BOOKTASTIK BLOG

Seventh Star Press—Pleasing the Readers

28 March 2014

Readers who love speculative fiction—science fiction, fantasy and horror—should take note of a small press who are doing big things. They’re collecting an impressive list of talented authors and are, thankfully, running sales on some of their titles. Because what reader doesn’t like a quality book that’s discounted? Seventh Star Press is innovative and is keeping up with the changes in publishing. All their titles are available as ebooks or paperbacks and they offer a free ebook with every paperback purchased from their site. What a great deal!

For those who like to get a signed copy of their favourite authors, Seventh Star Press often takes their authors to different cons so the readers have a chance to meet them. Today Stephen Zimmer joins us to talk about some of their authors and what exciting things they have coming up.

Hi Stephen, and thanks for joining us. I just wanted to say that the book covers you do for your authors are fantastic. They’re attention grabbing and a bit retro, which is cool. The Angelkillers cover is especially creepy, too. What process do you guys go through when deciding on a cover?

Our covers are fully illustrated and involve a group of four artists who we work with regularly.   First and foremost, we have built a group that is both talented and have good attitudes.  Chemistry is very important to us, as the small press world is not an easy one, and I am happy to say that we could not be more pleased with this quartet, Matthew Perry, Bonnie Wasson, Enggar Adirasa, and Jason C. Conley.

The authors are involved directly with the artists during the cover process, and they also hold the final approval.  What results is a cover that the author is happy with and one that represents the book accurately.  Our authors, in general, have been very understanding of the artistic side and the working relationships have gone well between artist and author.  The ability of the artists and authors to work together directly also fosters the family vibe that we cultivate at SSP.

We feel that all of this has resulted in a very nice collection of covers, all of which speak for themselves!

What was the motivation for starting Seventh Star Press?

Seventh Star Press, while definitely focused on the business aspects, was started to create a family environment for our artists, editors, and authors.  We are in competition only with ourselves, and I emphasize that strongly, as we are very pro-active in being supportive of other presses and self-published authors.  The stronger the indie community is, the more positive readers will be in reading and buying indie titles, and this is vital in a climate where there’s an avalanche of new releases on a daily basis.

Our authors know they can always work with other presses on projects, while at the same time knowing they have a home with us.  This is the reason we have grown slowly, as we want to support each and every author who is with us.

We strive to put out the best quality we can, from the writing to the presentation, and let the work speak for itself.   We’ve always been about a win-win orientation, both in-house and in relation to other presses and authors.  Sadly, this is the exception to the rule out there in general, but it is what we embrace and will continue to stand for.

I noticed you are running one hell of an awesome competition at the moment. Can you tell our readers about it?

Over this period we are running a total of eighteen 99 cent offers featuring an array of authors, genres, and titles, and even including a few of our prime anthologies.  It’s a great way for readers to try us out, with titles that have been heavily reviewed and vetted.

How often do you take your titles to conventions?

Over the course of a year, we average 1-2 conventions a month, though we’ve been on quite a burst lately with four events during the past month.  Conventions are very important to us, as there is no substitute for face-to-face interactions with readers.   Conventions are a very important part of the world of the publisher and author alike.  In fact, that’s why we instigated our own, Imaginarium, which takes place in September in Louisville, Kentucky, and is centered fully on creative writing and storytelling.

Wow, that’s a lot of conventions. You guys are so busy!

What have been some of the highlights for you as publishers?

We have had a number of highlights recently.  In terms of some things your readers may recognize, we were honored to publish the Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy from Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Michael Knost, featuring contributions from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Harry Turtledove, and so many more.   We also have a horror anthology, Vampires Don’t Sparkle! that features some of the best in the genre such as Gary Braunbeck, Tim Waggoner, and Maurice Broaddus.  Our double-volume sword and sorcery anthology Thunder on the Battlefield was edited by James R. Tuck, who is the author of the popular Deacon Chalk urban fantasy novels.  Those are some names people might know, but we have had a number of highlights in-house too, the most recent being Michael West and D.A. Adams reaching the top ten best-seller list on Amazon in horror and fantasy respectively.  There are so many things I’m proud of with this group, but for the sake of space I’ll leave it at this! 🙂

Congratulations!

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming releases?

We just released two really amazing titles, Olde School from Selah Janel and Awesome Jones, from AshleyRose Sullivan.  Both are strong examples of the kind of voices we have at SSP.  Olde School is true cross genre, with its elements of contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, fairy tales, folklore, and so much more.  Awesome Jones is a novel with a comic book vibe that is truly, as AshleyRose describes it, a superhero fairy tale!

Just before this we released Doom Angel, the third in H. David Blalock’s incredible Angelkiller Triad, as well as A Mage of None Magic, a brilliant fantasy novel from A. Christopher Drown, and Southern Haunts 2: Devils in the Darkness, a horror/dark fantasy anthology from Alexander S. Brown and Louise Myers.  Right around the corner are new releases from Jason Sizemore, Bob Freeman, Peter Welmerink, Crymsyn Hart, Brick Marlin, S.H. Roddey, and RJ Sullivan.   On the horizon is the reissue of Kingdom, a dystopian/noir novel by Anderson O’Donnell that was one of Kirkus Reviews top 25 indie books of 2012.

How many books do you publish each year?

We go at a pace of about 2-3 a month as of now, though sometimes we’ve released 4 or 5 in a given month.  With the new authors we have recently added, we will probably nudge up to about 3-4 titles a month.

Can readers subscribe to your website and get information on new releases before anyone else? And can they buy signed paperbacks from you directly?

We do not currently have a mailing list, though that is definitely in the plans.  At the moment, readers should keep an eye on our homepage, blog, and Facebook page for updates and information. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about before you go?

Thank you for being so wonderful in letting us talk about what we do and why we do it.  In an age where readers face an ocean of titles, those committed to putting out true quality face a hard road in raising awareness. We want readers to know that when they see a Seventh Star Press book, it involves dedication on all fronts, from the editors, to the artists, and, of course, the authors. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us! It’s been fun to find out what goes on behind the scenes. Happy publishing and keep those awesome books coming.

Hero's best friendDoom Angela mage of none magic

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