Monday, 3 September 2007

A look at Total-E-Bound....

I annoyed Claire Siemaszkiewicz, the Publisher from Total-E-Bound, for an interview. She eventually gave in....
The interview
1. What does Total-e-Bound have to offer the book lover that makes it unique from other companies?
TEB is a reader friendly site. We’ve designed it so that it provides a comfortable environment where readers can download books from their favourite authors, with access through their own VIP account. In the VIP area, they can download their books—which remain available at all times, see their invoices/payment history, create wish lists and share them with friends, save lists and join the newsletter. We have more new and exciting features coming soon in the VIP section too.
We are also starting an author spotlight, where we will talk to one TEB author per month and put it all out there for the readers: pictures, background, bio, news on what the author is up to, questions that the readers can ask in advance, competitions and prize giveaways, links to their current releases (regardless of who they are released with). We’ll be talking to a different author each month and readers can request who they’d like to hear about.
Authors are given a full profile page too, which enables the readers to see their biography, news items so that they can keep up to speed with the authors new books and projects, and we even link to the authors books with other publishers. The idea is to make life easy for the readers. It can be frustrating for a reader to jump around looking for books from their fave authors – so we’re taking that pain away.
Now, when it comes to the books…we’re all about quality and we’d hope that shows in the quality of the books, standard of editing, the established and loved authors that we work with, the wonderful covers that grace the books, and the website itself. We only work with the best authors, and we only publish exceptionally good erotic romance that readers will love.
TEB is also dedicated to customer and author support. The way we see it we have two sets of customers – the readers and the authors, without either we wouldn’t have a business so it’s important to us to get it right and keep them all happy.

2. What do you look for when it comes to authors?
Well so far we’ve approached mostly well established authors that we were keen to work with, and we’ve been lucky enough to have established authors come to us too to submit manuscripts. We are keen to promote new talent too though, so we always encourage new writers to erotic romance to knock on our door and send in their manuscripts for submission. We currently have a very wide-spread mix of authors from all different countries, and we like it that way. We look for authors who write well structured, creative stories with an original style. We like authors who push the boundaries too. We like authors to weave tales of erotic romance – any genre or heat rating. TEB likes stories that are plot driven, with strong relationships between the key characters. We do like to see a happy ending (who doesn’t!) but if it’s not sailing off into the sunset with a kiss and handcuffs, then it should at least end giving the reader a the promise of a happy ever after. And of course – we want plenty of sexual dalliances along the way! We accept stories from sensual to erotica and make no mistake, you will get hot, hot, hot! *g*
At TEB we do a lot of advertising, promotion and marketing on behalf of the authors, which we are happy to do, and we do like to work with authors that are pro-active in that area too.

3. What is the hottest selling genre at Total-E-Bound at the moment?
At the moment I would have to say m/m and contemporary is selling really well. So are paranormal and BDSM. But it’s early days for TEB. We’ve only had two full months since we launched, and there are quite a number of the genres that we have yet to release. So I guess if you asked me in six months it could be a different story.

4. How soon will people be able to buy a print copy of their favourite Total-e-Bound book?
Well, actually, there’s some really good news right there! We have got to that point much faster than we initially anticipated. We’ve set up a deal that should mean that we’ll have paperbacks available to buy and on the shelves within the next few months.

5. Who do you think your average reader is? Do you think men read romance novels?
I don’t think there is an average. We have readers from countries all over the world buying from us –USA, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, even as far as China, Japan, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur! I think it’s all ages too – men and women. The majority of our customer base is women, but we do have quite a number of men buying from our site, so I know that men do read erotic romance too (or maybe their wives are just using their credit cards!! LOL … *Shhhhh*)

6. How important is reader feedback to Total-e-Bound?
Exceptionally important. The only way we will know if we’re doing our job right is if we get regular feedback, and it’s how we know if our customers are happy, or if they’ve enjoyed a book that they’ve purchased from us. Of course, that comes in the form of review sites reading and reviewing the books too – and we’ve been getting some wonderful reviews for the books released in the first two months.

7. As a consumer, not a publisher, what is your favourite type of book to read? Care to share?
Oh, wow! You know you’ve opened up a whole can ‘o worms here don’t you?! You are soooo going to regret asking that one! I can talk avidly about authors and the books they’ve written for hours!! LOL
I have so many genres and authors in Erotic Romance that I love to read. I must say I’m partial to a bit of sci-fi, paranormal, shapeshifters/vamps, m/f/m ménage and BDSM/bondage stories. Some of my fave authors to read in my leisure time (hah! What leisure time?) are Sherrilyn Kenyon – oh, those Dark Hunters, who wouldn’t love ‘em? JR Ward *sigh* Black Dagger Brotherhood, Karen Marie Moning Highlander Series, Sonny’s Monére series, and there are some wonderful authors that I followed while they were writing eBooks, who now mostly release books in paperback. There are also some wonderful newer authors releasing eBooks – I have literally thousands of eBooks, and so many authors that I follow, it really would be impossible to name them all… But a snippet of them…
Angela Knight
Kaitlyn O’Connor
Kimberly Zant
Jory Strong
Jaci Burton
Jan Springer
Morgan Hawke
Lorie O’Clare
Maya Banks
Mary Wine
Portia Da Costa
Mandy Roth
Michelle Pillow
Shelly Laurenston
Shiloh Walker
Denise Rossetti
Charlotte Featherstone
KS Augustin
Lauren Dane
M A Everaux
C.S. Chatterly
Sierra Cartwright… want me to go on? LMAO! There really are so many more! So you can see, I am very passionate about what I do. I think you could safely say that it’s a good thing that most of my books in my eBookshelf are on my laptop or e-reader, because I just know that I wouldn’t have enough room for them on the bookshelves dotted around my home. I love what I do. I think I’m a very lucky lady to work with great authors who have the skills to put a sprinkle of their own brand of magic down for people like me to read.

Have you checked out the latest in out Louella and what is in the purple box serial? If not go immediately to For the previous espisode check And tomorrow is my turn again. I have something a little bit different planned by my blog mates.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Kelly Kirch said...

Wow, what a keen interview. ;) Sounds like TEB is very author friendly too. A whole page for the profile and news items? It's a great idea.

Fabulous work as usual AJ. And Claire, wonderful to hear from another Epubber.

anny cook said...

Excellent interview. Also like that you're a true e-reader, Claire. Always nice to know that you walk the walk.