Escape Publishing is the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Australia and officially launches today, November 14. Please welcome Kate Cuthbert to the blog to share the details of this exciting new publishing initiative…
As I keep telling everyone: we’re into everything! Our five launch titles are now available, and they include a sophisticated Romantic Suspense, a groovy contemporary romance, a short holiday novella, an erotic fantasy novella, and a debut urban fantasy.
In the coming months, you can expect science fiction, fantasy, erotic romance, YA, romantic suspense, and a whole range of contemporary romances that really span the spectrum of living – and loving! – in Australia today.
2. Will there be a certain number of titles releasing each month?
We’re really focusing on quality over quantity, so we’re not looking to reach any quotas. If we have 15 fantastic stories ready to go, then we’ll release all 15. If there’s only one, then we’ll let it fly solo. However, it’s definitely looking like more of the former than the latter, based on the high quality of submissions that are coming in.
3. What are the advantages of digital publishing over traditional print publishing?
Risks! Print publishing really has to focus on reaching as broad a market as possible, whereas digital-first can really spread its wings and take on niche titles, cross-genre titles, rule-breakers, and innovations. Naturally we want our titles to reach as many people as possible, but we’re just as happy if they find a home as a cult favourite or a niche title.
4. What makes Escape Publishing unique?
Unlike other digital-first publishers, we’re focused on Australian romance. We really want to bring Australian voices, characters, settings, and stories to the romance world. A local focus means we can celebrate our roots, and a romance focus means we can target our market. We are absolutely happy to accept submissions from international authors and settings outside of Australia, but we’re really interested in building an Australian presence in the international romance world.
5. Can readers purchase books through all available ebook retailers worldwide?
Absolutely – all the biggies (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc) as well as smaller and local stores. Our stories are published without DRM or geographic restrictions.
6. Are there any particular types or genres of stories that Escape is looking for but hasn’t found yet?
I can tell you that, personally, I’d love to see some more Australia-set historicals, and we’re also happy to explore the emerging subgenre of ‘new adult’ romance fiction.
7. These days authors are expected to be more proactive in their marketing efforts, how important is social media for authors and what types of marketing strategies does Escape employ to spread the word about their books?
One of the contributing factors to the success of romance fiction is the relationship between the author and the reader, and social media has made this so easy. I would encourage authors to get involved and online in the way that best suits their comfort level and time restrictions, but without fail, all authors need an up-to-date, easy-to-navigate website.
We’re really lucky at Escape, because we get to build on the networks that Harlequin Enterprises and Harlequin Australia have built over the years, as well as a targeted digital strategy to get our titles out there and connect our readers with our stories.
8. Will you be publishing any novellas or short stories? Is there anything in particular you’re looking for when it comes to shorter works of fiction?
We publish anything from 5000 words to 250 000, so yes, novellas and short stories. The only restriction we put on our lower word counts is that they are still a complete story with that lovely emotional arc that we (and our readers!) want to see.
The best way is via our website: www.escapepublishing.com.au. There’s an online form that covers all the bases, and a direct email contact if you run into trouble.
Thanks for your time and congratulations on the launch of Escape!