a Q&A with Ylva Publishing | Indieathon

For today's Indieathon post I have a Q&A that comes from a publishers with a very special place in my heart - Ylva Publishing who focus solely on publishing books with lesbian or bisexual main characters.  If you've read any of my posts before you'll know why I love this publisher so much - even more so this year due to my queer reading challenge (two months in and I'm loving it - update post coming soon!)

With the major publishing houses seeming to only give us one or two LGBTQ+ books a year I had to find my reading material somewhere and that is where Ylva and the lovely Astrid come in!  I'm so grateful from both an indieathon and a personal perspective to now stop waffling and let you read the Q&A!  Hope you enjoy it and don't forget to check out all of the wonderful books and authors!

How did Ylva Publishing start? What made you decide to start up a publisher house?
Back in 2011 I wanted to self-publish my own books. But then a friend said that she wanted to publish as well but couldn’t do it under her real name. So, I decided to found a publishing company and help her out. At that time, I still worked as a legal secretary in one of the world’s largest international law firms and had colleagues that could advise me in a lot of the decisions I had to make.  Initially, I was only thinking in terms of German books, but around half a year later, another author asked me if she could join us and if would consider publishing her English and German books…and there we go. Now we are an international publishing house with English, German, Italian and Spanish books. Our authors are from the US, Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, South Africa and so on.

What is your favourite part of being in publishing?
To be able to create something and reach readers worldwide. I would have never thought that owning a publishing house was that much work (I wrote a blog post about this a while ago) but to hold the end product, a beautiful book, in my hand… that’s totally worth it. Plus, we do have readers worldwide, including countries that oppress LGBTQ+ and human rights.

Why do you focus on LGBTQ+ books specifically?
Simply put, because I believe that representation matters and as a lesbian I know how important this kind of visibility is. That is true for all different kind of genres - romance, mystery, scifi, fantasy, general fiction, and so on. With Ylva Publishing we publish books that have either a lesbian or bi protagonist. Our imprint Queer Pack publishes books about characters who are trans, non-binary, genderfluid, asexual, aromantic, pansexual, bisexual — the list goes on!  And last but not least, our books have a happy end. That is so very important. There are more than enough books and movies where a LGBTQ+ character dies in the end. We deserve happy endings too! This is an important message, especially for younger and older people struggling with their coming out.

If someone was interested in publishing with you how does it work? Do they need an agent or just a good story? 
They do not need an agent. We’re looking for well written stories. You can find more information on our website here.

What is one thing about independent publishing that you wish more people knew?
We independent publishers do publish amazing books. Unfortunately, you may not find them in bookstores. But so often we give new authors or stories a chance that none of the big five would even look at. So, give our authors and books a chance as well. You will be surprised.

Where can people find books you’ve published?
We do sell eBooks through our website but all eBooks can be bought through Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo and all the other platforms. Paperbacks can be bought through Amazon or you can order them in any bookshop worldwide.

Other than events like Indieathon how is best for people to get the word out about independent publishers like yours? 
The easiest and most successful way to get the word out about independent publishers are reviews of their books. If a reader reviews a book by an independent publisher on either Amazon or Goodreads, it helps us find new readers. This kind of “word of mouth” is so unbelievably helpful and sells more books than a very expensive ad in a magazine or on any website. Plus, authors will become aware of us too. So, dear readers – please talk about our books and please write reviews.

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