Small Press Spotlight
Welcome to our Small Press Spotlight, where we're pleased to feature some of the smaller presses offering romance fiction in print format. This time we're chatting with Jacqueline Simonds, publisher of Beagle Bay Books, a "micro-publisher" offering several titles a year.

TRR: Tell us how and why your press got started.

JS: Originally, I had no intention of starting a press. That is, until I met with massive indifference to my historical adventure novel Captain Mary, Buccaneer (for more information, you can go to the book website at ). So I went the self-publishing route. I rather enjoyed the process. Since I write rather slowly (CMB took 7 years), I decided to take on additional projects, and launched a publishing house called Beagle Bay Books with my husband and partner Robin.

We like to think of ourselves as "crafting" a book, rather than just publishing. We work with the author to create a book that is carefully edited and honed to it's finest expression.

In the last 6 months, we noticed that there were so many people who were looking to be published or had been published to disastrous effects (we know of an internationally prominent author who had a terrible time with one of the big POD companies). Some of the self-published novels I've read are so sadly un-edited or cobbled together by people who were obviously ripping-off the author. So we've established a new authorial services / subsidy press called Creative Minds Press ( Authors will be able to pick and choose the services they need: everything from a simple critique, to preparation for another press (typesetting, editing, cover design), to total turn-key services and fulfillment.

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

JS: Absolutely! Being small means you must specialize. Beagle Bay Books' mission is to publish quality fiction which focuses on women protagonists in an historical adventure / romance genre. To that end, we are looking for novels with strong women characters. She must have the inner strength to shape her own destiny and deserve a partner of equal stature. If any of your readers are thinking about writing something in this line, they should think about their favorite action heroes: Robin Hood, Captain Blood, Roy Rogers, whatever - why can't there be a female version without copying exactly the male mindset?

Beyond the wish not to have anything to do with pornography or illegal activities, there are no constraints on what Creative Minds Press will contract services for.

TRR: How are your books published?

JS: Beagle Bay Books prints titles in the trade paperback form. If we have a book that has strong demand, we'll consider full hardback or e-publishing. At this time, I don't think e-publishing is suitable for a primary "print" run. Creative Minds Press will offer e-publishing if an author is interested in it. Otherwise, the focus will be on trade or hardback formats.

TRR: Do you do print-on-demand books? How does that work for you?

JS: Beagle Bay Books uses POD for extremely short runs, where POD is most competitive. Otherwise we have found traditional publishing methods to be the most economical. Creative Minds Press will offer POD at the customer's request. We operate as brokers between the customer and the company -- finding the best deal for their money.

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

JS: Beagle Bay Books novels are distributed through Ingram, Baker and Taylor and through our direct sales office. Creative Minds Press offers this distribution network only to turn-key customers with exceptional material.

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

JS: Beagle Bay Books targets book buyers and bookstores via advertising in trade and genre magazines, author and publisher appearances, e-mail and press packets.

TRR: Who are some of the authors you've contracted with? What releases do you have out or soon out?

JS: Beagle Bay Books is proud to have Lisa Jensen's new historical adventure / romance The Witch from the Sea ( out in August. It's already gotten wonderful reviews in Romantic Times and Booklist. Of course, there's my own book, Captain Mary, Buccaneer. We plan to release a book by U.K. author Phillip Griffin this Spring about a warrior saint. As a micro-press, Beagle Bay Books' goal is to come out with 2-3 excellent books a year.

TRR: What is the price range for your releases?

JS: Beagle Bay Books collectible trade paperbacks run $16.95.

TRR: How can readers purchase your books?


You can order Beagle Bay Books titles from your favorite bookstore,, or directly from our website.

TRR: Do you have a website with more information?

JS: Our main website is where you can find out all about our company. Creative Minds Press is at www.creativemindspress. Or you can contact me directly at

Jacqueline, thanks for visiting with us! Readers, we have a review of The Witch from the Sea on our Historical page.

October 13, 2001

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