts it's quality all the way as well.

Do you receive advances and royalties, or are there other arrangements?

Nothing up front for pre-published material, and that was fine with me. Royalties will come with how many people download or order print-on-demand and that's rather an exciting wait-and-see prospect.

Tell us about your experiences promoting a small-press release.

I'm just finishing up doing promo cards to send to some bookstores and have included Special Delivery along with a large print re-release of Dare the Devil. I've tried to leave messages at the romance sites about SD as well.

Diana and Elaine, thank you both for joining us! Readers, we have a review of Special Delivery on our Contemporary page. We will be adding reviews of other SANDS releases in the future. September 22, 2001

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