IBPA Independent caught up with UK-based Tiny Ghost Press (tinyghostpress.com) to discuss the publisher’s sales and distribution strategy.
IBPA Independent: Tell me a bit about the creation of Tiny Ghost Press.
Joshua Dean Perry (JDP): Tiny Ghost Press came about after I had spent a few years working in publishing and really wanted to be more involved with the sorts of books I read, as well as books that would enhance and contribute to the growing level of queer representation in the publishing landscape. I wanted to publish the sorts of books I wish I’d had as a teenager that would speak to the tiny ghosts, spooky oddballs, and glamour ghouls out there.
IBPA Independent: Who makes up your team?
JDP: The core in-house team at Tiny Ghost consists of myself, Joshua Dean Perry, taking on the creative side of things in the editorial director position; finance manager Reuben Davies-Hoare; and Julia Wortman, our part-time editorial assistant. For everything else, we contract a team of freelance editors, artists, designers, etc.
IBPA Independent: Tiny Ghost specializes in “spooky” or “supernatural” queer young adult fiction. Talk to me about how you found that niche and why you think it’s important.
JDP: Growing up, I was drawn to spooky, supernatural stories, from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, to The Addams Family, to Teen Wolf, The Craft, ’90s slasher films, and every old monster movie in between. In these stories, the spooky oddballs were the outsiders, but they were powerful. They were scary but strong, and as a queer person, I was able to draw from that strength when I felt like an outsider.
As a company, we want to give a little bit of power to the young adults of today who might need it. Additionally, we believe that representation matters. For so long, it’s been next to impossible to find books where queer characters are the main focus, and I believe the young adult market is leading the way where representation is concerned. The combination of these thought trains led to Tiny Ghost Press and informs our niche. Plus, who doesn’t love the adrenaline rush of an unexpected jump scare, swooning over a werewolf romance, or imagining they were part of a powerful coven?
IBPA Independent: How do you find and attract authors to publish with Tiny Ghost?
JDP: We’ve been very lucky to have received some incredibly exciting submissions organically from the jump. Our submission guidelines are available on our website, and most of our authors have discovered us through social media and the work we’ve done promoting our titles thus far. We are open to submissions year round and are happy to hear from both authors with representation and authors yet to find an agent. Accepting unsolicited manuscripts is important to us as a queer-focused publisher; we want to remain accessible to communities and authors who may be overlooked by the industry otherwise. We’re also committed to making Tiny Ghost Press an author-friendly publisher, working closely with our authors to make sure they are happy and feel supported throughout the publishing process.
IBPA Independent: What is Tiny Ghost’s sales strategy? Do you go direct to consumer, sell in bookstores, release e-books and audiobooks, etc.?
JDP: Our sales strategy began purely online. Because of our distributor, we are listed online in bookstores across the globe, and we will continue to rely on online sales for some time. We’d love to see our titles in stores as well, and currently we’re in the process of creating relationships with bookshops in the US and the UK, with particular interest in indie bookshops and queer-friendly booksellers. If booksellers out there would like to learn more about our titles, please get in touch! We plan to release all future titles simultaneously in hardcover, paperback, and e-book to provide an accessible price point for every budget. We’ve just released our first audiobook and hope to produce more in the future.
IBPA Independent: Do you have a distributor? Talk to me about your distribution strategy.
JDP: As an independent company, we rely on distribution services with little upfront cost. Which is why we use Ingram as both our on-demand printer and distributor. Without the affordability of print on demand, we wouldn’t be able to publish our books. Additionally, with Ingram we can distribute our books globally without relying on localized printers and distributors, which could limit our reach.
IBPA Independent: What does success look like for Tiny Ghost Press?
JDP: Success for us really just means continuing to publish books that champion queer representation. To provide representation for every letter on the rainbow alphabet. Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible and publish exciting books with queer characters at the forefront.
IBPA Independent: Do you have any examples of successful, or even unexpected, sales results that you can share?
JDP: We were really blown away by the reaction to our first release, The Alpha’s Son, a gay werewolf romance. Considering we popped up out of nowhere with no following and a small promotional budget, we were over the (full) moon to see The Alpha’s Son become a No. 1 bestseller in LGBTQ+ Romance for Teens and Young Adults on Amazon, and maintain the No. 1 new release spot in LGBTQ+ Books for Teens and Young Adults for almost the entire first month after release. We’ve also just started pushing our TikTok account and have seen some exciting developments since.