If you’re interested in penning an erotic romance or erotica you might be interested to today’s publisher, UK based Xcite Books www.xcitebooks.co.uk. They were named Winner of the ETO Best Erotic Book Brand 2010 and here to tell us all about the company and what they’re looking for is one their editors Miranda Forbes.
Susan Palmquist (SP)-I had the pleasure of interviewing your owner, Hazel Cushion of Accent Press, a few years ago when Xcite was just beginning. Would you like to tell us how the imprint came about and how long you’ve been an editor for the company?
Miranda Forbes (MF)-I have been here from the start but now head up the editorial team which has grown in the last three years. Lucas Steele has joined us to develop our gay and lesbian list and we also have a team of freelance readers.
SP-Do you think the growth in e-books has something to do with women wanting to read more erotic romances and erotica?
MF-I think e-books are the perfect medium for erotica because of their discreet and immediate nature. We have seen a seven-fold growth in e-book sales this year so it is a very exciting area for us.
SP-You publish both anthologies and single author books in both print and e-book format. Any easier to break into than others?
MF-The mixed anthologies are the easiest to break into as we are always looking for a good variety in the stories. I would really recommend that authors think of using different time periods, locations etc. to add variety to their contributions.
SP-How about the anthologies…what types of stories do you look for?
MF-Ones with a story – sounds obviously but so many submissions are really just an account of a sexual experience. We want to engage our readers with believable characters, exciting events and there needs to be a good degree to sexual tension. As with all good short stories it also needs a beginning, middle and end.
SP-What gets an instant rejection from you?
MF-That very overworked plot of a couple having an affair that turn out to be married in the end – I must have read that one a hundred times! Also anything that leaves you feeling uncomfortable rather than aroused – edgy and thought provoking stories are great but they must have that all important ‘feel good’ factor!
SP-You also sell audio CDs, could you tell us about them and do all stories eventually go to this format?
MF-Audio is perfect for some hands-free fun and I know a lot of our customers really enjoy this format. Quite a lot of our titles are available for download from www.audible.co.uk and more are in production. I see it very much as a growth area like e-books.
SP-Any type of story you’d like to see but can’t seem to find?
MF-I know we are on the lookout for more stories with a collaring theme which can be written from the dominant or submissive POV but must have a collaring connection.
SP-Submission to your e-book line is currently closed. Any idea when you’ll be looking for new stories again?
MF-This is because we are working through the submission pile and it seemed unfair to keep it open while we were somewhat overwhelmed. As soon as we are up to date we will open again.
SP-When you do what type of books do you hope to see?
MF-We always like to offer a variety to our customers but gay, lesbian and spanking are our bestselling genres.
SP-What sets your books apart from other erotic stories?
MF-I think that our readers trust us because we have very clear guidelines and strict quality control over what we publish. I think branding will become more and more important as the e-book market gets flooded with self-published erotica – most of which is dire.
We also aim to empower women who read our stories and I know they are recommended by sex therapists for this very reason. Our Ultimate Curves range featured full-figured fabulous because most women are size 16+ – I strongly believe that sexiness is a state of mind not a clothes size and we want curvy girls to feel good about themselves.
SP-Any plans for new projects you can share with us?
MF-We have just launched Xcite Down Under in Australia and New Zealand so will be developing the market there in 2011 by exhibiting at Brisbane’s Sexpo. New distribution in the USA and Canada has also opened up the market there since September 2010.
SP-Can books be set anywhere, and how about spelling, British and American or just British?
MF-We have a fantastic team of international writers and love the variety of their work. At the moment we do edit all our books to British spelling but start to produce US editions in the future.