Electronic publishing has come a long way and is now a viable publishing alternative for both new and previously published authors alike. It’s our pleasure to welcome Jill N. Noble (Senior editor/owner) and Erika Galpin (YA acquisitions editor) of Noble Young Adult www.nobleyoungadult.com.
Can you tell us a little about Noble Romance Publishing and what brought about the creation of the Noble Young adult imprint?
Jill: Noble was established in June, 2007, by author & editor Jill N. Noble-Shearer and business executive James K. Noble, Jr. Jill and Jim bring to the table over 20 years experience in marketing, and Jill has 10 + years experience in publishing/e-publishing. Noble is a full-service, standard publishing house, and we do not charge our authors any fees. Noble started their young adult line in early 2011 to address the need for books younger readers can relate to. Noble prides itself on allowing authors to remain true to their characters and create stories that are real . . . even if the content might not be pretty at times . . . and the books in the young adult line are no exception. Our young adult books are entertaining, and while some might address important social issues, none of them are "preachy."
YA protagonists tend to fall in the 14--18 age range, does this hold true for Noble YA?
Erika: No our protagonists are generally aged between 18 and 24. This means authors are free to address some topics other publishers won't accept, like teen pregnancy and teenage drinking.
What sets Noble YA apart from traditional (print first) YA publishers ?
Erika: As I mentioned, we are more likely to look at taboo subjects. Noble Young Adult is the YA imprint of Noble Romance Publishing. Our adult line asks authors if they have books that are too dark for other publishers? Too controversial? Too unusual? The YA imprint is also happy to look at manuscripts that are a little outside the box.
Since it's relatively easy for one to e-publish through Kindle/Nook etc why should a YA author consider submitting to and publishing with Noble YA?
Erika: Noble Young Adult will professionally edit your manuscript, something that can cost a bit if a professional editor is used. Our cover artist, C.H Scarlett creates unique and personally tailored cover art, again at no cost to the author. Noble will also format and distribute your manuscript to third party vendors.
I know in adult fiction e-publishers are a great place for the niche stories, and shorter length stories to find a home. Can you give us an example of something currently released or recent submission that might not find a home with a traditional print publisher?
Erika: We have an upcoming release called the Night Ranger by Rusty Fischer. This is a fast-paced vampire adventure. At 7,500 words, this story would not be released as a single title by traditional publishers. But we treat each story equally, regardless of length. They all receive full edits and cover art before being released individually.
What type of things are on your acquisitions "Wish List"?
Erika: I love post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction. I'd like to see some YA science fiction as there simply isn't enough out there. I'd also like to see some equestrian fiction for Young Adults. There are plenty of 'pony club' reads for children, but nothing for the older age group. We definitely need to see more GLBT fiction for Young Adults. I enjoy inspiring coming of age GLBT romances. But I also think it would be great to see GLBT characters in other genres. Wouldn't it be nice to see YA GLBT main characters slaying demons and vampires? Or navigating futuristic space? Or solving mysteries? I think it's important for young GLBT protagonists to be represented in all genres. I also have a thing for zombies. From the humorous to the downright horrific, I love zombie fiction.
This from YA author Rhonda Stapleton: I'd love to know what kind of marketing/promotion they plan to undertake to reach teens, given they're not going to have books in brick-and-mortar stores. Know what I mean? Marketing/publicity is crucial to sell YA e-books, and I'm curious what YA e-book publishers will do to reach the target audience.
Jill: Noble is approaching young adult bloggers, book reviewers, and owners/operators of other sites where young adults congregate, and working with them to get the word out about our YA books. The books are also available in the appropriate sections on e-tailer sites that reach a younger audience, such as Amazon.com. Very soon, we intend to do more marketing and advertising with social media, and extend our advertising to sites that aren't book-centric, such as college sites and other online, YA social sites.
This from YA author Joey Nichols: From an acquisitions perspective, how does she see the young adult genre performing in the electronic publishing arena? What are the advantages and disadvantages to pursuing e-publishing with YA?
Jill: We think the audience for YA e-published books will continue to grow, just like the audience for e-published books in general will continue to grow. As more and more young adults purchase iPads, Kindles, etc., the availability of these books will become more widely known. Noble believes it's more a matter of education - advertising and marketing that lets younger adults know these books are out there and easily available - than anything else. We are planning a targeted marketing campaign that will introduce young adults to e-reading and e-books, in general. This campaign will launch this winter, and I am excited to see the results.
This from YA author Terry Spear: Three of the publishers that I've been published with dropped their YA book lines because they weren't selling as well as their adult romance. And two of the traditional publishers also dropped their YA lines that I'd submitted to. Do you think that this is a problem with publishers who carry too many other kinds of fiction instead of one who deals mostly with teen fiction and children's fiction? Is it a marketing issue? I know YA sells, so I was just curious.
Jill: I think it's a matter of expectations. We know it's going to take time to build the YA line to the point where the sales mirror what we see for adult romance. We expect this to take some time and a lot of effort on our part, as well as the investment of a bit of money to make certain we're advertising and marketing to our target audience. Other businesses may have either expected or required instant success and high profits; we know that's not going to be the case. While some of our YA books are already selling well, especially on Amazon.com, we believe it will take some time and effort before we see consistent, positive results with the majority of our YA releases. We are willing to work toward those results, and we hope our young adult authors are willing to work with us to reach our goal of becoming *the* publisher young adults go to for their young adult fiction.