Monday, July 28, 2014

PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS--MAKING A DIFFERENCE by CHERYL PIERSON



In August, 2013, my business partner, Livia Reasoner and I decided to take the plunge and open our own publishing house. So many little companies were bursting on the scene that we wondered if we would be able to make much of a difference in the publishing world. Less than a year later, I want to share with you all what we’ve done.

To start with, I better talk a little about why we wanted to start Prairie Rose Publications to begin with. Livia and I both belong to a professional western writing group, the WESTERN FICTIONEERS, of which we are both very proud to be members. I am currently acting as President of the Western Fictioneers until 2016. We had both noticed that there were many women writers—good women writers—who were having trouble “breaking in” to the western genre. Many of these women wrote “gritty” western stories—not so heavy on the romance as on the “western” aspect; many of them wrote shorter stories than the normal popular length for a novel, or novella; and many were having trouble just because they were women—with the name to prove it.

Lots of publishers don’t like taking a chance on westerns anymore, written by man or woman—but when they have a choice, they’ll be publishing the ones by men—since men are more apt to buy western and science fiction works by another man than by a woman.

Livia and I agreed that one of the submissions requirements for our publishing house would be first and foremost, to submit, you had to be a woman. We have not been sorry, and have had more business than we can handle at times.

Another thing we wanted to do was encourage new writers as well as seasoned ones. We’ve got a fantastic mix of both, and have thoroughly enjoyed working with them all. Our royalty rate is one of the best anywhere, paying 80% net to the authors, who work so hard to write these wonderful tales and hope with everything in them to find a home for their stories. After years of being offered the traditional meager 35% for e-books and 7% for print, our authors are extremely happy with the royalty payments, and so are we.

We can do this because we don’t accept anything that requires heavy editing, so we are able to produce more quality stories and novels in a shorter time span.

It wasn’t long after we opened Prairie Rose Publications that we were asked if we published children’s westerns. And what about contemporary and science fiction? Well, did we also have an imprint for youngsters’ contemporary or fantasy stories? The answer became YES very quickly. Painted Pony Books is our imprint for Middle Grade, YA and New Adult western fare; Tornado Alley Publications is the sister imprint for Middle Grade, YA, and New Adult contemporary stories, and Fire Star Press satisfies contemporary, science fiction and fantasy categories for adults.

All of our imprints except Prairie Rose Publications are open to ANYONE to submit to—men and women, alike; newbies and experienced writers.

Since opening our doors, we have published many anthologies at PRP—Wishing For a Cowboy (Christmas 2013), Hearts and Spurs (Valentine’s Day 2014), Lassoing a Bride, Lassoing a Groom, Lassoing a Mail Order Bride, and Cowboy Cravings (Summer stories, 2014).

We’ve also put out 14 novels in the PRP line, as well as 6 novellas.

In the Painted Pony Books imprint, we’ve published 9 books, some for all three of our age groups.
In the Tornado Alley Publications imprint, we published our first anthology, THIS SUMMER STORM, for YA readers just a few weeks ago in time for summer reading for ages 13-17. We also released a “retro” novel about the Viet Nam era, Echoes in the Night, and will be releasing two more about that era in the next couple of months.



Fire Star Press has seen the release of one novella and one novel, with many more on the way.
Part of what we want to do with our company is to inspire people in many ways, and one of these ways is by helping others. We have partnered with some charities that are so rewarding and exciting to work with. One of them, The Lighthouse For Recovery Ministries, has many branches that reach out to all segments of the Birmingham, Alabama community—the homeless, abused animals, addiction programs, and programs for veterans who need help. http://www.thelighthouseforrecoveryministries.org/

Another of our “pet projects” has been helping with Westie rescue expenses by donating books to the Westie Rescue Missouri Fundraising Auction (here is the Facebook page for their event, for anyone who might be interested): https://www.facebook.com/groups/WestieRSQMissouriAuction/


What do we have coming up in the next year? More of the same! Prairie Rose Publications will have its first Halloween anthology, Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico making a debut in late September. But there’ll also be an anthology from Tornado Alley Publications for Middle Grade Readers this fall called My Dog Can Do Magic! For New Adult readers, we’ll have an anthology just in time for Halloween—It Could Happen—stories that have a love story with a Halloween twist. We have submission calls open for all three of these anthologies, if you have a story you think might meet the requirements!


Christmas will see two anthologies, Present for a Cowboy and Present for a Cowgirl in our PRP line.
And Valentine’s Day will be marked by another new anthology to be released in the middle part of January.

But even more immediately, we have a special CHRISTMAS IN JULY event coming up from July 25-Aug. 1! During that time period, we’ll have many new Christmas-themed novellas and short stories available for purchase at our brand new website!


We’ll have a lot of giveaways going on, too! We hope you’ll come join us during National Week of the Cowboy, the week we’ve chosen for our Christmas in July event—and get to know our authors. But don’t wait until then—here’s the link, come on over and join us now!

PRP website:

PRP blog: www.prairierosepublications.blogspot.com

Questions? Ideas? Thoughts? Please leave a comment with your contact information! I will be drawing the names of 3 lucky winners today!


Here’s what’s up for grabs from the PRP goodie bag!
1 signed print copy of TIME PLAINS DRIFTER
1 digital copy of COWBOY CRAVINGS
1 digit copy of LASSOING A MAIL ORDER BRIDE
Winners will be announced tonight! Thanks so much for stopping by and celebrating with me!

19 comments:

  1. Don't tell me I'm the first one to comment... for once. :) Great way to celebrate your birthday, Cheryl.

    Love all those "branches" to PRP. It's a wonderful idea and it will reach more and more people as time goes by.

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  2. I'm with Liette on celebrating the success of Prairie Rose Publications being a great way to celebrate a birthday. So happy birthday, Cheryl.

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  3. Just fantastic!!

    I can't believe I wasn't already signed up.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  4. I'm so happy I found PRP. So many great stories! But never too many.

    mango8@msn.com.

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  5. Hi Liette! Yes, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be over here lonely and forgotten! LOL Thank goodness for my Canadian ami! Or is it amie? LOL Man, I have forgotten everything. I'm determined to revive it though so you are going to have to put up with my bad (atrocious) French while I re-train (and help me!)LOL

    Thanks for stopping by--I'm glad you are getting in the habit of commenting! Love to see you at these blogs!

    I think you are right about the imprints getting the word out to many and appealing to so many different types of readers--at least, I hope that's what happens!

    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHERYL!!!

    You know how glad I am to be one of the "Roses." Here's to lots more successes!

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  7. Kaye, I agree! I love that my birthday is so close to the PRP anniversary! A lot to celebrate, for sure.
    Cheryl

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  8. Hey, Mary! I'm so glad you stopped by. Will be doing the drawing tomorrow evening, and I've got you entered! Thanks for coming by.
    Cheryl

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  9. Alisa, I agree--we're working as fast as we can to bring these stories out for everyone and get them ready to go. I just love what I do--it's the best job in the world!
    Cheryl

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  10. Tracy, I'm so glad you threw in with us at PRP. We are thrilled to have you with us and look forward to many more stories to come!
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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  11. Cheryl, Happy Birthday twice - once for you and once for PRP. I love each of the stories I've read from PRP. Keep them coming.

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  12. Celebrate, celebrate! Happy Birthday to you--you know what I always say--go eat Mexican food and have a margarita.

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  13. Woohoo, so excited for you guys! What a wonderful endeavor. I've visited your website on several occasions and was impressed with what you've done.
    Congratulations.

    I've been wanting to write a western to submit, but other projects have kept me busy. Any chance you'll have an inspirational imprint?

    Loved hearing all your news and wish you great success!

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  14. Hi again Cheryl,

    Who in his right mind could forget you, huh? :)

    It is "amie" with an "e" as I'm a woman. It would have been "ami" if you were addressing a man. And, I'll be more than happy to help you with your French, if you need it. :)

    And I'm glad to finally have found a way to participate in your blogs.

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  15. Caroline, thanks so much! I'm really happy with the stories we've collected for the anthologies--not a bad one in the bunch! Glad you are enjoying them, too!
    Cheryl

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  16. Celia,
    We had the best time--that place is like a second home sometimes. The waitress is one that was working at another Mexican place we frequented when the kids were little--Casey was about 5 or so, and Jessica was 8. The place closed, and she began working at another place we had started going to. Eventually, that place closed, too, and one night we decided to try this restaurant we go to now, and she was working in there. Here we are 20 years later! LOL She knows what we want before we even order. The owner comes out and talks to us. LOL
    Cheryl

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  17. Hi Linda! Yes we've already got a couple of inspirational westerns and more on the way. That collection is called PRAYERS AND PROMISES--it includes Sara Barnard's THE CALLING (based on the Marty Robbins song) and Tanya Hanson's CLAIMING HIS HEART, the first of her series about that family.

    I hope you'll consider submitting something! Kathleen is making us a wonderful new website and I love it! Can't wait to show it off.

    Cheryl

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  18. So glad you're here, Liette. Oh, you KNOW I need help with my French! LOL You've seen my phonetic spelling one too many times, I'm sure. LOL Yes, any and all help appreciated!
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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  19. BAD CHERYL! I forgot to post my winners! Good grief! See what another birthday will do to you?

    TIME PLAINS DRIFTER--KAYE SPENCER!
    COWBOY CRAVINGS--MARY PRESTON!
    LASSOING A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE--LINDA LAROQUE!

    CONGRATULATIONS, LADIES!
    Cheryl

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