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!
Art/IT Director - Kelly Shorten email@example.com
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
Assistant Editorial Director - Jeanne De Vita firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Head Book Designer - Cera Smith