I asked to interview someone at Amazon Montlake and was invited to send in questions. These are the answers I received. Some answers are vague corporate answers but others were more substantive.
How many releases does Amazon Montlake plan to publish in a month and how frequently? I.e., will it follow a traditional publishing schedule such as releasing so many a month or will it release titles on a weekly basis like some of the epublishers or even daily?
The first title we are publishing in our Montlake Romance imprint is Connie Brockway’s “The Other Guy’s Bride.” We will share information about additional titles in the coming months but it’s fair to say that we are more focused on publishing a wide range of engaging romantic novels we think readers will love than trying to hit a specific quota.
How is Amazon Montlake acquiring books? I.e., are you taking unsolicited submissions or just agented submissions? Are you watching the self-published ranks?
We review books that have both been independently published and are submitted to us by agents. Montlake Romance is not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts.
Will Amazon Montlake titles be available to nook, kobo, sony readers? I.e. readers who use the epub format?
Montlake Romance digital books are available exclusively in the Kindle Store. Kindle books are available across all of the most popular devices that people use today, such as the Kindle, PC, Mac, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, iPhone, iPad and iPad touch.
Will Amazon Montlake titles be DRM free?
This decision is up to every author.
What types of subgenres will you be publishing. It looks like historical and contemporary so far.
Montlake Romance is dedicated to publishing across a wide range of romantic subgenres.
Amazon has had a spotty history with erotic content. Will you be publishing erotic romance? And if not, what type of heat level should we expect.
We do not have any erotic romance books to announce, and we can’t speculate on future plans.
What is the length of the Amazon novels you will be publishing? (Because Amazon doesn’t publish word count, readers often end up paying for really short works and ending up disappointed)
Our first book is a full-length novel; should we have any shorter length works we will aim to make this clear on the detail page so that customers know what to expect. Right now, both print and digital books have page count listed on their detail pages.
Will you be releasing more unedited work of authors? I was really disappointed with the quality of The Other Guy’s Bride and am worried about Amazon’s finished quality.
We occasionally make sample chapters available from works in-progress. Connie is still writing “The Other Guy’s Bride,” but we put up what we call a “teaser chapter” when we announced the Montlake imprint. We intend to continue to do this, and will edit the teasers – but of course, the final work may change considerably when it’s actually published. We’re heard from our customers that they’ve been very happy with the quality of our finished books.
With romance, readers have a specific idea of what the ending should be like. What is Amazon’s definition of a romance novel?
Romance fans have very clear expectations, and we will do our best to exceed them. There is a growing diversity among our customer base across many sub-genres. But in the end, all of these romantic stories need to be smart and emotionally satisfying.
Will you have review copies?
Will the books have geographic restrictions or will anyone from anywhere in the world be able to buy them?
We intend to sell our works everywhere on our global platform that we have the rights to sell them.
There are authors who read Dear Author. I know they are interested in knowing what types of terms that Amazon will be offering such as royalties and advances. For most traditionally published houses, the ebook royalty and print royalty is the same from house to house and is non negotiable. Is there anything off the table for Amazon?
We look at each book and author independently, and will not discuss our business relationships with authors.
Do you have any plans to move the novels into film production as you have your own film production company within Amazon?
We do not speculate on future plans.
Will Montlake be run out of Seattle or under Larry Kirshbaum?
Montlake Romance is headquartered in Seattle.
What will the price points be for Amazon Montlake books?
Pricing will depend on a variety of different factors. The price for “The Other Guy’s Bride’s” is $8.13 in paperback and $4.99 in Kindle format.
What are you looking to publish in terms of romance? I.e., we hear a lot that certain stories won’t sell in traditional publishing. Courtney Milan, one former Harlequin author and now self published author (her Unlocked is selling quite well on Amazon) stated one of the reasons she left was to have more creative control.
We are dedicated to publishing engaging romance novels we think our customers will love. Stay tuned for future announcements.
See also Sarah Wendell’s interview with Courtney Miller, Sr. Acquisitions Editor for Amazon Montlake.