Industry Interview: Soul Mate Publishing

Today is the launch of my bi-weekly interviews with publishers, editors and agents. This week, I’d like to welcome Deborah Gilbert, owner and publisher of Soul Mate Publishing whose tagline is “Where Two Hearts Become One.”  Isn’t that terrific?

From the moment I learned about Soul Mate Publishing, I knew this house has great things coming its way. Led by an engaging and enthusiastic industry professional who is already gathering a terrific line-up of authors and books. And, I have to say, I judge houses a lot by the professionalism of the covers and SMP’s covers are quite lovely.

Please help me welcome Debby to See Jane Publish. Welcome!

What made you decide to become a publisher?

I’ve been paying attention to the evolving e-book market for about six years now. In fact, I purchased our domain name in 2006. I guess you could say I was waiting for the right time to start the company. I taught high school English for 16 years, so I have the editing skills necessary to be effective. I’ve also been reading and critiquing romances for the last 10 years and have been a member of RWA since 2001, so I have the necessary skill set for success.

Tell us about your name/logo. Where did you come up with it? What’s the significance?

Deciding on a company name took months of brainstorming. What they say about brainstorming is so true. Usually the first ideas that come to mind are the easy ones. I thought about what I wanted the name to portray, and I think Soul Mate Publishing encompasses the type of books we’re trying to sell, romances where the hero and heroine belong together. The tagline took a bit more time. “Where two become one” fits with the name of the company, and again portrays the type of book we’re publishing.

Could you please tell us specifically what types of books Soul Mate Publishing publishes?

We publish stories with rich characters, interesting plots, and, of course, have an emotionally satisfying ending. We also like books that blend genres.

If you could get your hands on more stories in a certain genre – or with certain characters – what would it be?

We’re new, so we’re looking for every genre. I haven’t seen many sci-fi or futuristic submissions, and I enjoy the genre, so if I had to pick one, that would be it.

What are you absolutely not looking for?

We publish every genre of romance except YA.

Will you be doing both e-books and print books? Where can you find Soul Mate Publishing books?

We will be publishing both e-books and print books. Soul Mate Publishing books can be found at, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Soon we’ll be available at boutique houses around the world.

Most new writers have visions of agents and New York publishing houses dancing in their heads. Can you tell us some of the advantages of signing with a digital/small press publisher over a New York publisher?

One of the main advantages of a digital/small press over a New York publisher is the personal attention. I read each submission and provide a personal response in a timely fashion. I also work with authors on improving their craft. I think there’s a closeness that develops between the editors and authors and the authors themselves when working with a smaller press rather than a larger one, simply due to the numbers involved.

What do you look for in a prospective writer?

I look for the ability to tell a story. If a writer has an excellent voice and lacks in grammar, I know I can help them with the grammar piece. It’s the storytelling that’s more difficult to teach.

After you receive a query/synopsis – approximately how long does it take you to reply to the author?

I strive for a 4 – 6 week personal response for queries and partials.

Most authors seem to feel it’s the publisher’s responsibility to do the marketing – that all an author should do is write. In your opinion, how important is marketing and what’s the writer’s responsibility in this area?

Marketing is key for e-book success. I think both the author and publishing house have an equal responsibility to market the books.

Across the Internet, the most common expressed concern is the perceived lack of quality control in eBooks. Would you like to comment on where Soul Mate Publishing is with respect to performance in this area?

I only take on books that I would like to read myself. Our goal is to produce quality stories that readers can depend on.

As a publisher, what is the best advice you can offer a writer on how to be successful in the business?

Write, write, write. Name recognition is huge, and the more books you have out there, the more readers will follow you.

Please tell us in one sentence – why we should read Soul Mate Publishing books/authors.

Soul Mate Publishing e-books are well-written and engaging, a bargain at $4.99 for full-length novels and even less for our novellas.

Anything else you’d like to say?

While the latest report puts e-book sales at 7% of the market, I predict there will be a significant shift in the next few years to make e-books the majority of market sales.

You can find more information about Soul Mate Publishing and their Submission Guidelines here:

And while you are there, check out their books and authors. You are sure to find something you must have.

Thanks, Debby, for taking time out of your busy schedule and being on See Jane Publish!


Posted on December 14, 2011, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Wonderful interview! As a Soul Mate author, I can attest to Debby’s dedication to her authors, attention to detail and enthusiastic attitude toward the romance craft. This is an at-times impossible business to break into. Ebook publishing has helped newbie and struggling authors a great deal, giving them that all-important “foot in the door,” but a good editor is vital, and Debby meets and exceeds that goal. I’m proud to be one of Soul Mate’s authors and look forward to a successful future relationship with them, and Debby.

    Char Chaffin


  2. Great interview! I’m not only an SMP author, I’ve read many of the titles and plan to read many more. I love the creativeness with the authors and staff of SMP. Great job 🙂


  3. Great interview, Debby.
    I love the name Soul Mate and one off my writing friends said how synchronistic it was for you take my first book.

    Debby has been great to work with. Quick to respond to emails, responsive to questions, supportive with all of us authors as she builds what I know will be a great publishing house. She has worked so hard building this business and helping to bring out the best in her authors. What can I say, other than she is awesome and I am so glad she decided to take me on as an author.

    And what an amazing cover artist Rae Monet is. Love my cover, Rae.

    Kendra James


  4. Great interview Debby! Soul Mate covers have that special appeal with great stories within! I know Soul Mate authors who speak highly of what you are accomplishing within the organization. Congrats!


  5. Great interview and I’m acquainted with two of the authors who say they love working with Soul Mate!!!!


  6. Great interview, Debby! I’ve so enjoyed being a part of the Soul Mate family.



  7. What a delightful interview–Debby Gilbert gave us the real inside scoop!


  8. Great Interview, Debby. It is a pleasure being a Soul Mate Author.


  9. Great interview Debby. It is a pleasure working with Soul Mate Publishing, as well as the other wonderful authors.

    I only see good things ahead!



  10. Woo hoo, Debby! Great interview, and so on the mark as to my experience with Soul Mate Publishing. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you on my two books. And I’ve received numerous compliments on my covers.



  11. Working with Debbie has been a delight. She responds quickly and answers all questions. And she picked my book, so she obviously has good taste.


  12. Hi Debby! Great interview. I’m so excited to be part of the Soul Mate family. I receive many compliments on the cover for Mystic Ink. Kudos to the cover artist too!


  13. Great interview. I’m so excited to be a part of this new venture.


  14. Terrific interview. I’ve enjoyed working with Debby and her team from the get go.


  15. Debbie, welcome to SJP. What an interesting journey. I love your covers, and that Soul Mates is poised for success. Thanks for joining us today!


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