Courtesy of Reagan Rothe
Reagan Rothe decided to draw from his own personal experiences as a writer to determine what type of publishing house he wanted to establish. In a recent one-on-one interview, he recalled, “I wanted to create a place for fellow writers that felt more personable. I wanted it to have a family feel and atmosphere, where authors would receive answers honestly and in a timely manner.”
And with that, Black Rose Writing was born.
Rothe also knew that he didn’t want to be pigeonholed into releasing work from a particular category and adopted the slogan — "We publish only one genre... our genre."
He explained how he chose that particular tagline, “Our slogan derived from being asked over and over, what type of books do you publish? The easy answer was ‘good ones.’ And that's where the slogan started, we don't necessarily specialize in only children's books, or mysteries, or nonfiction, we publish a wide range of genres, but are open and flexible to realize not all strong pieces of literature fit in an exact genre or have a target market. Some are more niche, and even though it may be harder to break through, if the book is good, we want to publish it.”
To live up to Black Rose Writing’s motto, Rothe acknowledged, “I try to follow our mission keywords on a weekly basis — staying innovative, being self-reliant when able, being nimble and quick to opportunities, being forward-thinking in the industry, always learning and remaining subject experts, staying entrepreneurial, and being engaged with my staff, authors, and readers.”
Rothe and his team also have to stay on top off technological advances. “We started as a print publisher only, and when the digital era started picking up pace, we were quick to expand to an eBook publisher, as well, and then again with audiobooks,” he noted. “We publish almost every title in print and digital formats, and we are currently producing (narrating) about 50-70% of our new releases into audio format. Being able to reach every type of book reader (or book listener) is something we strive for with every new technology within the literary industry. “
And in an environment where authors are able to self-publish, Rothe admitted that he and the members of his organization are always asking themselves, “Why publish with Black Rose Writing when I can do it myself?”
He said that the first advantage is Black Rose Writing’s ability to offer authors opportunities that might be exclusive to traditionally-published authors or at a lower rate than a self-published author would have to spend out of pocket. “For example, we might select your title to be featured on NetGalley, marketing from your publisher that you would have to budget for. And if we didn’t select your title, you can still participate through our cooperative marketing and save over $200 with our discounted rate for a NetGalley slot. This is just one example, but there are many aspects of promotion and marketing that Black Rose Writing authors can access – ranging from representing a booth at the LA Times Festival of Books at no cost to attend (typically thousands of dollars) to attending the Book Expo America at a reasonable rate and free badge,” he explained.
In addition, Rothe acknowledged that being an author at an independent press like Black Rose Writing comes with a certain assumption of quality from bookstores, librarians, especially in terms of editing. “If you are a self-published author, a bookstore or library would have to spend more time vetting your book to ensure it is professionally edited and of high quality,” he observed. “Where if they consistently work with a publisher they know puts out quality material, there’s a built-in advantage. “
Finally, Rothe has observed that self-publishing can limit opportunities for authors where there are doors that can be opened by working with a publisher like Black Rose Writing. “While the term self-published and the stigma that comes with it has been lessened in the past years, there are still bookstores, book festivals, and many opportunities that still require an author be traditionally published. Just having the resources and support of a publisher can increase an author’s visibility and success rate. Our media lists, contacts, press kits, and other educational information on what works, where to save time and energy, and what works best for each project.”
And on top of that, Rothe’s company has a robust method of promoting the works they publish. This includes creating targeted media plans, featuring authors on their webpage and online bookstore, promoting digital eBooks, and giving their authors guidance, among many other avenues of support.
It’s no wonder that Rothe is proud of many of the titles that Black Rose Writing has published. He noted that “books that have been bestsellers or award-winners always hold a special place with a publisher, and many of those titles keep selling years after release.”
And while he wanted to be clear that he wasn’t intentionally leaving any books unmentioned, he listed a few that he was particularly proud of:
Battle Hymn by John Scura and Dane Phillips
The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride by Joe Siple
The Sheriff's Son by Wayne Skarka and Butch Campsey
Doll House by John Hunt
What the Valley Knows by Heather Christie
The Ice Maiden by B.D. Smith
As for future works, Rothe gave a sneak peak of the upcoming novel from Anthony Mora called Virtual Velocity, the story of literary pop phenomena, Jake Jenkins. A journey through L.A.’s rock and literary words, the book explores the intersection between fame and art.
The book was submitted through one of Black Rose Writing’s submission platforms. “It was reviewed by our acquisitions' team, and well-received,” recounted Rothe. “All of the reviewer notes came back positive. Anthony Mora has a great author platform, and his past material has all been very well received and reviewed. With Virtual Velocity, I read our notes, which indicated many positive aspects revolving around the storyline and the writing style.”
To find out more about the forthcoming Virtual Velocity and all of Black Rose Writing’s catalog, visit their official website.