Jennifer Walkup, author of Second Verse coming from Luminis Books October 2013!
Jennifer was recently interviewed on Tangled Up In Words for Small Press 411. Here’s what she had to say about working with Luminis Books. Thanks Jennifer! We love working with you, too!
When Jennifer Walkup isn’t writing or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and young sons, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and coming up with costume ideas for Halloween. She’s obsessed with good coffee and new recipes and likes broccoli on her pizza, flowers in her hair, flip-flops on her feet, and the number 13. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also serves as fiction editor for The Meadowland Review and teaches creative writing at The Writers Circle. Second Verse is her first novel. You can find Jennifer on twitter @JennWalkup.
Before you signed with Luminis Books, did you have any ideas or notions about what small press publishing would be like? Has that proven to be true or false? What made you submit to your Luminis Books?
Over the years I’ve watched friends publish in all sorts of ways: big 6, independent, mid-sized and self-published. I knew there was no one universal publishing experience and was both anxious and excited to throw my hat, er, book, into the ring.
I had been working on my young adult thriller, Second Verse, for a few years. I was in a unique position because I had just parted ways with my agent around the time Second Verse was really ready for editors. I had to decide – did I want to query agents again or did I want to query editors at independent presses directly? After some soul searching and research, I decided on the latter. And I’m glad I did!
I didn’t know exactly what to expect as I’ve heard all sorts of publishing stories, but I did my homework before querying and made sure to choose publishers that had a professional standing and vibe and ones I’d heard good things about. I bought books put out by the publishers I considered, taking care to check out the style and quality of design and editing. Deciding to go small pub was something I considered for a while before actually taking the plunge.
What has been the most surprising with Luminis Books?
Most surprising would probably be the marketing plan. Luminis has given me a publicist to work with and now that we’re getting close to ARCs being ready (squee!) we’re starting to work on the marketing plan for Second Verse. We’re talking about all sorts of exciting things – reviewers, blog tours, book tours, trade shows, various press opportunities, school and bookstore visits, libraries, giveaways. Plus, it’s all very collaborative and cooperative. Lots of creative ideas getting bounced around.
There have been a lot of other great things about working with Luminis, too. My editor and the rest of the team are extremely professional. I love being able to banter back and forth on email or by phone to work out a plot point. And being able to ask any question and get a prompt and knowledgeable answer is fantastic.
Of course I have no basis for comparison as this is my debut novel, but the idea of small presses doing no marketing or no editing has not proved true for me at all thus far!
How would you rate your overall experience?
So far, so good! I’ve been thrilled and blessed to work with an editor that has a hawk’s eye for detail, is patient, responsive, incredibly thorough and really nice to boot. So far, it’s been a dream!
What would you say to writers considering small press publishing?
Consider all your options. There are so many paths to choose from and it really is such a personal decision. Different things work for different writers and different books. For me, a small press has been really great thus far. So I guess my advice would be to take your time and figure out what works best for you before deciding, but most definitely do not dismiss the small press option!