Looking for a traditional publishing house with a Christian heart? Anaiah Press just might be what you’re looking for. I went behind the scenes with managing editor Jessica Schmeidler to learn more about this digital-first publisher that is currently building its list for 2014.
JEN: Hi Jessica, can you tell me a little about what we will find at Anaiah Press?
Jessica: When you go to our website, what we hope you find is inspiration and success. We operate as a family in many respects, and I believe our website represents the fun professionalism you’ll find with us. If you have any questions regarding which Imprint your manuscript would fall under, you’ll find a list of readership and genres with the description of each of our imprints. Likewise, while we allow for a variety of content, there are three exceptions that you’ll find on our submission’s page.
JEN: If more than one of your editors have requested a query, should I choose one or submit to all?
Jessica: You may choose between the editors who have requested, if you have a preference. Otherwise, I would send it to the editor who either first requested it or whichever editor is listed as associated with the imprint of your manuscript. We are a very close-knit family at Anaiah, so regardless of who you choose, we all have the ability to request to see it.
JEN: Most traditional publishers pair up picture book manuscripts with illustrators of their choice. However, small presses sometimes like the full package. Which do you prefer?
Jessica: We operate like many other traditional presses—once we accept a picture book for publication, we like to choose the illustrator. If the author already has his or her picture book illustrated, that’s great! Or if they have an illustrator who has offered to work on their book, we would be more than happy to consider them. Otherwise we do pair up the manuscripts with an illustrator of our choice, yes.
JEN: How interactive are your digitally published books? Do they any dynamic content? Searchable text? Links to online content?
Jessica: This is fully determinate on the book in question. Our books will be published to high digital standards. However, not all books require the same interactive features. We intend to do whatever is the most appropriate with each particular book.
JEN: Do you have any sample pages so that a reader can get a taste of your offering?
Jessica: We will be offering pre-release teasers that will be available with such offerings, yes. Most distributors allow for a bit of content to be shown, as well, and we do intend to utilize that feature.
JEN: Are your books formatted for public libraries to purchase and offer as check out?
Jessica: Our books will be available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, GooglePlay books, iTunes, as well as other, smaller retailers. Our marketing plans also include access and availability for public libraries, which will be particularly important for our middle grade books.
JEN: What specific “bad words” would never be acceptable for your list, even if they are said in character?
Jessica: Crass expletives as well as the use of our Lord’s name in vain.
JEN: How long do you anticipate a “digital print run” to be? Do you have plans in place for adapting to new operating systems? At what point are titles offered for print-on-demand? Will a “buy the print version” information be added to the ebook?
Jessica: Wow. Talk about getting right down to the nitty-gritty behind the scenes, huh? What I can tell you is that Anaiah plans to be very transparent, and any such plans will be made readily available to our readers and authors. I can also add that our picture books and illustrated early readers will be published simultaneously as both print and digital. As far as the length of digital vs print run, that is going to be, again, determined largely on a book-by-book basis.
JEN: If I publish with Anaiah, do I have to give you first look at my future manuscripts?
Jessica: Not for unrelated works, no. Of course, we hope that you’ll want to, even though you don’t have to. J
JEN: Will book trailers be a part of my publicity/marketing plan? How about quizzes and teacher's guides for picture books?
Jessica: Yes. If you head to our blog, we have already started to release several of our book trailers. As far as the academic materials, I can say that I would definitely not be opposed to such an inclusion, but we don’t have any such additions scheduled for release thus far. Eventually, I would like Anaiah to be recognized as a great place for Christian homeschoolers to turn, though. Perhaps that offers a bit more insight?
JEN: Yes it does, thank you taking the time to do this interview.
If you think Anaiah Press would be a good fit and want to know what their editors are looking for, you check out their wishlists on their website or follow them on Twitter.
About Jessica: Jessica has a bachelor's degree in English (writing & literature), a bachelor's degree in Political Science (pre-law), as well as a certificate in Paralegal Studies. She began working as a freelance writer, editor, and paralegal in January 2007. After her freelancing career bloomed, she quickly decided editing was her passion, so she temporarily benched plans for law school. Now, seven perfect years later, there is no doubt she made the right choice. Jessica plans to stay on with Anaiah Press until she can no longer see to edit. Most important note: There is nothing in this life that is more important to Jessica than her Father.
Here’s a sneak peek at her current manuscript wish lists (broken down by Imprint):
Jessica blogs and roams Twitter as The Write Shadow where she hosts pitch contests in May and October, and spends the rest of the year encouraging everyone to “Just Write It!”