Today, we are very excited to welcome the lovely Lyn Vernham from ChocLit onto our Tuesday Chit Chat slot. Over the last few months we have had authors and agents on this slot and today we have our first publisher in the spotlight.
We know Lyn has a very busy schedule and we appreciate the time she took to answer our questions.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I was given a copy of Juliet Archer’s The Importance of Being Emma and was amazed at how good it was. After hearing Juliet’s tale of not being able to obtain an agent or publisher It was the challenge we needed to put our marketing skills to the test and launch Choc Lit.
How did you go about finding your first author?
We launched with Juliet, Sue (Moorcroft) was our second author and submitted her manuscript (Starting Over) after seeing The Importance of Being Emma short-listed for the Melissa Nathan and the Joan Hessayon New Writers awards. Allowing direct submissions has been a major factor in finding our talented authors. As it stands today, only one of our authors has an agent. The success of Starting Over and our award success (now 7 awards) has ensured the submissions continue.
Who developed the ChocLit reader scheme and what was the rationale behind it?
Hands up, that was me. We decided to publish novels that appealed to the mass market, novels readers would like to see rather than the industry decide what’s fashionable or commercial. To me, as a marketeer, it was an obvious move – no other industry launch products without research. Why should publishing a book be any different? Our reader panel is known as our Tasting Panel. The age range spans 18 – 80 throughout the UK and we’ve recently added members in the US and Australia.
Who is your all time favourite romantic hero and how would you describe him in chocolate terms?
If a manuscript receives straight passes from all age brackets (Tasting Panel split into age brackets) and we believe the author will fit into our team – we’ll publish. However, I do hold the final vote as I currently do all author interviews.
I’m not a fan of digital only. I still believe there’s a print market for our product. We see our ebooks and print compliment each other. It’s still the only way to give an author true coverage to offer readers all formats including audio.
Read our current list and see what we publish. We’re always on the look-out for something different to add. Also participate in social media. You’ll find all our authors are active on facebook and twitter and regularly blog. If we see you’re online, it will improve your chances of being requested.
Quick fire round:
- Blue Peter or Magpie? Blue Peter
- Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet? Spandau
- Valentine’s Day, home cooked meal or dining out? Home cooked.
- Love at first sight or slow burner? Love at first sight
- Marmite – love it or hate it? Love it
- Tom Cruise or George Clooney? Difficult not a fan of either – probably Clooney. Cruise has a silly grin.
- E-reader or paperback? Paperback but ereader when travellingChocLit’s submission guidelines can be found on their website, here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.All of ChocLit’s authors are on Facebook and Twitter and each and every one of them are incredibly friendly so please do go and say hi. ChocLit’s novels can be found in a number of places, and are all on Amazon both as paperback and Kindle format.