Publishers Corner: Rhemalda Publishing

Guest post by Emmaline Hoffmeister, Vice President, Rhemalda Publishing

As I read through the guest posts from prior publishers, I realized that Rhemalda Publishing is a little different. We are not a Latter-day Saint publisher, per se. We are a publisher that happens to be owned by Latter-day Saints and has contracted to publish manuscripts by Latter-day Saint authors.

Essentially, we are an independent small press who loves great books. If you are an author, Latter-day Saint or not, who writes a stellar book, then we want to work with you.

I’m not exactly sure how AML found Rhemalda. Perhaps it was one of our authors at the LDS Storymakers Conference, perhaps another way altogether. Either way, I am glad that they did and that I have this opportunity to introduce Rhemalda to LDS writers.

Rhemalda Publishing’s mission is to provide high-quality books through careful treatment of manuscripts by working hand-in-hand with authors so as not to take away from, but enhance, the original vision for the written word.

Rhemalda is owned and operated by me, Emmaline, and my husband, Rhett. Rhett ensures that the cover artist, editor, layout designer, and marketing staff all involve the author 100%. He ensures that the authors are proud of their books. Rhett believes that allowing the authors to be part of every decision that is made regarding their book accomplishes this. I am an accountant, and my 10-plus years of experience in auditing, accounting, and finance makes Rhemalda a tight-run ship when it comes to projects delivering on (or under) budget. I also ensure that the profit and loss statements always show in the black, sales exceed expectations, and royalties are paid on time. The combination of our skills and personalities has made, and will continue to make, us successful.

Although Rhemalda is a young press, we have had astonishing successes the past couple of years. One of our notable successes was our recent Got Stories? – Reading and Writing Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. There were seven authors who spoke, three of them LDS. Some of our authors joined us from as near as Utah, while others travelled great distances from places like Washington, Georgia, Florida, and the United Kingdom. The authors’ speaking topics ranged from character development to world building, with some marketing and etiquette thrown in for good measure.

Attendance was high, considering it was a conference hosted by a small press in a city where we are not based and where none of our authors reside. Some of the attendees came from Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona to meet Rhemalda and its authors. The attendees were able to not only listen to the conference sessions, but to meet one-on-one with the authors and Rhett and me.

We were able to meet many authors, something that we love doing on a regular basis. We were also pleased that after the conference, our manuscript submission inbox was inundated with submissions, a wonderful result of the great event.

One of our other notable successes is the publication of The Breakaway by LDS author Michelle Davidson Argyle. Not all stories end happily, and author Michelle Davidson Argyle is the first to admit that she is willing to explore why. Her newest young adult suspense novel, The Breakaway, has a bittersweet ending, but “it is how you look at it that makes all the difference in the world,” she says. “My endings might mimic real life, but there is always happiness in them if one is willing to see it.”

The Breakaway is about Naomi Jensen, who is kidnapped and essentially adopted into a family of thieves. While they are kind to her, nobody wants to stay captive forever, and Naomi eventually devises a plan to convince one of her captors that she is falling in love with him. Such a plan, she believes, might create an opportunity to escape. But as all good stories do, The Breakaway defies what is expected and ends on a note that leaves some readers surprised and wishing for more.

“The Breakaway is an unflinching portrayal of a young woman’s growing attachment to the criminals who kidnapped her. Michelle Davidson Argyle’s The Breakaway will leave your heart broken, but your spirit hopeful. You won’t be able to put it down until you’ve read every last word.” ~Jennifer Hillier, author of Creep

Currently, Rhemalda has open submissions. Our acquisitions editor, Diane Dalton, is combing through the submissions for just the right manuscripts. Right now, we are actively seeking manuscripts to publish for the 2013 Summer and Fall season. Some of the areas Diane is seeking manuscripts in are:

Women’s Fiction | Contemporary Fiction: A story whose target audience is adult women in a contemporary setting, preferably a stand-alone, not part of a trilogy. I would like a story that gets in my head. I want characters that evoke emotion: love, hatred, compassion, fear, or pity. I want a setting people can relate to. I want circumstances that make people yearn to be there. I want a story that I cannot put down. I want a story that stays with me for weeks after I am done reading it. I want a story that I must tell all of my friends and family about.

Young Adult Fiction: A story whose target audience is teenagers. I want a story that is stand-alone or has series potential. Setting is flexible. Story may be character-based or plot-based.

Middle Grade Fiction: A story whose target audience is pre-teen and teenagers. I want a story that is stand-alone, or one that has series potential. Setting is flexible. Story may be character-based or plot-based.

LDS Fiction and Jane Austen Fan-Fiction are encouraged.

If you would like to know more about submitting a manuscript to Rhemalda, please visit our submission page at: http://shop.rhemalda.com/MS_SUB.html

Here at Rhemalda, we have been blessed beyond measure the past three years. We have grown at a time when so many businesses are failing, and we are proud of our many successes. I know without a shadow of a doubt who has aided our success. I thank Him in prayer every night.

Emmaline Hoffmeister
Vice President, Rhemalda Publishing
P.O. Box 1790, Moses Lake, WA 98837

http://www.rhemalda.com

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9 Responses to Publishers Corner: Rhemalda Publishing

  1. Jonathan Langford says:

    Emmaline,

    Thanks for sharing with us. Some follow-up questions:

    - You mentioned an interest in LDS fiction. Do you see yourselves as attempting to sell LDS fiction primarily to LDS readers, or are you attempting to reach out to non-Mormon readers? If the latter, how has that worked for you and your authors so far?

    - A lot of small presses are started by people who come into the experience with a background in editing. Based on what you wrote above, it doesn’t sound like this was true for you or your husband. What can you tell us about how editing services for accepted manuscripts are handled within your company? How are your editors recruited? Do manuscripts get a lot of in-depth attention, or is it mostly a matter of copyediting, with the assumption that the author is responsible for recruiting developmental feedback to make the story as strong as it can be in areas like story arc and characterization?

    - What are your major venues/strategies for publicity and marketing?

    • Jonathan,
      Thank you for your questions. I hope that I can sufficiently answer them now.

      To date, we have not published any LDS fiction, however we are open to it. That is why I mentioned that we are encouraging LDS fiction submissions. When I think about what this means I consider one of my favorite authors of days past, Jack Weyland. His books, such as, Michelle and Deborah, Kimberly, Brittany, Charly, and Lean on Me (just to name a few) are classic LDS fiction that appeals to a wide range of readers, LDS or not.

      If we contracted with an author who wrote LDS fiction we would distribute it worldwide just as we do with our other fiction. The difference would be in our marketing strategy. Targeting the LDS Bookstores and readers that we need to in order to sell the books.

      You are 100% correct, most small presses are started by editors, but not Rhemalda. We began on the basis and fundamentals of two business professionals who love books. This background has served us very well. When you think about the global environment that we live in, the instant access to individuals worldwide, it is not hard to find freelance professionals to work with.

      Rhemalda Publishing works with the wonderful and talented editor, Diane Dalton. Diane heads up our Acquisitions Department and is our Managing Editor. Her 15+ years in the book industry has made her a valuable asset to Rhemalda.

      When Rhemalda offers a book contract to an author we provide all cover design, storyline and content editing, and copyediting. In addition, we offer worldwide distribution for all books and have sold and occasional foreign subsidiary rights . We partner with our authors for marketing and publicity.

      In truth, every single manuscript we publish gets lots of attention.

      Marketing and publicity is an ever evolving strategy at Rhemalda. A few years back, when we first started, I would have said we attend trade shows, have a blog and social media sites, send out advance review copies of the books and pay for a few ads in the Ingram Catalog that distributes to booksellers worldwide.

      Now however we do so much more. We do all of the above items, but to those we have added press releases, Goodreads giveaways, Shelfari book data, Amazon promotions, Blog Ads, organizing book signing, radio interviews, television interviews, and so much more.

      It would be better for me to explain my marketing philosophy. I work with every author on their marketing campaign. I am willing to work day and night on the campaign if the author is too. I will try just about anything anyone thinks of, if it is reasonable and cost effective. But, when the author stops marketing so do I. I have More than 20 authors, a frontlist of 12 books, a backlist of 20 books, and a contract with 15 more. There is only one of me.

      Jonathan, I hope I have sufficiently answered your questions. I would be happy to answer any more that you have, either here or individually. I can be contacted at emmaline(@)rhemalda(dot)com.

  2. I’m impressed! What is your success with online books?

    • Marilyn,
      All of the Rhemalda titles are available in print and ebook. We have had very good success with eBooks in general. An average book sells 70% ebooks and 30% print.

      I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to contact me at emmaline(@)rhemalda(dot)com if you would like to further discuss.
      Emmaline

  3. Andrew Hall says:

    Rhemalda Publishing has announced that it is going out of business on December 31, 2013. On September 3 Emmaline posted the following message on the company Facebook page.

    “It is with deep regret that we write to inform you of our intent to close Rhemalda Publishing permanently December 31, 2013. We have enjoyed every moment of the publishing journey with each and every one of you, but we have since found it increasingly difficult to cope with the rapidly changing publishing environment.

    We have explored many options to stay in the publishing business without much success, and as a result, we are left with no option but to end.

    The first thing I want to assure all of you is Rhemalda has not gone bankrupt. Rhett and I have never taken a loan against Rhemalda and therefore there will be no legal proceedings that would tie up book rights. So, there is no need to worry on that account.

    In addition, all liabilities will be paid, meaning that all royalty payments will be made on time, and editors and cover artists will be paid in full.

    We understand the suddenness of the announcement and the inconvenience the closure will likely cause many of you; however, we want to assure you that we will be with you every step of the way.

    Rhemalda Publishing is extremely proud of what we have accomplished since January 1, 2010 when we began accepting our first submissions, and it is with a heavy heart that we make this decision. Rhemalda published 39 titles in 3 ½ years.

    Please understand that Rhett and I will miss working with each and every one of you, as will Diane, Katharina, Melissa, and Amy. We sincerely hope that our paths cross in the future.

    All my best,
    Emmaline Hoffmeister
    Rhemalda Publishing”
    https://www.facebook.com/RhemaldaPublishing

    Rhemalda had published 7 LDS authors, as well as many non-LDS authors. The LDS authors are Michelle Davidson Argyle, Amber Argyle, T. J. Robinson, Donna Weaver, Annie Laurie Cechini, Nichole Giles, and Fiauna Lund.

    • Jonathan Langford says:

      That is sad. I don’t know anything about them except for what was posted here, but as a general thing, I mourn the passing of publishers and the potential negative impact on the writers that publish with them.

    • Wm says:

      It’s a tough business. I give a lot of credit to Rhett and Emmeline for winding it down rather than trying to keep it afloat with loans and potentially ending up in bankruptcy. It so rarely happens that way. And 39 titles is a pretty good run.

      • Jonathan Langford says:

        Yeah. It sounds like they’re doing it in a pretty classy way, compared to the stories you hear about publishers just dropping off the map…

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