Saturday, April 28, 2012

Riptide 6 Month Anniversary Interview with Aleksandr Voinov

After 3 days of chanpange, giveaways and dancing, I think we should bring Riptide down for a speech. What say you? 

*taps glass and chants* speech, speech, speech, speech...

Just kidding. Sort of. I won't make them give a speech. But I /will/ grab them for an interview. 

That's totally dif. *winks*

*chants* interview, interview, interview... 

*laughs* I'm funny. I crack mah-self up! :D :D

'k, I'll be serious. I'll try at least....

Hey Aleks! Welcome back! And OMG Happy Anniversary!!!

Aleks: Thanks! It’s still a toddler, though.

Lol, perhaps, but at 6 whole months old it’s toddling rather well. Seems like we were just sitting down to chat during the ribbon cutting. My goodness, where /does/ the time go. So… m’dear… how’s feel to be a whole 6 months old?

Aleks: A little bit more grown-up, I guess. A little bit more surprised, and delighted, and exhausted and overall awed by the process and the talent we get to work with. Also, wow, busy. Really, really busy.

I’ve absolutely loved watching you guys become this publishing house of awesome. New books, new authors… you guys are just rockin’ it. So, I know better, but from out here you’ve just made this all look… easy peasy. I asked you 6 months ago what the biggest obstacle or challenge was. 6 months later I ask you again. Biggest obstacle or challenge thus far?

Aleks: Dealing with the unforeseen. We are all pretty good and fast on our feet when it comes to surprises, but sometimes, things move so fast and threaten to spiral out of control so quickly that damage control or a fix has to happen right now, and things like time zones or real life job really don’t figure anymore. You can make the best plans in the world and have the greatest experience, but nothing prepares you for how quickly some things move. It’s fun, but it can feel like sitting on a bucking bronco. This can be good stuff, it can be bad stuff, but mostly, it’s just challenges.

What’s been the most rewarding?

Aleks: That one’s easy, but has several stages. As a developmental editor (the guy manning the submissions inbox), reading something from a new-to-me (or just plain new) author that electrifies me and I get this “oh my gods, this is incredible!” is amazing. I love that part of the job. Then, when I’m involved in the developmental process, seeing a book develop and reach its full potential is a big thrill. Then, when everything comes together – edits, cover, the whole package and it all just feels right. And then when I read reviews and blog posts about our books and people love them, or they notice the quality, or comment favourably on the editing – that’s a great feeling. Last but not least, I’m pleased for every author who gets closer to making a living off writing, or sells a gazillion copies (and sometimes much more than they were selling previously), because, honestly, that just confirms my faith in the project and the talent. When I discover I book, I want the whole world to read it and the author to get her/his just rewards.

As an author, my big kick is to have control of the process and the quality like nowhere else. I have a huge amount of input regarding the cover, the marketing, the final “look and feel” of the book. Obviously, Riptide is not a self-publishing venture, so I don’t expect them to accept everything I do, but just getting the scrupulous editing and a cover I can be proud of – that’s big for me. I’m spoiled for most other e-publishers at this point. Also, my sales at Riptide are stronger than anywhere else, no doubt because of the covers and the marketing support.

*nods* The quality you guys put out is just fabulous. Fab-u-lous. You guys still having fun with all this?

Aleks: I guess it’s like running a marathon – you start out all gun-ho, then you realize, shit, this is work, then you go through all the pain, and eventually you find your rhythm or runner’s high. Yes, it’s fun. It’s also really, really hard work.

I bet it is. I don’t know how you do it all. So...what do we get to look forward to during the next 6 months?

Aleks: More great books. Seriously, I can’t really talk much about the books in six months, because I’m sometimes still waiting for the contracts to come back. There will be a book from Rachel and Cat Grant (the second part of Power Play, which is causing quite a stir), then in May/June we’re publishing the stories from our rentboy/Dear john submission call, and I can’t wait to introduce a major new, unpublished talent. Rhi Etzweiler brings us a military sci-fi story. Dark Soul comes out in print, too. Beyond that—let’s say, it’s going to be exciting, but we’re keeping some big stuff under wraps for the moment. We’d hate to spoil the surprise.

Sounds great.  I can’t wait to get my hands on those! I’ve every intention of grabbing you all for another sit down at the 1 yr mark. What’s one thing you expect Riptide to be, or have done, by then that you’ve not tackled yet?

Aleks: Schedules are a b*tch. We have huge plans, but as a start-up, we have to be flexible with our planning, because, see answer to the second question. Things happen all the time we didn’t anticipate, although it has to be said that most of those are positive, so there are things that happen and mean we have to move quickly to make the best of an opportunity. What I want to get rolling is a lesbian line, but that’s a plan for 2013 and we’re not jumping into new markets without doing some legwork first.

I love how you look before you leap, instead of just going all willy-nilly about things. Make sure you give us great book. I know it will be fantastic when you roll it out.
Thanks for the sit down Aleks. Congrats again on the milestone. You guys are still just rockin’ mah socks. Can’t /wait/ to see what the next 6 months brings.

Aleks: Thanks, Amara! You’ve been with us every step of the way and we truly, deeply appreciate it. Let’s make the next years even more awesome. J

Dooooo lets. *smiles*  It’s going to be so full of awesome. I just know it! 

The Anniversary Giveaways...

4/25: Guest Book & Giveaway ~ Special one of a kind pewter Riptide bookmark
4/26: 4 book Giveaway #1 ~ Dark Soul, First Watch, Sucks & Blows, Grown Men
4/27: 4 book Giveaway #2 ~ Once a Marine, Master Class, Romeo Club, Pretty Monsters


  1. So excited to see what comes next!

  2. I enjoyed the interview; it was a great read. Now I'm all giddy...or was that caused by the champagne???? LOL

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  3. Aleks and the rest of the Riptide family is awesome! I value their books for their unique and clever storylines and smooth writing and clean editing. I look forward to the lesbian line since there's very few books out in that genre.

    The Scarf Princess

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  4. So great being part of the party! I'd love to do one of my lesbian stories for Riptide - something to think about for the future maybe! :)


  5. *sits up straight*
    Great Interview Amara, and Great Job to everyone at Riptide! I'm looking to 6 more months of fun from everyone, and much, much longer than that.

    *moans, holding head*
    Amara, Why did you let me drink so much champagne? Please, please tell me nobody filmed the dancing yesterday.
    *moans and crawls away*

    1. Thanks darlin' :D

      oh yeah...*whispers* we got video...

  6. Loved the interview!!

    Ah, I have honestly loved all the books that have come out of Riptide (That I've read anyways. >o< so many books to go through lol) I am so excited to see what you have for us in the future. You're quality and stories in general are great!




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