Musa Publishing began as just an idea and a dream shared by four digital publishing professionals. We'd spent our careers working around some serious problems within the publishing model—issues that were puzzling to us. Why were publishers keeping authors in the dark about how publishing works? What was the big secret about royalties? Why couldn't writers have input on their cover art? Why did all those e-books look like Word document files with a cover slapped on them instead of books?
Why were all of these sacred cows…well, sacred?
So, we decided instead to create a publishing house that answered our questions, questions we knew a lot of other authors, editors, and artists were asking themselves. We believe that a publishing house can offer near-total transparency to its authors. We believe that an author with knowledge is an empowered author, which is a rarity in an industry like publishing. With that in mind, we tackled our biggest problems with publishing one by one.
Our desire for transparency shaped our decision to have our contracts available on-line for authors to peruse before querying us. Our contracts have been vetted by authors and agents, watchdog sites and attorneys. We feel confident that we offer our authors one of the most author-friendly contracts in publishing.
We couldn't find a reason to keep the royalty process a big secret either. In fact, we found every reason to open up the doors and let the author in to the shadowy world of royalties. Authors should be able to budget their royalty checks—to know how much is coming to them before they get their checks. Authors should be able to track their sales in real time, not only because of royalties. If an author can track their sales, they have the immediate ability to see how their marketing affects their sales, and can tailor their promotions accordingly.
So, Musa created and developed the Delphi publishing database, software that goes above and beyond any other publishing house in the world, which enables our authors to track their books from contract to publication to royalties, with real-time sales numbers. With Delphi as the hub for information exchanges between authors and all departments within Musa, a great deal of time is saved. Without having to write hundreds of emails a day, all the information our authors and staff need is readily available on the database.
And finally, Musa is committed to not only publishing new talent, but giving our writers, interns, and staff the knowledge and information they need to successfully negotiate the industry. We teach our authors how to promote themselves online and offline, giving them skills that every author from the Big Six to the tiniest micro-press needs in order to sell their books. We have created a master class program, where authors, agents, and other industry professionals teach everything from 'how to write a proper query' to 'how to spot a scam agent or publisher'. With the tremendous sense of community already built among the Musa authors and staff, writers find that they aren't negotiating the book industry all alone, but as a member of a tight-knit Musa family who stand at their sides, promoting and encouraging and congratulating them the entire way.
Musa began as a dream shared by four publishing industry professionals. Now that the reality is here, Musa has become the home to debut YA novelists and NYT/USA Today bestselling authors, award-winning books and literary chapbooks, the latest in speculative fiction to the lost treasures of an American science fiction pioneer—and all at reasonable, affordable prices. So whether you're an author, looking for a home for your latest book, or a reader, looking for the best digital fiction without paying an arm and a leg for it, Musa has something for you.
Editorial Director - Celina Summers email@example.com
Editorial Director Celina Summers has been involved in e-publishing as an author, editor, review coordinator, senior editor, and managing editor for over a decade. She studied theater and political science at college in Tennessee, including master class studies in playwriting with the late Dr. Howard Stein, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. First published in high school and now the award-winning author of three plays and sixteen novellas and novels, she left her career in professional theater to return to her first loves, writing and publishing, in 2000. But editing came first. As a freelance editor, Celina worked at four different houses before her promotion to senior editor at one. She then was quickly promoted to senior editor, and then approached the publisher with an idea for a traditional Regency romance imprint. As the driving force behind the Aurora Regency imprint, she produced over forty historical novels in the imprint's first year. She then served as the Managing Editor of the e-publisher, before leaving to launch Musa Publishing. To date, Celina has edited well over 400 manuscripts, working with nearly two hundred different authors.
At Musa, she edits a small stable of authors that were with her at previous publishing houses and created the new Musa shared world project The Darkside Chronicles in collaboration with Richard C. White, a multi-published Musa author with a strong background in media tie-in work. Because of her love of speculative fiction short stories, she also founded Penumbra eMagazine. The inaugural issue of Penumbra was released on the same day that Musa opened its doors. Celina serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Penumbra, and when she's "off work" can usually be found with her tablet in hand, reading submissions. Celina doesn't have any hobbies or fun pastimes--save for the two-hour period every day that she spends writing on her own projects.
Financial Director - Kerry Mand firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerry Mand comes to Musa with eight years of business ownership/management. As the Office Manager/Owner for those companies, she was responsible for Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and payroll for employees. She recently worked for another publisher as the office manager before coming to Musa Publishing. Kerry is thrilled to be part of Musa from the beginning and cannot wait to see where it takes us in the future!
Promotions Director - Elspeth McClanahan email@example.com
Elspeth comes to Musa Publishing after working as Promotions Director for another publisher. Before entering the publishing world, she spent many years promoting and assisting in the promotion of the theatres she has worked for and the mothers groups she belongs to. Her promotional experience includes, but is not limited to, review coordinator, conference representative, conference speaker, contest judge, special guest speaker, “After the Show” host, and Promotions Director. As an author writing under a pseudonym, she has published two novels and one novella.
Art/IT Director - Kelly Shorten firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Shorten has over fifteen years of Web/Graphic Design experience under her belt. Besides what she does for Musa, she also works on independent contracts working with businesses for their promotional items. She has been designing covers and marketing books for authors for over three years. Kelly was the Art Director for AMP for over a year. View Portfolio
The Head Editors
Since writing a report on Pompeii in the 6th grade, Elaine has been fascinated by history. She knew immediately that she wanted to be an archaeologist and unearth another hidden city some day.
When Elaine discovered historical fiction, she was addicted. With a guaranteed happy ending, what could be better? She read and re-read every historical romance she could get until they became tattered. And she began to dream of writing one when her favorite authors weren't producing new stories quickly enough.
Alas, life often has other plans. After meeting and marrying the man of her dreams, Elaine settled into the work grind and focused on her business career. Until about five years ago, when she discovered the online writing community and figured she'd try her hand again. Since then, she has seen her Regency-era historical romances published and learned about the other side of the publishing business as an intern and acquisitions editor with Musa Publishing. She is a passionate advocate of Regency romance and e-books --her personal choice for reading on the go!
Today, Elaine lives in the Nashville, TN area with her husband, her real-life hero of over 20 years.
Euterpe/PAN Head Editor - Jeanne De Vita email@example.com
Jeanne De Vita, Head Editor of the Euterpe imprints, grew up around romance novels, writers and writing. Jeanne's mother, USA Today Best-selling author and Musa author, Sharon De Vita, probably still has the first story Jeanne ever wrote. The story was written on a piece of paper shaped like Santa Claus's head, in the big white space of Santa's beard. Jeanne attended her first RWA Conference at age 14, thanks to Mom. Jeanne has a B.A. in English from Iowa State University, where she won several writing scholarships and awards. She completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame and has taught writing and rhetoric/composition at the college level as well as corporate courses in written communications. Jeanne has provided weekly volunteer respite care to children with special needs since 2005 and has been to Romania on service trips twice. She is mother to a 10-year old German Shorthair Pointer, Spike, and an 8-year old rescue Chihuahua, Samson. Jeanne is an avid lover of crochet and donates dozens of crocheted items, some of her own design, to hospitals and charities every year. When she is not editing, Jeanne writes fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She no longer writes on Santa-shaped paper.
Erato/PAN GLBT Head Editor - Elizabeth Silver firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Silver is a multi-published author of erotica and male/male romance, a gold-medal winner in the Bad Timing Olympics, an international woman of mystery, and a compulsive liar when forced to make herself seem more interesting than she actually is. When not writing or editing, she can be found reading (anything, everything, always – her bookshelves have spiritualism and memoirs next to romance and YA), making beaded jewelry, baking, or finding other creative ways to avoid cleaning the house.
Prior to taking on the position of Head Editor of the Erato imprint, Elizabeth was initially hired as a junior editor in the beginning days of Musa, and has always been the lead editor of the Wiccan Haus line. She is experienced in developmental, content, and line editing both here at Musa and as a freelance editor, and is well versed in social media and interactive marketing (which is a very nice way of saying she’ll talk your ear off about “that thing she loves”). With Erato, she applies the same high standards found in the rest of Musa, both to editorial, content, and developmental efforts, and looks forward to being a part of the Musa family for a long time to come.
Calliope Head Editor - Aimee Benson email@example.com
Aimee fell in love with the written word as a toddler, a fact which confounded her kindergarten teacher when she finally arrived in school, a fully-formed book junkie already. Escaping the oppressive regime of crayons and construction paper, she took refuge in the library, where she managed to hide out for years--until the University of North Carolina at Asheville saw fit to grant her a BA in Communication and French. Under a pen name, Aimee is a multi-published author of erotic romance, but the authors she edits know her best as an adverb-slaying dragon.
The Senior Staff
Head Line Editor--Helen Hardt
Helen Hardt has been editing professionally (commercial and freelance) since 2008. She regularly presents workshops on grammar and style, and is affectionately known to her authors and critique partners as "The Grammar Nazi." Helen is also an award-winning author of fiction and a licensed attorney. Her hobbies include yoga, attending her sons' sports and music performances, and extolling the virtues of the Oxford comma. She lives in Colorado.
Publication Coordinator--Brandie Tarvin
Wherever a database may be in trouble, whenever a story needs an author, Brandie flies to the rescue, armed with naught but a SQL Server interface and a word processing program. Author of dozens of speculative fiction tales and Shadowrun the Role-Playing Game books, she has defeated many an evil typo as part-time freelance proofreader and line editor.
In her secret identity, Brandie blogs about database administration, trains junior DBAs, and speaks at SQL Saturday events across the country. When the glasses come off, she blogs about writing, invents worlds, destroys characters, and plots to conquer the universe through speculative fiction. Her first published story was "Two for the Price of One" in the 2004 Transformers Legends anthology, a media tie-in story about Decepticons and human greed, and she has been terrorizing editors ever since.
In addition to her RPG and short fiction writing, Brandie serves as final round slush reader and Assistant Editor for Penumbra eMag and does brand management for the Urania imprint. She is currently stalking the publishing wilds for talented new authors and fantastic spec fic properties. More information about Brandie can be found at her website www.brandietarvin.com.
IT/Co-Designer - Micheal Mand firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie began her career in graphic design in 1993 working in desktop publishing for the Illinois AFL-CIO. Creating newsletters, brochures, announcements, and various other types of projects gave her a chance to hone her skills. Several jobs later, several software programs later, and a lot of training, shaped her style.
In 2008 she took the leap and submitted sample covers to several e-publishering houses. After several rejections, a small epublishing company gave her a shot. She's been full steam ahead in the cover art world. With over 300 covers to her name, she's grateful for that one chance that opened the doors for her.
She's currently working as an intern and staff cover artist for Musa Publishing, as well as a freelance cover artist at Samhain Publishing, Loose-ID, Lyrical Press, Pink Petal, Etopia Press, and several other small epubs. Valerie's full online portfolio can be viewed at tibbsdesign.com.