Mellisa Miller, CEO of Solstice Publishing: Interviewed by Mark Iles
Melissa Miller is not only a successful published author but the CEO of Solstice Publishing. I was delighted at this opportunity to interview her, and my first question has to be ‘Melissa, what was the top thing that inspired you to start Solstice?’
I wanted to help authors get their story out there. I had signed with a company before I opened my own business and it wasn’t a good experience. That company lost my book for a while and gave me excuse after excuse for their problems. And then the editor wanted me to change my story, because she would have written it a different way. But then she didn’t write it, I did, and it contained what I wanted to happen in it.
After that horrible experience I signed with a couple other publishers and they were not much better. This led me to open my own company and make it a place where authors felt like they are part of a family. A place where they felt like I was there for them and they could come to me if they needed to. And that has been how I have run this company for ten years. I have talked to the authors like they were friends and family. They have come to me with their problems and I’ve been there for them through their difficult times. I have shown them that they are people, not just a product I’m selling in a store.
What genres are solstice interested in and what not – and are there any specific
reasons for this?
We are interested in fiction stories. Mystery, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Westerns. What we are not interested in is Non-Fiction. Although Non-Fiction stories can be good we simply don't have a market for them. I know the right publisher’s out there for Non Fiction, but at this time it isn't Solstice.
In author submissions what do you look for?
Something original. Don’t tell us that your story is like this movie or that book. We are not looking for what’s already out there, we’re looking for original tales.
If you were asked for your top turn-offs in submissions, what would they be?
The things we hate are books that are not ready to submit. If it's full of typos and grammar mistakes then we are not interested.
Do you think that the cost of Print-On-Demand has a negative impact on reader purchases, and if so how can we tackle this?
I don't think the cost really bothers anything. POD books are more expensive, yes, but if a reader is interested in the book then they will pay the small price difference.
You have a wide diversity of genres, in what areas do you have thoughts about expanding?
We don't have any plans to expand at this moment in time.
Do you have any ambitions for solstice?
Yes, to help authors get their book published, and I want to help them learn. Being an author is hard work. Many people have a story in their head and could write it down, but that doesn't make them an author.
An author is somebody who wants to put in the hard work required. New authors are unknown and have to work to get their name out there. They need to do events and things online to get noticed. An author will put in the time and effort needed for their career. That’s who I want to bring into Solstice. People who are willing to learn, and willing to do the work required to be successful.
Writers Note: I’d like to personally thank Melissa for giving us this interview.
Direct feedback from a publisher is extremely rare, and greatly valued. Thank you, Melissa.
Solstice Twitter: https://twitter.com/Solsticepublish
Wanted: A Western Story Collection: https://www.amazon.com/Wanted-Collection-Robert-J-Thomas-ebook/dp/B01E1VDSSE/
Falling from Grace & Others: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OYV3CHE/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5