Our special guest today is Lou Aronica. He is the Publisher for The Story Plant, a publishing house dedicated to developing commercial novelists into bestselling authors. Weʼll talk to Lou about The Story Plant, their new and upcoming titles, and what the future might hold.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Lou. It’s wonderful to have you with us. What can you tell us about The Story Plant and the men behind it?
The Story Plant is a new independent publishing house that I started with Peter Miller, a literary manager I’ve known for decades. Our focus is on commercial fiction from writers we feel we can develop over a number of books.
Why did you decide to focus solely on fiction?
We really felt that publishers weren’t developing new novelists as they once did. They’re looking for blockbusters and that puts a huge amount of pressure on both the writer and the publisher – and more importantly leaves many very good novels unpublished. Since I’ve had a great deal of experience developing novelists over the years, this seemed to be the right charter for The Story Plant.
What titles have been or will be released by The Story Plant this year?
We’re publishing two titles this year. The first is a contemporary romantic fantasy called American Quest, written by Sienna Skyy. It’s a classic quest story juxtaposed against a compelling love story with a fresh and distinctive contemporary setting. The second is a medical thriller, Capitol Reflections by Jonathan Javitt. This is a gripping story about what could go wrong with genetically modified foods if dangerous people control these products. The author is a true Washington insider with tremendous access.
What do you look for in a manuscript?
We’re looking for novels that work here, work in translation, and have the potential to work on film. The best way to bridge these three markets is with great characters. I think readers care much more about the fiction they’re reading if they have strong feelings about the characters. I know I need that to keep me interested.
Why will readers be interested in The Story Plant’s titles?
I think they’ll be interested because each book is written with a great deal of passion and energy – and of course each has interesting characters. We work very closely with the writers on our list and I think that commitment comes across on the page.
Where can readers purchase your authors’ books?
Hopefully anywhere they normally purchase books.
What are your future plans for The Story Plant?
Our goal is to publish ten books in 2009 and then expand to twelve new hardcovers and reprints of the previous year’s hardcovers in the years after that. We aren’t planning to expand beyond this because we want to be able to give each book we publish serious editorial and marketing attention.
Do you have a website where readers and authors can learn more?
Just that I’m extremely interested in hearing from readers. I’ve been in the publishing business for nearly thirty years, but The Story Plant is very close to my heart and Peter’s heart. I’d love to know how people think we’re doing and we’re very open to suggestions.
Thank you for joining us today, Lou. We wish you much success with The Story Plant.
The LOU ARONICA VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR '08 will officially begin on October 1 and end on October 30. You can visit Lou's blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in October to find out more about his new publishing house!
As a special promotion, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on any of our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner will be announced on our main blog at www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.wordpress.com on October 30!