Inside Indie Publishing is a new feature here on The Unicorn Writer’s blog this year. Today, we will learn more about indie publishing with our special guest Anne J. Hill. Anne is an indie author and operator of the small press Twenty Hills Publishing.
Twenty-Hills Publishing was started in 2021. Since its creation, several anthologies have been released with more exciting things in the works. It is a multi-genre publishing house that also offers editorial services. Let’s welcome the leader of Twenty Hills, Anne J. Hill.
Inside Indie Publishing: Background on Twenty Hills
Q) Anne, can you tell us what inspired you to start your own small business as a publisher?
A) I always planned to self publish my own novels and decided to run an anthology to practice the publishing process to see if it was something that I actually wanted to do. It turned out that I loved the process, and through a lot of work, was able to produce a quality book. I’ve always been someone to go the extra mile, so I figured, why not also publish books for other people too? So I officially opened my own small publishing company and our first novels will publish this year. I really wanted to create a space for authors to publish top-quality books while also having more input in their books than most bigger publishers will allow.
Q) How would you describe Twenty Hills Publishing’s aesthetic in 5 words or less?
A) Hope. Spooky. Mixed-genres. Magic. Raw.
Q) Who is someone that inspires you?
A) When it comes to books, Neil Gaiman, Michael J. Sullivan, N.D. Wilson, and Sarah Sutton are four of my favorite authors. The last two especially have been very inspiring and educational for my personal writing and for publishing.
Twenty Hills Anthologies
Q) Please tell us about all the current anthologies from Twenty Hills.
A) Our biggest anthology collection is the Black and Gold Anthologies. Each of these has a unique theme all the content revolves around, were open for public submissions, and all have black and gold on the covers. The Never Tales is a duology anthology with Peter Pan inspired stories and poems. Book two comes out this summer. We also have Briars & Blood which is a novella and novelette collection of Beauty and the Beast inspired stories. And the Tales of Many are a collection of books with children’s stories.
Q) Do you have a favorite Twenty Hills anthology?
A) This is a tough one! I love all of them so much, but if I had to pick, What Darkness Fears and Fool’s Honor have special places in my heart. Possibly because they were the first two, but they both also have themes that I personally gravitate to as an author.
Inside Indie Publishing: Working with Twenty Hills
Q) In what ways can interested authors work with Twenty Hills?
A) You can submit flash fiction, short stories, and poetry to our Freedom anthology! It is the last of our Black and Gold Anthologies and potentially our last one open to the general public for submission, at least for a long time. You can also keep your eye out for queries opening hopefully in a few months.
[Visit Twenty Hills Publishing’s website here for more information on submitting.]
The Growth of Twenty Hills
Q) Twenty Hills recently expanded their editorial team and brought on interns. Can you tell us more about your growth as a business?
A) We haven’t been around for very long but things are already picking up. We have a handful of novels on their way, and also more anthologies. I have been doing the bulk of the work and we’ve grown to outfit a one-woman show. So we’re thrilled to have a handful of solid editors and interns to help share the work and bring you even better quality books.
What’s on the Horizon for Twenty Hills
Q) What are your goals as a publisher within the next 12 months? What are your goals beyond that time frame?
A) We’d love to open queries by then. We have a handful of anthologies releasing, and our first novels and books by one author releasing this year. We’d love to expand our marketing and learning whatever we can.
Inside Indie Publishing: Advice
Q) What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?
A) Do your homework. But also, don’t be afraid to jump in. You will always make mistakes and wish you’d done something different no matter how much you prep beforehand. Don’t be afraid to ask people with more experience questions. It takes a weird combo of humility and confidence to run your own business.
Q) What advice would you give authors who hope to work with a publisher instead of pursuing self-publishing?
A) Clean up your manuscript as much as you possibly can before querying. Get alpha and beta readers. Hire an editor if you can afford it. Do your homework to make sure the publisher is legit before you send off your whole novel to them. When it comes time to edit, pick your hills to die on. Remember, a good editor is trying to take your manuscript to higher levels. They aren’t stifling you. Sit back, mull over the edits, and then see if you feel differently about them. But also keep in mind: just because an editor pointed it out, doesn’t mean you have to blindly accept it.
Q) Thank you, Anne, for being here today and allowing us to see “Inside Indie Publishing” and learn more about Twenty Hills. Is there anything else you would like to add?
A) For more info, check out our website and follow us on Instagram.
Kayla E. Green was recently interviewed by Allie Sarah on behalf of Twenty Hills. Kayla’s reverse poem “The Truth About Love” is featured in the hardback edition of the Twenty Hills Anthology Wither and Bloom. Check out the replay of the live interview here and get your copy of the anthology to read Kayla’s poem and other great poems and stories!
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