For the Love of Small Presses

It's my turn to share some words of wisdom related to writing in the romance genre. If only I had some... What I do have is twenty-five years experience of trying to figure out how to pull words together into something at least partially enjoyable by a reader. Believe me (and my critique partners), I've come a long way in honing my skills and I hope to go even farther as I continue trudging my way in and around the world of publishing.

Speaking of publishing, I want to talk a little about the smaller presses, which is where I've, fortunately, found my home as a published author. I've published 21 novellas and novels so far with one specific on-line publisher in the last five years, and I added a second publisher last year. From personal experience I can say that if you establish an agreeable relationship with your small press publisher, you can have almost unlimited opportunities for driving yourself nuts...I mean for publishing. It can be stressful, exciting, mindboggling, scary. But I love my chosen field of writing and my chosen publshers. That doesn't mean I won't pursue attemtping to publish with more small presses. I tend to like being crazy.

My main publisher, Blushing Books, is a "specialty" publisher in the romance genres, somewhere in the fetish lines and at the top of that particular market. Many of the other small ebook publishers are also publishing these lines, actually far more out-there than I write. This royalty paying publisher started mainly with on-line downloads and has progressed to ebooks, Kindle downloads, and trade paperbacks.

I decided to branch out last year and had my first erotic romance short story published with Red Rose Publishing ( We've begun a relationship and I will have a second longer erotic story published later this year with them. Red Rose is a full service, royalty paying electronic and Print-On-Demand book publisher that welcomes all romance genres and sub-generes, whether erotic or mainstream romance in lengths from 1,000-60,000 words and higher. They also publish mainstream fiction.

The Wild Rose Press ( is another royalty paying growing electroinc publisher of most romance sub-genres. They publish works from 7,500-100,000 words. Another of our WARA members will soon have her first book relased by them, but she can blow her own horn later.

Whiskey Creek Press ( is a royalty paying publisher of fiction and non-fiction. They publish ebook and traditional trade paperback formats. They accept submissions in all fiction genres with word lengths from 50,000-100,000 words. One of our former WARA members publishes with this small press.

New Concepts Publishing ( is a royalty paying, ebook publisher of only romantic fiction in most sub-genres. They do not accept sweet romances. They publish short stories of 10,000 words on up to epic novels of 100,000 plus words.

One of the biggest of the small presses is Elloras Cave ( They are a royalty paying publisher of ebooks and trade paperbacks. They publish a wide variety of sub-genres of erotic romance from short stories up to 15,000 words on up to super plus novels of 100,000 plus words. For writers more interested in mainstream romance in a variety of sub-genres, Elloras Cave started a sdie company a few years ago, Cerridwen Press (

There are many more small presses for writers to try out, but I attempted to list the main ones that I am familiar with.


Joan Vincent said...

Thanks for great information on small presses and for the small press links with stats also! Having heard some of your work read I know you are very talented. These presses are lucky to have you. With your drive and diligence you will go far.

Pat Davids said...

Wonderful post Starla. It's chock full of great information. Some of the small presses have come a long way. I don't even think of Elloras Cave as a small press anymore. Their advertising in RWR and RT is always outstanding.
On a personal note: When I grow up I want to write as fast as Starla can. Nobody turns out pages faster.

Starla Kaye said...

Thanks for commenting, since both of you are multi-published in ways far better than me. I'm humbled by you both.

snwriter52 said...

Great blog with wonderful information. Thank you for sharing.

Rox Delaney said...

Wow, Starla! Thanks for sharing about small presses AND your publishing credits with them. It just goes to show there's a multitude of paths to publication and a plethora of types of books and ways to read them for readers.

snwriter52 said...

I'm testing to see if my picutre will appear with this commment.

Nina Sipes said...

That was chock full of good information about an aspect of writing that a lot of writers don't have a flying gnat of an understanding. You're enthusiasm is showing.
All smiles,

Penny Rader said...

Starla, you are truly awesome and amazingly prolific. I love watching you wrangle a story into submission. Thanks for being such a great example of hard work and BIC-HOKing. (BIC-HOK = butt in chair, hands on keyboard)

It's been such a pleasure to be one of your crit partners and to watch you grow and soar!

I'm tickled to see my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, mentioned in your post and your nudge to blow my own horn. Sapphire and Gold, a historical romance, will be released on 6/26/09. (toot-toot!)

Jeannie said...

As one of the people who has had the privilege of watching your journey as a writer, I can tell you that it's been well worth the trip. It's wonderful to know that so many of the characters we've watched develop over the years, like Whiskey and Frisco, are finally seeing print.

I'm always impressed by the wealth of information you include in your non-fiction articles and pieces. It's been a great help to have the knowledge of the books and websites you place in your non-fiction. Reading your work taught me to include bibliographies and site information in my own articles.

As far as page turn out goes, you are a phenomenon! Penny is right. It's an inspiration to bichok. (And a cause to eat chocolate ice cream in jealousy! ;-P)

Rox Delaney said...

Starla is Queen of the Written Pages! She's my idol, and I know I'll never be able to come close to her totals. Not in a lifetime. I bow to her flying fingers.