This is going to be my second of many Spotlights. Starting off this series is Mike Simpson, owner and founder of Second Wind Publishing. If there are any authors reading this that are looking for a new publishing home, now is the chance to find out more about my publisher.
More information can be found at the website: www.secondwindpublishing.com. Second Wind also has a blog that most of the authors take part in, www.secondwindpub.blogspot.com. And, finally, don’t forget Facebook. Just do a search for Second Wind Publishing LLC until Entertainment & Arts: Books & Literature. My link wasn’t copying and pasting correctly, but that should get you there. They have great discussions almost every day.
Now, onto the Spotlight Interview.
AMY: Mike, I am so glad you agreed to this interview. As an author, I know I always wanted to find out every possible detail about a potential publisher. I am thrilled to give authors and readers the opportunity to learn more about Second Wind Publishing. First off, tell us, how did Second Wind Publishing come about?
MIKE: Second Wind actually started as a dare. I had become acquainted with a number of outstanding writers of several distinct genres who were participating in on-line writing contests. Clearly the quality of their work was exceptional—they were as good as most best selling authors whose titles you might pick up in a bookstore. Only, even though many of them were doing quite well in the contests, they weren’t getting their work even considered by the major publishing houses. I kept voicing my disgust at the unfairness of this and finally one of the authors dared me to start my own company and publish these authors. After all my broken bones and bruises as a kid, you’d think I would’ve learned not to take a dare.
AMY: Second Wind is little over a year old. When did it celebrate its first Birthday? In that time, how many individual authors have you signed and how many books have been published.
MIKE: Wow, Amy! That first anniversary went by in a blur. We celebrated it in August, 2009, which was actually the first anniversary of our having a book in print. By the time we were a year old, we had twenty-six books in print by seventeen different authors. In the six months that have followed, we have more than doubled that number and now have forty books either available or soon to be printed by thirty authors.
AMY: What genres are you currently publishing?
MIKE: We started with various types of romances: general, regency, suspense, paranormal and supernatural. At the same time we moved into crime/mystery titles: hardboiled police procedurals, thrillers, pure mysteries and apocalyptic crime stories. We’ve also published and are moving strongly into the general fiction area. We have some action/adventure novels and are publishing a couple non-fiction titles.
AMY: Do you anticipate moving into other genres?
MIKE: Early in 2010 we expect to begin publishing children/young adult books. I didn’t think we’d move in that direction as quickly as we have, but honestly I received too many good submissions to let them go. I also anticipate we’ll have a sci-fi/paranormal imprint in the next year as well.
AMY: The motto for Second Wind is “The Best Authors You Haven’t Read, Yet”. Does this mean you will only consider unpublished authors?
MIKE: Not at all. We are glad to consider any author’s work. One of the greatest compliments we’ve had at Second Wind has been when a couple published authors submitted their unpublished manuscripts to us because they like the way we go about things.
AMY: Do you prefer your authors to be agented or not?
MIKE: We are glad to work with agents. I’d really like to be clear, however, that having an agent does not make it more or less likely that Second Wind will offer a contract to an author. Just a little side note here: when we turn down a manuscript, we explain why it doesn’t work for us; no author ever gets that, “We’re sorry but your manuscript does not meet our editorial needs” dither from us.
AMY: If an author wanted to submit to Second Wind, what do they need to do?
MIKE: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with contact information, a synopsis of the manuscript, the first chapter or 30 pages of the book as an attachment and the total word count.
AMY: What is the process, from your end, when a submission is received?
MIKE: When we receive the initial submission, one of several editors gives an initial review and then passes the submission on to another for confirmation. If two or three editors decide against a manuscript, we go back to the author as quickly as possible and explain why. If a manuscript is interesting, we ask for the entire manuscript as an email attachment and send it around to several of our editors for their thoughts. This is the difficult part for us because there are many “near misses.” We take our time and consider these manuscripts fully, and we try to discuss with the author why we are turning it down. When we decide that we want a manuscript, we ask the author to check us out. We do things a little differently than other publishers and we want to make sure that writers understand and accept our processes. We send several introductory documents and a sample contract. So far no author has said “no” to us (although a couple got snatched away by other publishers at the last minute).
AMY: If you sign an author/book, what is the process of getting it published. And, how long does it usually take to see the title in print?
MIKE: Once Second Wind and an author agree to work together it is a completely collaborative effort: we send the author’s book to a chosen editor. We work with the author to select the cover art. Once the interior of the book is ready, we send the file via email to the author to review closely. Once the author completes that, we order an actual print proof and have the author review that for any mistakes. If necessary a second proof is ordered. Once we have an acceptable proof, we make the book available in our various sales outlets and send six complimentary copies to the writer. It’s typically three to four months from the time we contract with an author until the book is available for sale.
AMY: What would you say are the advantages to being published with Second Wind? In other words, what makes Second Wind special and stand out against the other publishers?
MIKE: There are several unique aspects of being published by Second Wind our authors find attractive. First is the hands-on interaction between authors and the publishing staff. All our authors and editors become a sort of extended family. Second, the company is expanding exponentially in a variety of ways. Any writer who wants to stay on the cutting edge of the publishing industry in regard to sales venues and technology would be well-served by Second Wind. One other thing that I’m particularly excited about is our own brick-and-mortar bookstore, hopefully opening in within the next three or four months in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It will give us the opportunity to hand-sell the books of our Second Wind authors and as well as a leg up on distribution to other book outlets.
AMY: What are the future plans for Second Wind Publishing?
MIKE: We intend to continuing adding authors and books to our catalogue, probably on the order of ten new authors a year and up to twenty books. We also intend to continue innovating in the way we produce books and the venues in which they are marketed and sold. We have some really cool ideas we are implementing in just about every aspect of our business.
AMY: Is there anything else you thing the readers would like to know?
MIKE: The bottom line in publishing is that people always want to read a good story, well told. Every Second Wind book is a quality piece of literature. I feel so privileged to be working with these outstanding authors. They are really the story of Second Wind.
AMY: Mike, thanks for the interview. Even though I’ve been with Second Wind for almost a year, I learned a few things as well.