Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Interview with Les Denton

by Daisy Willis

Les Denton is the owner of Assent Publishing, LLC, a publishing company she founded to bring quality authors and readers together. Les serves as the managing editor for Bad Day Books, Assent's horror, thirller, and suspense imprint. Les will be taking pitches at the Write Stuff conference, looking for new authors to sign and work with.

Assent Publishing supports their authors by offering them a full curriculum--for free--that teaches the skills and strategies needed for sales success. This curriculum is offered through Assent Academy. 

GLVWG member Daisy Willis contacted Les to ask her questions about her company and the types of writing she's interested in.

What inspired you to found your own publishing company, and what sets it apart from the rest?

When the internet broke ground, I offered services in technology. It was an exciting time and I was able to offer many new things to people and businesses. I also write and surround myself in that environment. Recent changes in the publishing industry brought this fresh opportunity to mind, just like the birth of the internet. It is an exciting new frontier where authors have more opportunity than ever before, which is why I founded Assent Publishing.

We are a new, groundbreaking publishing company that stands apart from half-effort e-publishers and old-school traditional publishers. We have proven strategies and an understanding of author marketing needs, a commitment to distribution solutions, and dedication to publishing high quality books. I am excited to be the only publisher to present Assent Academy, the first of its kind, which offers professionally taught marketing and book business curriculum and customized advice at no charge to our authors throughout their careers with Assent Publishing.

You're managing editor for Assent's horror, thriller and suspense imprint, Bad Day Books (great name, by the way!). What's hot in these genres and what's decidedly not?

Thank you for the kind words. The purpose of this imprint is to transcend horror to embrace all goosebump raising, fret inducing, bad day stories. Readers are in it for the ride right now and they seek adrenaline-pumping storylines. Thrillers are big right now. What better way to take a thrill ride without having to leave the comfort of your favorite reading chair. In horror, I love psychological horror and there is a lot of great new material out there drawing attention to the genre.

What’s not so hot? Don’t get me wrong, I love zombies, but they are weighing down the shelves a bit right now. My advice: Make zombies a support element, not the driving force of your book.

Can you tell us about something you've published recently that you're really excited about and that exemplifies Assent Publishing?

There is a great deal of talent out there and it is so hard to narrow the list. I like to think forward and there are a few books we are polishing that I am really excited about. As I mentioned earlier, thrillers are big right now. So are strong female characters. The Pact by C.N. Bring is the first military thriller in a series about a strong female character surviving in a predominately man’s world. On the fantasy front, Rise of the Raven Knights by Paul DeThroe takes an average, contemporary man into the realm of the supernatural, surrounded by demons, shape-shifters, ghosts, danger from evil forces, and a few ill-timed magical disasters.

I am also excited to publish books that assist authors. The second edition of Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power within your Manuscript by Deborah Riley-Magnus has been updated to address today’s hurdles to success for authors in this turbulent publishing landscape.

What's your role as an editor in the publishing process? What do you find most rewarding and most challenging about the job?

As managing editor for Bad Day Books, I stay with our authors from submission to publication and beyond. We are excited about the career of each author, and the submission process is a great way to find not only the right manuscripts, but to begin sharing a future vision with each author. Working with authors throughout the creative process of publishing is rewarding. Finding bandwidth is challenging and we are constantly streamlining our processes and developing new roles as new talent comes on board to accommodate growth.

Any gems of advice for writers gearing up to pitch or submit their work?

Writing a novel is a process. As a part of concept, and certainly along the voyage, the writer should interact with their target audience through research and marketing. By the time the manuscript draft is complete, the twenty-five word pitch, short description, and even some of the book platform should be in place. Pitching the book should be a natural extension of this process and not, mentally at least, a separate step. Build a plan that shows you know your target audience, your hooks, your competition, and your characters and storyline from different perspectives. By not waiting until you write “The End” to start doing this homework, your pitch will be solid and your knowledge and enthusiasm will sell both you and your work.

1 comment :

  1. Great interview, Daisy! Thanks for mentioning me and my book, Les! Super exciting! :)