Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Interview with Clint Gaige, Quiet Storm Publishing

Clint Gaige is chief cook and bottle washer over at Quiet Storm Publishing. In addition to the Quiet Storm website and his personal website, Clint has started a blog. One day he talked about his best sellers and some of the other things he was doing. Since it was all good news for short story fans, I thought an interview was in order.

The Short Of It: In your blog you said that your best-selling book in 2004 was Chesapeake Crimes, edited by Donna Andrews, an anthology, and that Bab's Lakey's DIME, another anthology, was in the top ten. Does this make you more open to anthologies and collections (Anthology: multiple authors; Collection: single author) than a major publisher might be?

Clint Gaige: Hmmm, tough question. Primarily, we publish full-length fiction, that is our bread and butter. I am open to anthologies with the right vision, collections, on the other hand, are a real tough sell. If the right author brought me the right collection at the right time, I would consider it.

TSOI: On the basis of a percentage of overall sales your anthology sales are obviously larger than they would be from a big house like St. Martins. Do you know how the number of books sold compares? In other words, would an anthology from Quiet Storm sell more copies than an anthology from St. Martins?

CG: Probably not. The larger houses just have so many weapons at their disposal. Small publishers are really at the market's mercy. I will say that we may push our anthologies more than a larger house though. So, it is possible we could out distance a larger house anthology given enough time, but if you're gauge is release date sales, we'd lose every time.

TSOI: You're doing an audio book of Babs Lakey's DIME anthology. Why did you decide to do that?

CG: I decided to do that before I really thought it through. My background is in audio production. I love the sensual nature of audio books, but they are a VERY tough beast.

TSOI: How is the process for doing that different from print publishing?

CG: An edited book takes quite a long time to write and books take a neutral reader (most of the time) and introduces the material to the voiceover then hope that the reader can do justice to the work.

TSOI: How is the timeline different?

CG: It is a GRUELING process. Usually, 2-6 hours of reading per chapter, that doesn't count the production end of things which can take another 2-4 hours per chapter.

TSOI: How do you feel about the future of audio? Do you see advantages in distributing audio, perhaps over the web, in digital form?

CG: I love audio and I think it can bring a number of things to the field...especially with MP3 technology.

TSOI: I also noticed that you are starting to offer your books on disk in two ebook formats along with a video related to producing the book and an audio file of the author reading a selection. Have you been doing it long enough, or do you have enough out, to have gotten much reaction?

CG: This is a brand new plan of ours and a completely new product for us. We haven't received a lot of reaction yet but it has been positive. Since we're just testing the waters, we have not really used the technology as well as we could.

TSOI: Well, that's probably more than enough for now. I appreciate your patience.

CG: Not at all, I appreciate the interest.

Thanks again to Clint for taking time out of his very busy schedule. Go to his website and buy some of his books. I hear a rumor that there is a book available now written by some guy with a name like Cold, or Snow, or something. I just know the name has something to do with Winter. I've heard it's pretty good.