Claire is the Managing Director and Founder of Total-E-Bound.
1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
LOL. I think at the moment, it’s about trying to be as sane as I’ve ever been. I’ve got to be to juggle everything involved in setting up a business like this. I’m a pretty level headed bird (very English saying there LOL) anyway, and I don’t tend to let things faze me too much. I’m sure some people would say that I must be insane to set this business up in the first place—but hey! there’s nothing like a good challenge is there? I’m the kind of person that if someone says I can’t do it, I will and I’ll prove them wrong.
2. What do you have to say to people who are thinking “Yet another erotica romance e-pub”?
They are absolutely entitled to their opinion. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it though does it? As far as we are concerned, there are very compelling reasons for us to set this business up. This isn’t about trying to justify our existence, because we don’t need to do that.
We’re probably among the first of many. I think people will start getting used to the idea. In 50 years time people will find it odd when looking back at how many trees were cut down in the name of fiction. Now to completely contradict myself—we will be print publishing in the near future. LOL We would love it and look forward to the day that a low cost, easy to use iPod type eBook reader is available to everyone, but unfortunately that day is not here and in the meantime we don’t want to deny our authors the opportunities that print publishing offers.
At the end of the day I think that ePubs are a fantastic platform for unknown authors to generate a fan-base, building the experience and confidence to move on to bigger things, if that’s the route they decide to take. It’s still a growing industry, so I’m sure there will be plenty more ePubs setting up in the future too. It’s a big old world out there full of authors and readers, and ePublishing is the way to go with the world the way it is.
3. Unlike most of the other romance e-publishers, you are based in the UK. Do you think this makes it more difficult for you to keep ahead of trends and such?
No, not at all. We’re all part of a global village now. I’m a citizen of the world and I reside in the UK! *g* It’s an internet business, primarily isn’t it? So we have the same access to information that you have from that perspective. As for the rest, well we do have a publishing industry over here too. Inside and outside of the USA, we’ve had hugely positive responses to our setting up an ePub, which is very promising and we’re very pleased about.
4. Is there a particular subgenre of romance that you, as a reader, want to be the next trend?
I think that each of the genres listed on our site has its place and there’s a market for each of them. What I’d like to be the next trend as a reader doesn’t necessarily mean it will be. Personally I love reading sci-fi, futuristic, paranormal, ménage (saucy!), a bit of Bondage & BDSM (yes I definitely have a naughty streak!) *g*
I’d actually like to see people pushing the envelope a bit more. In some respects we have to be careful not to cross that invisible line, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get damn close to it. For a lot of women, it’s the build up to the actual event that gets them totally hot—a lot of it is in the mind, and I’m seeing quite a lot of mind games coming through in stories at the minute, which I think is really hot, and hopefully that will really take off. I love to see authors doing something a bit different. So, that would certainly be something that I’d be keen to see in manuscripts hitting our submission inbox.
5. You are offering to edit and make available ebooks by authors not contracted to Total-E-Bound. That assumes that you think authors will benefit from the arrangement. Wouldn’t most authors be better off attracting traffic to their site by posting their stories on their sites as opposed to having it on the Total-E-Bound site?
Yep, absolutely – they should put free books on their sites, but as you know bigger sites generate more traffic than most authors own websites. There’s no reason why they can’t do both actually. But of course, the question assumes that they already have websites too. We’re offering this service because we genuinely do want to see good authors get on in their careers. Why shouldn’t they take advantage of a free offering to help them? Surely editing their book and posting it as a free read is a good thing for them. We aren’t saying that these books have to be contracted to us. It’s just a way for them to have a clean copy of their work visible to the readers, and it gives our readers some free stories to get stuck into. Readers coming to our site to look for a particular author are likely to be exposed to these authors’ free works. What could be better—a reader finds a great new author and an author finds another fan— I can’t see a catch.
6. Tell more about the Brit themed anthologies you’re doing. Do you see it as a way to brand Total-E-bound?
Absolutely. We are proud of our roots, so it would be an honour to be branded with a British theme. The only downside is that people could assume that we are Brit only, which is not the case. We accept authors from all across the world. We felt that there was a lack of British themed books in the market and it makes sense to work with what we have and where we come from. Also, we really do want to encourage UK authors to work with us. There are some fantastic British authors out there and we want to see them do well. We’ve already got some wonderful English authors like Portia Da Costa and Saskia Walker working with us.
All of our anthologies will be ‘Brit’ labelled, and have an associated theme. But we’re happy to leave what the association is to the authors—it could be a British character, a location in England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales—it’s their call, as long as they stick to the guidelines for the particular anthology (don’t want to stifle their creativity!! *g*) You can see more of what we’re looking for at our submissions guideline page. There are plenty of projects to get stuck into, and we’d love to hear from all the talented authors out there.
Total-E-Bound is a new Erotic Romance publisher based in the UK. They were launched yesterday.
New titles will be available every Monday, 9AM GMT. That’s 5AM EST if you’re in North America.
There will be excerpts (3), and two contests. Yes, we have another one apart from this one. So have fun!