By Maria C. Ferrer
On December 17, 2012, veteran literary agent Lori Perkins launched Riverdale Avenue Books, a new pop culture e-book publishing house. I was able to talk to Lori and ask her about the new venture and what it will mean to writers.
Q: Why pop culture? What is the attraction?
LP: Pop culture drives publishing, just like romance does. If you look at the bestsellers lists, you’ll find at least eight books on pop culture and all are doing very well. Riverdale Avenue Press is the first full service digital publisher to launch a pop culture line. RAB will give readers the same immediate gratification that they have come to expect from all forms of media and entertainment. Each RAB imprint represents a genre that we believe is consumable, and will keep our readers coming back for more. Simply put, we will give readers the books they crave.
The Riverdale Avenue Books imprints are:
• Riverdale/Magnus books – a LGBT line with Magnus Books, created by Donald Weise
• Riverdale Pop – pop culture titles, like unauthorized biographies of such stars as the late Jenny Rivera, Katie Holmes, and Justin Bieber
• RAB HSF – a horror, science fiction and fantasy line
• RAB Truth – an erotic memoir line
• RAB Desire – an erotica and erotic romance line
Q: How soon will your books be available?
LP: RAB has purchased about 50 books and has inventory through April 2013. We’ll publish four books a month to start with, and will add more as we grow. At RAB, we don’t see a reason why it takes a year and a half to publish a book. That is how traditional publishers miss opportunities. RAB books will be up in at least two months. For example, we are doing an unauthorized biography of the late Jenny Rivera, which will be out in late January.
Q: Will RAB offer print books?
LP: Yes, all the e-books will be available through POD – print on demand.
Q: Are the other three lines, HSF, Truth and Desire, open to new writers?
LP: All five lines are open to new writers, published and unpublished, fiction and non-fiction. Please see the RAB website for our guidelines. The website is www.riverdaleavebooks.com. To submit, send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Expect a response within 30 days.
Q: You had another publishing venture, Ravenous Romance. Is the goal for Riverdale Avenue Books the same?
LP: Ravenous Romance is publishing erotic romance. RAB has five imprints with a larger distribution through Ingram. RAB is the first full service digital publisher to launch a pop culture line, with a foreign rights department and a Los Angeles-based film agent. We are also working with Audio Realms to produce simultaneous audio books on most of our titles.
Q: How do you do it all?! You are an agent, publisher, host of a reading series, mother, partner, etc. What is your secret?
LP: I’ve been an agent for 25 years. I work a lot of 16-hour days. Right now, is the most exciting time in publishing. I want to publish books that make people feel better, and, luckily, I am in a position to be able to do so.♥
Maria C. Ferrer is President of RWA/NYC. She writes contemporary romance under her own name and erotica under her pseudonym of Del Carmen. Maria’s stories have been published by Cleis Press and Ravenous Romance, as well as Star, Penthouse and Cosmopolitan for Latinas magazines.