Saturday, October 10, 2009

Please Welcome Jill Noble of Noble Romance Publishing

Any good career counselor will tell you to take some time and research a company to help determine if you and the company make a good fit together. Sometimes, if you don’t take the time to research a company properly, you might find yourself unhappy with your choice. Today, I plan to help you research one company in particular. Joining me today is Jill Noble of Noble Romance Publishing.

1. Who are the people behind Noble Romance Publishing (NRP)? Beyond what is offered on the website, please, because our readers would like to get to know who will be handing their “children”. What do those behind the scenes do and what experience do they bring to the table?

I’ve recently updated the Web site to include more information on this. Allow me, please to offer that info here.

Owner - Jim Noble

Jim Noble is an entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in business development, management, and marketing. He is a shareholder in several successful major national and international corporations.

Senior Editor - Jill N. Noble

Jill N. Noble has published several erotic romance stories under the pen name Jill Noelle. She was formerly a staff writer for Custom Erotica Source, a Senior Editor with Loose Id, LLC and a Direct Marketing Copywriter with LendingTree, LLC. She has over 20 years experience in marketing and advertising, and over 7 years experience in the e-publishing industry.

Accounting/Bookkeeping - Sara Andrews

Cover Artist - Fiona Jayde

Fiona Jayde designs magnificent covers for several well-known e-publishers.
Learn more about Fiona's work here.

Editorial Staff - Noble Romance uses several freelance editors who have extensive experience in writing and epublishing.

2. Where does NRP exist in the real world, or is it strictly an online entity?

LOL. No, we have a business address, but it’s a PO Box. Our office (the actual building) is in Atlanta, on Ashford-Dunwoody Road, but I work from home – or wherever I happen to be at the time. ;-)

3. We’ve all heard that necessity is the mother of invention, but tell us, what need was NRP created to fill for you? How did it go from just an idea to the reality of what we see today, and how long has NRP been serving the writing and the reading community?

I have been involved in the epublishing world since 2002. I loved everything about it – the new and different stories, the authors, the online interaction with readers and writers, the sense of community. I wrote and published books through a few of the older epublishers, and I worked as a senior editor for Loose Id, because I loved everything about this business. I also love working with other authors, helping them polish their manuscripts, brainstorm, etc. I started planning/researching with an eye toward opening my own company. In 2007, LendingTree (my former employer) downsized, cutting 20 percent of their workforce. Fortunately, I was one of those they let go. ;-) I presented my research, along with a business plan, to my brother and asked him to get involved. He’s smart – very – recognized the potential, and in March 2007 we opened Noble Romance Publishing, LLC. Our first books were released toward the end of that year.

4. When asked, most successful business entrepreneurs have a person or business they admire such as Donald Trump or McDonald’s. What corporation do you compare NPR to determine success or failure? Who do you compare yourself to, look up to, drives you to make the decisions that you do and keeps you striving for success?

My brother, Chris, passed away in 2002. He was and is my role model. He was a successful inventor/entrepreneur who nurtured my creative ideas and provided excellent advice on a daily basis. He’s my motivation and I still strive to make him proud.

5. What has the entire process of creating, designing, developing and maintaining NRP taught you about yourself as an owner, editor, publisher, writer and reader?

As an owner, it’s reiterated the need for professional behavior at all times. The Internet has a long memory. ;-)
As an editor, it’s reminded me of how many wonderfully creative people there are out there, and how hard authors work on their “babies.”
As a publisher, it’s taught me the enormity of being responsible for some many people’s work.
As a writer, it’s reminded me of how exciting it is to create something from a blank page.
And as a reader, it’s exciting to be exposed to so many amazing books!

6. Is it easy to differentiate from one hat to another (editor, publisher, writer, reader, owner), or do you find that no matter what aspect of NRP that you are dealing with you always wear the same multi-cornered hat?

Always the same, and I like it that way. Keeps me balanced, keeps me focused on what’s important…the authors, their books and our readers.

7. Has the success of NRP been what was expected or hoped for, or has it exceeded expectations? How has it grown? What still needs to be cultivated (in other words, where is growth happening too slowly)?

We came on the scene during a pretty bad time, both in the epublishing world, with all the bad behavior and business closings, and from an economical standpoint. So, no, we didn’t grow as fast as I’d hoped and we had to re-evaluate our business plan and our goals. The good news is we seem to have gotten over that “hump,” and we’re attracting bigger authors, more readers, and selling more books. If we continue to grow at the rate we have been the last six months, I’ll be very happy.

8. What changes have been made and will be made to ensure the continuing success of NRP and it’s abilities to serve the writing and reading communities?

We are constantly re-evaluating everything – the types of books we release, our release schedule, our advertising/marketing techniques, etc., and we’re always exploring new ways to expose more people to ebooks. This is an ongoing effort, and I don’t expect it to change any time soon.

9. What are NRP’s goals for the next two years, and how does NRP plan to meet those goals?

We’re looking into quite a few different methods of putting our books in front of a larger audience. I can’t talk about specifics at the moment, but our goals remain the same…continue attracting higher-profile authors, continue building our readership and attracting more readers to our site (rather than 3rd party vendors), and continue to expose more readers to ebooks.

10. In your opinion, what are the reasons that will keep NRP alive and publishing in these tight economic times while many e-publishers continue to fold?

Choosing the right books, keeping operating costs at a bare minimum and focusing our cash flow where it matters most (authors), my willingness to work 18 hour days for almost nothing. ;-) Those are just a few things.

11. In terms of publishing, does NRP strictly sell eBooks, or do you sell print version books as well? On average, how many books a month are sold through NPR?

At the moment, we only sell ebooks. Our business plan does call for moving into audio and print, but only when the timing is right and when we can do it in a way that makes sense, financially.

Sales vary based on author and sub-genre. Our highest sellers at the moment are contemporary or paranormal M/M. We do really well with these, but we also try to vary our releases so we’re not totally focused on one sub-genre. Unfortunately, sometimes this brings our overall numbers down. I’d rather not give an average at this time, because I’ve seen a steady increase in sales over the last few months and I’d like to have more data before I answer that question. If you come back and ask me in six months, I’ll be happy to give you numbers that accurately reflect what’s happening at that time.

12. If an author is trying to make a very informed choice when choosing a publisher and is interested to note how successful NRP was last year (which can be an indicator as to how economically stable NRP is or isn’t), where could he or she go to find NRP’s profit margins and related information?

Unfortunately, because NRP, LLC is a privately held corporation, that information is not public.

13. Who do you feel are your main competitors and what have you done to stay competitive? What do you do that they do not?

There are many decent, reputable epublishers out there now, providing authors with fine choices when it comes time to submit their novels for publication. I recommend authors do their research, ask other authors about their experiences with these other companies and check out sites like Preditors and Editors, and Emily Veinglory’s EREC site blog for more information.

What do we do differently? Depends on who you’re comparing us to. At NRP, you’ll find excellence in editing, one-on-one author support, timely royalty payments, amazing cover art and a friendly yet professional environment. And as I mentioned earlier, we also offer an advance of up to $1000 against royalties.

Thanks for this opportunity to let your readers learn a little more about Noble Romance Publishing. If you’d like to know more, my “cyber-door” is always open. Feel free to email me directly.

If you missed the first part of Jill’s two-part interview, go to Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem.

Before you run off to Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem, don’t forget to leave a message for your chance to win one of three promo codes for free ebooks!


Carrie said...

Hi Jill,

I just want to say that I appreciate your candor in answering these questions! As I said at your Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem interview, it's nice to feel the honesty behind the words.

Thanks for helping to create a decent "Publisher Profile" for Noble Romance Publishing!


Jill N. Noble said...

Thank you, Carrie. I enjoyed doing these interviews, and I really appreciate the opportunity you all gave me to tell readers about Noble.

NRP is basically my life these days. I truly care about our authors and I believe their success is the key to my success.

Jenna Byrnes said...

Great interview, Jill. Makes me proud to be a NRP author and to work hard to live up to the high standards you set!

~ Jenna

Mark Alders said...

Hey, Jill, great interview. Glad you found the time to come and talk to us and let our readers know about the high standard you are setting for your publishing company.


Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Jill! *waves* Thanks for joining us. Sorry for getting here so late today.

I know I'm new to NRP and my book doesn't release until November, but already I feel like I'm part of a fabulous family at NRP! I'm excited to be a part of this amazing company and amazing group of authors!

s7anna said...

Hi Jill,

Once again, I have to applaud on giving a great interview. Your thoughts were very clear and concise and I look forward to seeing NRP flourish in the future. It's definitely interesting to read that you're coming into this not only with the business mindset but that you've got the experience of being an author to draw on...That only combines to a brilliant formula of success!!!

I wish you and NRP the best of luck as you make your mark in the publishing industry!!!

Happy Reading!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

Erika Gilbert said...

I'm another new author with Noble Romance. Apart from being grateful to Jill for taking her chances with a brand new author, I was also amazed by how welcome Jill and fellow Noble Romance authors have made me feel. What I think stands out about Noble Romance is the commitment to publish not only well written, and highly sexy stories but also original ones.

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Jill,

Thank you so much for the interview. It is an honor. And thank you to Gracen for conducting the interview.


Keta Diablo said...

Hi Jill, Great interview.

I'm happy to be writing for Noble and it's true . . . it really is! It's a great place for an author to find a home. Fellow Noble authors are very creative and supportive which means a lot in this industry.

Check out the submissions page and come join us.

Keta Diablo

JillNoelle said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to talk w/you about Noble Romance. Thank you so much!

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