Hello Coffee Time Romance readers! From time to time here at Coffee Time, we like to change things up for you. Today, we are talking to, Frank and Renee Rocco, owners of a growing publishing house, Lyrical Press. Pull up a chair and let the fun begin.
Thank you for sitting down with us. I don’t have to tell you how much we adore Coffee Time Romance. You and are your staff are just incredible.
You are so sweet. Thank you! Let’s get started, shall we? In your blog, I noticed that you are a husband and wife team. Are you both involved in the day to day operations of Lyrical Press?
Renee: Oh, absolutely! We wouldn’t have it any other way. This is a joint business in every sense of the word.
Frank: We may have our personal strong/weak points, but we are definitely both involved equally.
In today’s society, it’s nice to hear of a couple who enjoys spending time together. Are there certain advantages/disadvantages to working with your spouse?
Renee: You bet there are. Luckily for us, Frank and I are completely in sync. We both had a clear idea what we wanted when we decided to open Lyrical, so there haven’t been any conflicts. I think the biggest advantage for us is we’re each good at different things, so our responsibilities rarely overlap. That actually prevents potential toe stepping. Like, I leave most of the financial and marketing in Frank’s capable hands while I tackle the creative side of the company.
You sound like an amazing couple! What made the two of you decide to start Lyrical Press?
Frank: We both paid attention to the publishing industry from the moment Renee signed her first contract. From the beginning, we both wanted to open our own house. We just had to wait until the time was right. It took two years for us to finally decide to green light Lyrical, spending that time researching the industry.
What is it that makes Lyrical Press different from the other publishing houses?
Renee: I’d like to think it’s that Frank and I are extremely hands on and author-friendly. We never forget the author/publisher relationship is symbiotic. We keep that fact at the forefront of our minds whenever we’re faced with making tough decisions for the good of the company.
Frank: It always helps that Renee was an author. We ask ourselves what she would want or wouldn’t want, as an author, in her publisher.
It’s great that you can use Renee’s experience as an author to make Lyrical Press better. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to submissions?
Renee: Typos or grammatical errors in the first sentence. When submitting, you need to put your best foot forward. If we see errors right at the beginning, it makes for a terrible first impression.
I agree with you there! How about something fun? You state on your blog site that Lyrical Press is growing fast. Where do you, Frank and Renee, see it in the next 5 years?
Frank: We’d both love to see Lyrical has carved out a strong standing in the small press world. We’d also like our business to be on its way to competing with the larger houses. Given the successes of other small presses, we know that is a realistic goal.
Sound like a very realistic goal. Here’s another fun question: Who does the cover art for your books?
Renee: I do. I can’t bring myself to hire additional cover artists. I truly love creating our covers and I think that shows in the art.
Ah, a lady of many talents. I agree with you. The covers are beautiful. Now some questions for new authors looking to submit to Lyrical Press. Are you looking for submissions right now? If so, is there a particular genre you are looking for?
Renee: Currently, we’re actively seeking erotica/romance in all genres, but our first love is anything – anything – paranormal. Right, Frank?
Paranormal books are terrific. Next question: A new author submits a book that needs some work. How do you know that this author has the spark needed to be successful?
Frank: Renee, I’ll leave this to you, since you and Emma handle the submissions.
Renee: Sure, I’ll take this one. If the story has a great hook and the foundation is solid, there’s a good chance we’ll extend the author a contract. We have a dedicated editing staff, all with a keen eye for strengthening a book.
For my final question, Can you tell us a little bit about the Lyrical Press community?
Frank: We’re proud of everyone associated with Lyrical. They’ve all helped to make LPI a place where new and established authors feel welcome.
Renee: Although we never lose sight of the industry side of things, we have a wonderful balance of business and fun. We’re relaxed when can be and corporate when needed. Above all, we want our authors and staff to know that at LPI, their voice will be heard. We might not always be in the position to execute their opinions, but we always listen and respect their wants. Like Frank said earlier, I’m an author, and I believe that reflects positively on how Lyrical functions.
I want to thank Frank and Renee for taking a few moments from your busy day to chat with us here at Coffee Time Romance & More. We wish you only the very best with Lyrical Press. Readers, I hope you learned a little more about our friends, the Roccos and their business.