Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spotlight on Small Publishers: Write Integrity and PixNPens

Tracy Ruckman is an entrepreneur, student, wife, and mom. In 2010, she opened two traditional publishing companies and started back to college. In her dreams of spare time, she loves to travel, cook, and explore. In real time, she's thankful to get sleep and a shower. She's married to the Prince Charming, and has two grown sons. They all live in metro Atlanta.

1. Why did you choose to open your own publishing company?

With all the changes in the publishing industry, this is an exciting time to be an author and a publisher. We were at a crossroads in life, and as a freelance editor, some great manuscripts were coming across my desk that were being ignored by the larger publishing companies. A desire sparked to help change that.

2. How do you see your role in the current industry?--competing? providing a service? filling a neglected niche?

Our role is all of the above. We're competing - not necessarily with other publishers, but we're competing with the market in general to get our books into the hands of readers, and to make our authors known.

Yes, we provide a service for both readers and writers. (I'll answer the writer portion in the next question.) For readers, we produce good quality, wholesome books. This was an area we felt was lacking, except for Amish fiction. So we decided to fill that gap. Books under our Write Integrity imprint may or may not have a gospel message, but they'll still be clean and wholesome books safe for the whole family to read. Books under our Pix-N-Pens imprint carry a strong gospel message. We publish fiction and nonfiction.

3. What does your publishing house have to offer the author?

For writers, we give them the best of both worlds - we're a traditional publishing house, paying royalties, and not charging authors for any service. Yet, we allow the authors to have a great deal of input on all phases of their books - cover design, formatting, editing. We all work together - all our authors and myself - as a team for marketing purposes. We cross-promote each other and share the burden to get our books out to the public. We view our authors as family - we pray for each other, support and encourage each other, and hopefully help each other grow.

Our company isn't for everyone, and we realize that. (We didn't at first - so that is growth on my part.) Some writers feel they're not "legitimate" unless they're published by a large press, but our goal is to get the author visibility and get their books out to readers.

Our authors work together. We're becoming famous for our collaborative novels. The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt (2012) and A Ruby Christmas (2013) brought several of our authors together, and brought new authors on board through writing contests we had for each book. Treasure Hunt quickly became a bestseller and put our authors on Amazon's bestselling author list alongside John Grisham, Stephen King, and others. That book is still selling well. As I answer these questions, A Ruby Christmas is being promoted and will be released later this week, so we're hoping it follows a similar path.

A Dozen Apologies is our Valentine 2014 collaborative project - check our blog right now for all the details. We'll be announcing (or have just announced) another contest for next year.

4. What genre/style are you most interested in? What are you looking for?

For fiction, we love contemporary stories for the most part, although I'm still looking for a 50's family series. Pitches for series get my attention much quicker than standalones, because of the marketing aspect. We like women's fiction, romantic suspense, mysteries, romance (with depth, not formula romance). Love stories with themes.

For nonfiction, I'm open to various ideas, but prefer books that point people to Jesus in whatever book form that takes.

5. How and when can an author submit to you?

We're open for submissions, although it may take me a little longer to respond during the school year. (I'm currently a full-time college student.) Our submission guidelines are on our websites - and

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