Today we’re talking to the President/CEO of Boroughs Publishing Group, Michelle Klayman.
Full disclosure here, Boroughs Publishing Group is my publisher. Without further ado… let’s get this interview started.
S: Hello, Michelle. Thank you for joining us today.
M: My pleasure, Susan. We’re fans of the magazine.
S: Obvious question #1, how did Boroughs come into being?
M: A long, long time ago on a planet far, far away… hang on, that’s a different story. Truly, Boroughs Publishing Group was conceived years back when digital publishing was in its infancy. I had been writing and editing for years before joining RWA, the Romance Writers of America. Romance fiction had become an addiction when I was in law school. There was an all-night supermarket where I shopped after the law library closed at midnight. My brain wouldn’t shut down after all that studying, so I threw food in a basket at one in the morning hoping to dull myself into tiredness. When you walked into the market, the first thing you saw on the left was a carousel of Romance novels. One night, figuring reading ‘light’ would help rest my brain and get me to sleep, I picked out a book, went home and proceeded to stay up almost all night thoroughly engrossed in the story. By the time I finished law school, I had given away over 300 novels to various nursing homes and other law students. I joked that it was too bad questions about Johanna Lindsey’s stories weren’t on the Bar Exam. I would’ve breezed through that puppy without needing to study a lick.
Fast forward to after I had written a few Romance novels and I saw how the industry was changing; some of those changes were not good for authors. With my business and law background, I thought I could build a better publishing house that was author friendly, didn’t limit stories to the ‘usual’ tropes and was all inclusive when it came to love and romance. In December 2011, Boroughs Publishing Group opened its virtual doors. Since then, we’ve signed well over 100 authors and we’ve published hundreds of books that are distributed all over the world. This year, we expect to see our books be translated and sold in languages other than English.
S: So your books are ebooks only?
M: Initially, yes. But, in the past year, we’ve expanded our readership by providing Print-On-Demand paperbacks for our novellas and novels.
S: Let’s double back to what you said about being ‘all inclusive when it came to love and romance.’ What are you saying here?
M: I don’t mean to sound trite, but love is love. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Unfortunately, many publishing houses are locked into a vision of what a Romance novel should look like, which doesn’t include everybody. We believe that a good love story knows no bounds, which is why we encourage submissions about relationships without defining who the heroes and/or heroines should be and who they should love. Our books are about falling in love and the conflicts, obstacles, and joys the main characters endure on their road to forever. Sure, some of the books are down-right schmexy hawt, but always, the crux of the story is the romance. We deliver happy-ever-after, or, at least, happy-right-now, at the end of each book. We believe everyone should have a shot at happiness and we look for books that tell those stories.
S: Any insider info you want to share with us?
M: Well, one of our favorite best-selling authors – you might know her – has just turned in her third book in the Men of London series. The new book is entitled Suit Yourself. I’ll let everyone in on a little secret, this is Leslie’s story and Mr. Leslie is about to get involved with a man with a porn past. And – ahem – we have the snaps to prove it. I can’t say any more, but *fanning her face* this story will require readers to keep a towel at the ready.
S: (Laughing) That good, huh?
M: Mmmmm – that bad.
S: Thank you for dropping by to chat with us. Anything else you want us to know?
M: Always, we’re on the lookout for the next great story. We encourage everyone to look at our submission guidelines at our website: www.BoroughsPublishingGroup.com. And, thank you to Divine and Susan for inviting me to spend time with your readers. It’s been a blast.