At the Bridge to Publication Conference, I had the privilege of meeting Pat Van Wie of Bell Bridge Books/Belle Books, the house that handles C. Hope Clark’s mysteries. Pat said that Amazon laughed at them not long ago for calling themselves a “small” publisher. According to Amazon, they’re “mid-major.”
This house specializes in publishing Southern authors, and since Pat was speaking at a conference in Lake Charles, Louisiana, she was in the right place. They take unsolicited manuscripts–Pat doesn’t really see the point of having an agent, though she won’t reject your work simply because it’s submitted through an agent. She’ll just wonder why you want to give him a split.
They publish Mystery/Suspense/Thrillers (Pat’s favorite), Cozy Mysteries, Romance and Women’s Fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal/Horror, YA, New Adult, Middle Grade, some nonfiction and general fiction. In other words–pretty much everything. I didn’t hear “inspirational,” though, so you may want to check on that yourself. They’re a mainstream publisher that puts out around 15 titles a year.
What I love about Pat is how knowledgeable and intense she is. She loves what she does. A published author, she has seen this business from every possible angle. I said in the previous post that I needed guidance, and talking with her helped. One of the things she said is that, yes, I have to stick to one genre for a while, but that doesn’t mean it has to be forever.
I also learned that she has a serious allergy to and intolerance of exclamation points, so if you intend to submit to her, kill ’em. Kill ’em all. (!!!)
But I think my favorite thing about her is that she’s a vegan. Now, granted, I’m a meat eater, a hunter, a fisherman, so you may think it insane that I would love a vegan, but I do. She didn’t try to proselytize, which I appreciate, and she was game for just about any restaurant we went to. At 121 Artisan Bistro, one of my new favorite Italian restaurants, she ordered the Eggplant Melanzanna, and asked them to remove the ham. A simple, no-fuss way to turn a good dish into a good vegan dish. The lady has class, I tell ya. Real class.
Okay, I admit: The real reason I love her is that she asked them to give the ham to me.
Be sure to look them up if you’re writing something you think they may be interested in. And if you land Pat as your editor, let me know.