I'm proud to be a pubished author with Grand Mal Press. I have found that they are a professional and enjoyable-to-work-with outfit. So here's a bit about them for those that don't know. This is an interview with Ryan C. Thomas; one of the key players in the publisher's setup.
Tell us a bit about the history of Grand Mal Press and how it came to be.
The long and the short of it is, a friend of mine was fed up with the current state of the American small press. He’d been published by a couple imprints and the products were crap. I’d seen it plenty as well. Too many companies with bad editing, bad covers, bad rates, etc (which is not to say there aren’t good ones, too, but there are a lot of bad ones). So, we basically said, hey, we can do this and try to not make those mistakes. Grand Mal’s CEO is a huge fan of classic literature and was a college English professor, so between his love of prose, and my history of ten years in the magazine publishing industry, where I learned proper layout and editing techniques, we put our skills together to get Grand Oak Books Ltd, (which owns Grand Mal Press) off the ground. We then brought in professional editors, and proofers, and cover artists to round out our small, dedicated staff.
What type of fiction do you specialise in and what are you not interested in?
We are interested in all genre fiction, everything from sci fi to horror to mystery to westerns to fantasy, etc. We are getting ready to start accepting YA fiction as well. Grand Oak Books—the parent company—also owns kidz4kidz press, which is a new imprint specializing in children’s books. Right now, we’re not interested in short story collections, erotica, or graphic novels.
What are the company’s plans for 2012 and beyond?
We’re still looking for more books to publish; we want to expand the line. We are in talks with audio book companies (Audible already bought some of the Grand Oak Books titles) and just received interest from the Library Association of America to stock our books. So things are happening, but as in all small businesses it takes some time. Our fingers are crossed and we’re working hard.
What is currently on the horizon for Grand Mal Press?
We have 6 or 7 new titles already signed and we’re going to be getting those out shortly. Books by Nick Cook, Gregory Norris, Robert White, Geoffrey James, Craig Saunders, Matt Darst, and more. We have made offers to others as well, but I can’t speak of them until I get the contracts back. But there are some amazing books we’re working to get. We are also looking at our first limited edition hardback series to start soon.
Any advice to authors looking to get your interest?
Send us polished scripts. We get so many we can’t be bothered to read the whole thing right away and if we see tons of errors in the first couple pages it gets rejected. If it’s polished we pass it on to the acquisitions people. Also, read up on our rates first. We’re a small press and we cannot offer a six figure deal—we’ve had a couple subbers and websites get mad at us for that. By all means try for Random House first. But mostly just hone your craft and send us a clean script and we’ll happily consider it. One of our appeals—we hope—is that we have no specific genre in mind. Other publishers are zombie-focused or vampire-focused....but we’ll look at everything. But of course we look at that popular stuff as well.
Grand Mal is building a family that is very supportive of each other and I really like that. Everyone seems to be working together to make the brand grow. We can’t wait to add even more members to the table!