Riptide Publishing is a boutique purveyor of some of the finest LGBTQ fiction, romance, and erotica available today. Created by experienced M/M authors who were hungry for more favorable contracts, editing, marketing support, and royalty rates, Riptide Publishing seeks to fill a critical niche in the LGBTQ market: quality books, pristinely packaged, that will satisfy readers’ desires for rich, plotty, well-edited stories for which the author is fairly paid.
More than Just Romance
Riptide is a romance-focused house, but that doesn’t mean it’s all we do. First and foremost, Riptide publishes quality LGBTQ fiction. Erotica? Yes. Romance? Absolutely. But stories with LGBTQ protagonists or a focus on the LGBTQ experience also have a place at Riptide—no romance required. Currently, Riptide's catalog features primarily gay protagonists, but we're actively expanding into the rest of the rainbow and look forward to becoming your home for quality lesbian, bisexual, and trans* stories too.
Riptide May Be New, But Our Staff Is Most Certainly Not
Riptide’s owners—Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, and Tal Valante—are more than just experienced M/M authors. We offer Big Six publishing experience, professional editing qualifications, business management experience, and genre-specific marketing expertise. To learn more, please click on our names above.
Believe it or not, Riptide Publishing was an accident. Or rather, the founders never set out with the intention of starting a business. So how did they come to launch a publishing house with such high-caliber authors signing on before they even put up a website?
Since mid-2010, founders Rachel and Aleks have spent long hours studying and discussing the contracts, editing, cover art, and marketing at a great many M/M e-pubs. Aleks had sold work to seven different houses, including a number of e-publishers and one major traditional publisher. Rachel had sold work to four houses. Between the two of them, they’d worked with eight presses, and while a couple offered very positive experiences, none were 100% ideal. Nor did their search for the perfect home among a number of other M/M presses yield any results. Oh, how Aleks and Rachel wished they could cherry-pick all the best bits from each publisher and squish them together into one perfect house!
And then, in the midst of hunting for a suitable home for their latest projects, they looked at each other and said, “Well, why don’t we?” They both knew the M/M market inside and out—as writers, as readers, and as marketers. Both are professional editors: Rachel worked in editing and production for Avalon, Thunders Mouth Press, Pearson (a “Big Six” house), and even the makers of the World of Warcraft card game before going freelance. Aleks is a financial editor in a pan-European investment bank, and has taught, coached, and edited writing for ten years. Rachel even had small business experience; she owned and operated a game store for seven years, managing a six-person staff, a massive mail-order business, and a retail location open almost 80 hours a week.
They considered creating a co-op to publish their own work, but decided in the end that too many authors were clamoring for a publishing house they could call home—a place with top-notch editors who would nurture their writing, top-notch cover artists and marketers, and author-centric contract terms with strong royalties and no rights grabs. As readers, they were also hungry for more quality work in the genre they love; too often they’d read books from brilliantly talented authors whose work suffered for lack of true editorial guidance.
Aleks and Rachel wanted to put their skills to good use helping authors grow, and they wanted to pay all their talent—not just their writers, but also their artists, editors, and marketers—a fair, living wage.
All that remained was a full-time publicist and a user-friendly website. As authors themselves, Aleks and Rachel were all too aware of the time and dedication it takes to get readers to notice a book. Enter Chris Hawkins, professional marketer and ravenous M/M romance fan. They offered Chris an interest in the company in exchange for promoting not just the press in general, but also each and every book in particular. They wanted every author at Riptide to receive custom marketing support and an actual budget for promoting their work. The idea was to partner with writers to help them market their books and protect their copyrights, thus giving them more time to, well, write. (Sadly, Chris has since retired, but our new Marketing Coordinator, Stephanie Grober, has picked up the torch with creativity and vigor.)
The final addition the Riptide team was double-threat editor/programmer Tal Valante. Tal set out to build a user-friendly website that would offer readers all the information they might ever need to make the best choices. Word counts? We've got 'em. Excerpts? Absolutely. Professional reviews? Yup, we link to those too. Want to know if there's an HEA, or content warnings, or gay cowboys in space? All those details are just one click away. And if you don't want to know, you don't have to; everything's behind a toggle.
And so Riptide Publishing was born. The first wave of invited authors are tremendously enthusiastic about their new house, and so are the many talented folks we've signed since. Aleks, Tal, and Rachel hope you will be too.
Want to Publish with Us?
In order to give each book we produce the utmost editorial attention, we've chosen to remain an invitation-only press. However, we are open to any agented submissions (please have your agent submit proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org) and referrals from existing authors, and we have a number of specific open calls—no invitation, agent, or referral necessary—posted on our submission page. You can also find our editors taking pitches at Authors after Dark, GayRomLit, and other conferences and events; please check out our events page to see where we'll be.