Last year when I got my taxes done, my tax guy (Bruce) looked around my house and said, “You need to form an LLC to separate your personal liability from your professional liability.” I like Bruce because 1) He comes to my house, 2) He’s reasonably priced and good at his job, and 3) He sends me a letter every year telling me when my appointment is. I like that I don’t have to be the one to make the call, and it forces me to get everything together by a certain time. Okay, enough about Bruce.
Since I read and follow directions (contrary to the ‘man-logic’ way my mind seems to operate), I formed an LLC. I called it Lost Goddess because I’d been listening to the Violent Femmes song “Kiss Off”. Nine was for a lost god, but I’m not a dude, so I went for goddess. Fast forward to last fall when the wife and I were sitting around chit-chatting.
“You should publish your own stuff,” she said.
“I should.” I replied. “In the next two years, I’ll be getting the rights back to a lot of my books, so I’ll be doing that anyway.”
“That’s not what I meant.” She smiles. “I mean–you have an LLC. You should actually open a publishing company.”
I liked the idea. On the list of things I’d always wanted to be is a librarian or an editor. Since I’m neither, I decided to bump ‘publisher’ to the top of the list. Also, I’m impulsive. So I responded:
“Yeah. And I know the perfect cover artist. She could do banners and logos too.” The banner, designed by the incredibly talented Casey Harris, is above.
And so we researched the idea. I talked about the business aspects with a cousin who has two successful chiropractic clinics. He put me in touch with lawyers and gave great advice about the process, especially the part where your nerves feel like someone’s been electrocuting them for fun. We filed paperwork with the State of Michigan (who, for all their talk, are not very small-business-friendly. Still, we prevailed).
Since Wife and I run this together, we have weekly meetings with agendas. We come out of them with list of things that need to be done. One of those was making a website. You can visit it by clicking the logo, also designed by Casey Harris. In case you haven’t guessed, purple is my favorite color.
We named our major idea, which became our launch identity, Hot Lunch. As busy parents, we recognize that many people don’t have a lot of time to read. They often don’t have hours or days to devote to a full-length story. They lament over a book they’ve been trying to read for a month. “It’s good, but I’m so tired at night that I only have about 20 minutes before I’m sleeping with a book on my face.” Therefore we decided to fill that need with short stories. Hot Lunch stories are 4500-8000 words. They’re something you can read during your lunch break or right before bed (though after reading, you probably won’t want to go straight to bed). Cool logo, also by Casey:
Then we needed content to publish. We contacted some friends and contracted for several series. The first one, called Club Alegria, takes place at a fetish club. Anything goes–BDSM, D/s, S&M, menage, exhibitionism, voyeurism. The first three books are co-written by Michele Zurlo and Nicoline Tiernan. The second four in the series are by Nicoline Tiernan. The second series is New Adult. It takes place at a university, and it’s called Lovin’ U. We have four stories so far in this series written by Miranda Mitchell. Here are the covers for the first series, all by Casey Harris.
I was looking for something that was classy and chic, and clearly communicated that these three stories are thematically linked. (I just mistyped “kinked” which is a funny error, but also true.) I hope this new venture is successful. I’m so nervous, like I’m sending my babies off into the big, cruel world, but I’m excited at the same time. I hope you all like this as well. The long-term plan is to expand to novellas and full-length novels, but that’s in the hazy future.
Lost Goddess Publishing plans to accept submissions beginning October 2014. Check the website (click the triskele above) for details.