Small Press Spotlight
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Mainstream publishers aren't the only ones offering romance to readers these days. Here in our Small Press column, we are delighted to introduce some of the smaller romance publishers. This issue we welcome Madeira Books, co-founded by Emily Colin and Julie Tetel Andresen, who is multi-published in romance. Julie's newest release, The Blue Hour, is an unusual multi-generational story. Let's find out about this small press.

Okay, why the name "Madeira"? Any special connotation there?

Madeira Books' namesake is an island territory of Portugal located off the coast of Africa, famous for the gourmet wine that originates in its lush grape arbors. Such a place embodies in many ways the philosophy behind the creation of our small press. Situated between two powerful continents, surrounded on all sides by water and possibility, Madeira's identity is undeniably multicultural. This appeals to us, as we wish to publish narratives from a wide spectrum of ethnic, racial and social perspectives.

As an island, Madeira summons images of beauty and creative retreat; these resonate with our desire to invent a collaborative space, a haven where readers, writers, designers, and publishers can come together, drink good wine, and share their ideas in the hopes of creating books whose stellar narratives are rivaled only by their exceptional appearances. As is the case with every island, we are aware of and open to environmental change -- specifically, the burgeoning importance of the World Wide Web as an arena for communication and information dissemination, the increased accessibility of desktop publishing software, and the financial and ethical upheavals in the mainstream commercial publishing industry.

Tell us how Madeira Books got started.

The company's founder, Julie Tetel Andresen, published fifteen novels with commercial presses before deciding it was time for a change. In 1996 she envisioned a phenomenon involving radical redefinition of the relationship between writers and the commercial marketplace on all fronts: the technological, the economic, and the artistic.

On the technological front, writers would be able to utilize the latest information and computer capabilities to make book production and marketing more efficient. On the economic front, they could alter the current economic structure of their writing lives by assuming the full costs of producing and marketing their books in order to reap the full rewards of their sales. On the artistic front, they could redefine -- or, rather, refine -- their relationship with their writing and their readers by not only pursuing their individual visions, but also by responding directly to their readers' desires without having to accommodate editorial decisions that are, at present, based solely on maximizing the commercial publishers' bottom lines. Julie dubbed this approach 'studio publishing' and founded her own studio based on its principles.

This past year, Julie teamed up with Emily Colin, and together they are developing Madeira Books.

What does Madeira Books offer readers that a mainstream publisher might not?

Our virtual studio thrives at the crucial nexus where vision guides realization through the synergy of digitization and traditional craft. In keeping with the spirit of its conception, Madeira Books has brought back the old-style craft of bookmaking by emphasizing exquisite design, meticulous copy-editing, and high print quality, while remaining technologically savvy, cost- effective, and efficient. Madeira exists to provide a forum for talented writers to come forward and tell their stories the way they want them told, with an innovative publishing house whose philosophy is "better business through high quality production." Our authors will have the opportunity to be involved in the creation of the physical books themselves, so that their visions are upheld in the final products.

We want to reach discerning readers who: are looking for fresh stories from new voices, who demand great writing, and who appreciate excellent editing and copy-editing along with top-notch design and materials; want stories that take greater innovative risks than the ones now appearing from the commercial publishers; love to experience books that are conceived as artistic wholes, start to finish, inside and out.

In what format are your books published?

We intend all of our books, at least for now, to come out in print. However, our goal is to make them available electronically as well. Currently, we have a couple chapters of The Blue Hour online.

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

The Blue Hour is our first book, and it just came out in November, so we don't have a ton of practical experience to relate. We do intend to publish on-demand copies, however.

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

We utilize Baker & Taylor, but also do marketing/distribution on our own.

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

We've gotten a lot of free advertising via articles in local papers, online forums for writers and readers, and various newsletters. Our advertising dollars mainly go towards direct mail campaigns (public and university libraries, our personal mailing lists, etc.) and towards display booths at conferences. We're considering advertising in targeted magazines and publications.

How can your books be purchased?

Our books can be purchased at bookstores, via amazon.com and barnes and noble.com, by contacting us directly, or by using the secured credit card service available on our website at www.madeirabooks.com.

Thank you, Julie and Emily! Readers, check out our review of The Blue Hour.


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