Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Interview from Dark Eden

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We would like to thank Debra Durham, owner of Dark Eden Press for joining us today. For those of you out of the loop, DEP is an eBook Publisher who just opened its doors this past June. As a fledgling publisher, DEP has sought to break the romance barrier and prides itself on pushing the erotica envelope while maintaining a healthy dose of romantic literature to balance their growing catalog. In the past 3 months they have released no less than 18 titles, many of those earning rave reviews for their authors and the company itself.

TMD: Deb, welcome to The Morgan Diaries.

Deb: Thank you so much for allowing us the opportunity to come and talk to all of you.

TMD: Would you mind telling our readers a little about Dark Eden Press?

Deb: DEP is owned by three women who each have different likes when it comes to erotica. What we had in common was that none of us could really find the types that we wanted, and what we could find there were so few choices. We each had skills that were useful in running a business of this type so we decided to give authors a place they could feel free to go as far as they wanted in their writings, and readers had a place to come that offered a myriad of choices.

TMD: As a newbie Publisher, what have you found to be the hardest thing for you to accomplish so far in the epublishing world?

Deb: I would have to say the hardest thing so far has been trying to get our company known and to be taken seriously. With so many Epublishers lately going under, it has made it extremely tough to be looked at as something other than a ‘fly by night’ press.

TMD: A large portion of the eBook business is leans heavily toward the erotica market. We are just now seeing the mainstream print market going in this direction. How much do you think epublishing is influencing this decision?

Deb: I think it has been a huge influence for the print market. They have seen the successes of companies like Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, and some of the smaller presses. The sales have shown that erotica is wanted, and bought, by many. Erotica is a genre that is no longer content to be kept in adult bookstores. It is a form of literature that dates back to the beginning of the written word for goodness sake. It is not anything to be kept hidden or be ashamed of.

TMD: A lot of Epublishers are quick to jump into the print market. What are your views on print as a goal when entering the epublishing market?

Deb: To print or not to print, that is a question I debate everyday. I think, for most epresses, print is a lofty goal, and a hard one to achieve successfully if you go to print too soon. I understand the want and the need, as it is something I think about often. Honestly, I would be happy as pie to never go into print. It is not a goal I had when I opened DEP because I believe in Epublishers as a whole. It is a difficult and expensive undertaking. I would like it to be at least five years before entering the print market, other than a few print on demand projects that may come up.

TMD: With so many print books readily available, what in your opinion makes eBooks so attractive to the modern reader?

Deb: There are so many advantages it’s unbelievable. You can carry an ebook reader in your purse, in some cases they are no bigger than your wallet. Think of being a busy mom who works, takes the kids to the doctors, to soccer practice, or waits for them to finish band practice. You can whip out your ebook reader and get a few minutes of reading in where ever you are. Also, some of the covers on books these days you don’t want your children or your mother looking at. With an ebook, you don’t see the cover once you scroll past the first page.

TMD: The epublishing market seems to be growing larger every year. As a publisher, do you see the possibility of eBooks someday replacing print or do you think they can exist symbiotically in the already bloated marketplace?

Deb: I believe they can exist together. They are doing so now, more so every day. As people become more and more attached at the hip to their computers, their phones, their blackberry’s, especially the younger generation, the market will continue to grow bigger every year.

TMD: After hitting you with that one, we’d like to hit you with a different question along the same lines. With the rising costs involved in the printing process, as well as the marketing side of the business, do you think th ere is a genuine possibility that print is rapidly becoming a thing of the past?

Deb: In my lifetime or my daughter’s, probably not. Anything is possible, but I do not see print books becoming a relic anytime soon. I love ebooks, but sometimes I want to curl up in the bath tub with a paperback and read until I am a prune. Even the biggest ebook fan occasionally wants the ritual of curling up, cracking open that new book with the new page smell, and digging into a great read.

TMD: With dwindling readership already affecting the entire publishing world, are you afraid that one day eBooks and books in general may cease to exist except as relics of a past?

Deb: Goodness no. Not as long as there are avid readers in the world. I cannot imagine never being able to pick up a book again and being able to read about some great love affair someone is having. The publishing world will always be ever changing. Publishers will come and go, but readers never will.

TMD: With so many different Epublisher already in existence, what sets Dark Eden Press apart from the herd?

Deb: Honestly, I think the biggest difference is the simple fact that we let our authors push the envelope farther than most publishers will allow. I believe the other difference is how open we are with our authors. Because of things that have happened with some publishing houses, authors are nervous and gun shy right now. We like to make sure that authors are in the loop on just about everything, from changes in policy to word counts and pricing. They are asked their opinions and have input into quite a few things here.

TMD: We couldn’t let you leave without one insane question. If you could be any snack cake, which one would you be?

Deb: A Twinkie of course. Soft and spongy on the outside, but deliciously crème filled on the inside.

TMD: Deb before we let you go, is there anything on DEP’s horizon, you’d like to tease our readers with?

Deb: We have two special things coming up early next year. In January our ‘Through the Veil’ series starts which is a time travel series that will run a book a month for 12 months. These stories are fantastic and hope they will be enjoyed by everyone. Also, beginning in March we will have the first of the three winners in our ‘Scottish Nocturnal’ contest that we are putting on with Romance Erotic Connection. We will also be putting out a submission call for a special series to be published in the fall/winter of next year so be looking for that.

To check out all the great books available from Dark Eden Press just click on the link below.


Savannah Chase said...

what a great interview, DEP is a great company with such amazing people running it and the authors are the best

Jenna Leigh said...

Great interview!

I've known Debra for almost four years now and she never ceases to amaze me.

I can remember reading erotica for the first time and thinking "Where in the heck have they been hiding this stuff?"

CresceNet said...
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Jade Twilight said...

Great interview Deb. DEP is a wonderful company.

Anonymous said...

Jesus has it been four years already Jenn? It cant be that long already can it?

Where has the time gone...It just seemed like yesterday I was reading your story about the preggo men that made me spit coffee everywhere.


Karen said...

Great interview, Deb! I'm looking forward to seeing all the wonderful things ahead for Dark Eden. Congratulations and best of luck! Karen