Donna Hill has more than fifty published titles to her credit and is considered one of the early pioneers of the African American romance genre. Three of her novels have been adapted for television. She has received numerous awards for her body of work, including The Career Achievement Award, the first recipient of The Trailblazer Award, The Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award, The Gold Pen Award. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College.
Pittershawn Palmer is a freelance writer, journalist, speechwriter, copywriter and copyeditor. She made her mark in journalism by conducting flawless research and masterful interviews. Pittershawn earned her B.A. in English from Iona College. She completed her M.S. in Journalism with honors at the same institution. She will soon begin working on her Doctorate. She has published her first novel, When We Were One; a book of poetry, Words…Loving Emotions; a short story, The Letters; and is working on her second novel.
By Donna Hill and Pittershawn Palmer
Launching a business, in particular a publishing business, entails an office, a warehouse, staff, contracts with printers and models and distributors and booksellers just for starters. Oh, and a lot of money! Considering all those daunting obstacles and not having much money it didn’t seem likely that leaping into the murky waters of traditional publishing was for us. Yet, it was a dream that simmered for a long while. It simmered for more than three years. But watching the marketplace and seeing the incremental changes combined with our love of computers and gadgets, it became clear to us that e-books were in our future.
The great part about starting our company is that there was no overhead beyond the domain name and hosting. And although we live in different parts of New York (Donna in Brooklyn and Pittershawn in the Poconos and of late Indianapolis) the magic of the internet provides our virtual office. We each bring talents to the table that serve the business well. Our combined skills include writer, author, editor, marketer and graphic designer. Between us, we have no less that 30 years combined experience in the literary and publishing industries.
E-book websites are not new. Ellora’s Cave, for example, is a testament to the success of an online e-book business. And many others have sprung up along the way. When we looked at shaping InnerVision Books we knew we wanted it to be different. In developing the guidelines we are clear that we want InnerVision Books to be the place to buy online books that truly reflect the diversity that society and the world has become. Although we are happy to look at and publish traditional storylines, ideally we are looking for stories that push the envelope. If we are truly moving into a multi-cultural, technology driven world, we want to publish stories that reflect that; from romance to erotica, literary fiction to paranormal and sci-fi, interracial, short stories, poetry and non-fiction. All we ask is that the writer doesn’t tell the same story we have all heard before. Basically, we are looking for stories that traditional publishers would have trouble trying to market because it does not fit with “what currently is selling,” (and not because they are lousy books).
There is no question that the e-book industry is the fastest growing phenomenon in the publishing industry in decades. So much so that it has traditional book publishers a little shaky. With ebook readers such as Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, Papyrus, BeBook, Cybook Opus and many more flooding the market, and with the rumor that Apple will soon jump into the fray there is no question that ebooks are the next wave in online publishing, or, for that matter, publishing in general.
Publishing houses are currently reviewing how they can compete with the behemoth, Amazon’s new e-book initiative, and some authors are questioning how much publishers should get as their share when they no longer have the cost factor to deal with. (See the TimesOnline article) We know we can’t compete with Amazon but we can give writers an opportunity to publish that book or short story of their dreams, that story that has sat around for a while but still has its shine, and not to mention, offer a substantial royalty that dwarfs traditional publishers.
Our goal for 2010 is to list two books per season. We are currently reviewing books for Spring with a March release date, and will continue to review incoming submissions, which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please read our guidelines first!) Our hope is that InnerVision Books will become a memorable stop for great quality reading—with the click of a button!
Donna Hill’s upcoming novel WHAT MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME from Harlequin will be released on March 1, 2010. Pittershawn Palmer’s novel WHEN WE WERE ONE (under her pen name Zaji) is available through Lulu.com