Buzz Books USA is an indie multimedia imprint of Athena Institute LLC, a branding and creative services firm based in the Midwest. Buzz Books publishes novellas, novels, niche non-fiction, and anthologies that fit the co-founders publishing criteria: the whimsy of their hearts and their wisdom as marketers. Books may be published in print, ebook and audio formats.
Buzz Books was the brainchild of authors Malena and Rod Lott in 2011 as a way to both publish their own passion projects and bring talented writers into the fold, er, hive. BB is not a vanity or subsidy press. All authors receive compensation for contributions. Our pub model is determined on a project-by-project basis and includes a flat fee payment (for anthologies/essays) and a shared revenue model for longer works. Our list will be diverse because our tastes run the gamut – from genre writing to non-fiction to shorter works, too. We welcome new authors and multi-published authors and encourage writers who already have an active author platform as a way to reach out to the reader community. We look at our role as mentor as much as “publisher” and we enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
Why publish with Buzz?
- Publishing with Buzz vs. Self-publishing: if you are self-publishing, that means you are your own publishing house in charge of editorial, creative and promotion. Some writers dig that. Others, not so much. We want authors who feel comfortable with promotion and marketing and we will help you build your author platform, but with us you’d get the benefit of our Hive, complete with award-winning creative production, story and line editing, publicity, a marketing plan and promotion and our social media presence. Just let us know if you are self-publishing other titles.
- Publishing with Buzz (small press) vs. OTHER small press or big press traditional publishing: We don’t believe it’s a this-or-that proposition. Look, every writer wants a big book deal. Pubbing with Buzz isn’t giving up on that dream. In fact, we can help you build your platform and you’ll learn a lot about publishing and promotion along the way. We also make stories a lot stronger and brands look better. You can do both. We believe authors who publish with us will feel proud to be in our Hive. Our goal is quality, not quantity, so we have the time to focus on good production and story development from start to finish.
- You like working with a professional team. Buzz is the publishing arm of a branding, creative and marketing firm. We build brands and tell stories for a living. Our team below has been doing what we do for a long time. Our experience puts your stories in good hands. You get a team of dedicated people working to make your story strong and marketable.
- Creativity, promotion, buzz. The strength in our Hive is our passion, creativity and promotional prowess. (And we love alliteration!) A great-looking cover is critical to catching a reader’s eye. So is great copy. And a nice social media presence. And effective promotions and contests. By taking a peek around our site, you’ll see that we do our darndest to ensure discoverability through many marketing channels, and it will continue to get stronger as we add more titles and are able to do more cross-promotion. We’re comfortable with video production, audio production, and technology, too, and we’ll continue to add new ways of reaching readers.
- Strong connections. When you publish with Buzz, you’re automatically “linked in” to our network of sister sites, exposed to our bloggers and get added to our pipeline of story goodness. Sister sites include bookgasm.com, bookend babes.com and social media sites and pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. We pollenate across many platforms, consistently and creatively. We can also assist with early readers, blurbs and reviews, all important aspects of building buzz.
WE LOVE ENTREPRENEURIAL AUTHORS. WE CANNOT BUILD YOUR PLATFORM FOR YOU – WE ARE JUST ONE PIECE OF YOUR PLATFORM. We are the coaches, not the player. We consult our authors on the best marketing strategy for your release but you are not your story alone. You must be promoting yourself as an author all along, so keep this in mind wherever you pitch. We love this team approach in the Hive.
Malena Lott, founder and executive editor of Buzz Books and the author of five women’s fiction novels, Family Charms, Something New, Dating da Vinci, Fixer Upper and The Stork Reality as well as her debut young adult novel, Twin Falls, under pen name Lena Brown, as the first in the Messengers trilogy. The Stork Reality was first published by Dorchester in New York in 2006. Lott got her rights back in 2011 and re-published Stork in the spring of 2012. Dating da Vinci was published by Sourcebooks in 2008. She self-published Fixer Upper in 2011 as an experiment, because many of her author friends were finding success doing it, and she discovered so much of the process was doing what she was already doing – marketing, advertising and brand promotion. That’s when she decided to bring new authors into the Buzz fold with the first anthology, Sleigh Ride, launched in November 2011. Malena is an award-winning creative with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, advertising and professional writing. She co-owned an advertising agency and has branded more than a hundred companies. In 2006, she launched Athena Institute, a marketing and creative firm, of which Buzz Books is a brand division/imprint.
Malena got her start in radio in high school. She founded Book End Babes, promoting girlfriends and great reads. Her author website is www.malenalott.com. On Twitter: @malenalott. Author FB Page: www.facebook.com/malenalottbooks. Her creative firm site is AthenaBuzz.com.
Releases include: The Stork Reality: Secrets of the Underbelly (a re-release and first time as an ebook); The Last Resort, a novella and follow-up to Life’s a Beach; Something New, a women’s fiction novel coming Nov. 2012; The Little Brand That Could, her first non-fiction release coming in 2013; and her paranormal Young Adult launch as Lena Brown, in Prom Dates to Die For and Something Wicked.
Rod Lott is the corporate managing editor of an Oklahoma City-based media company, and the founder and editor of Bookgasm.com and FlickAttack.com. His work has been featured in 101 Damnations (St. Martin’s Press), May Contain Nuts (HarperCollins), More Mirth of a Nation (HarperCollins) and numerous editions of Graphic Classics (Eureka Publishing). Rod has won numerous advertising and writing awards, but is the “modest one” in the family. Look for his “best of” HITCH compilation based on his popular zine in the 1990s, coming from Buzz Books soon(ish). On Twitter: @bookgasm. His wife likes to refer to him as Buzz Books’ “beditor” since she seems to ask him a lot of business questions in bed. Creative and titles get his stamp of approval during production.
Due to the founder’s experience in marketing, advertising, editorial and graphic design, they are able to truly provide an “in-house” publishing company to its clients.
Cyndy Hoenig has managed campaigns for the Emmy Awards, Screen Actor’s Guild, VH-1 and MTV Awards programs, as well as high-profile television programs for NBC, CBS, FOX, Aaron Spelling, Carsey-Werner, Marc Cherry & Jamie Wooten, Disney Channel, Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Television. She was the personal publicist for Suzanne Somers for more than 10 years, and has worked with Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, John Lithgow, Sandra Bullock and Cybill Shepherd, among many others.
Hoenig is a Buzz author with her PR DIY book, PR ROCK STAR, and provides ongoing PR consulting to Buzz HQ.
A sustaining member of the Jr. League of OKC and a past member of the Jr. Leagues of Austin and Los Angeles, she studied communications at University of Central Oklahoma and St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Learn more at www.pureprokc.com and follow her #prtips on Twitter.
Mari Farthing loves reading and writing. She loves to read about writing and reading and write about reading and writing. A technical writer and editor for 20 years, she branched out into freelance writing and editing ten years ago. Mari was formerly the editor of MetroFamily Magazine where she earned several industry awards for writing and editing.
She is also the co-Editor of The Music Mamas (www.themusicmamas.com) and The Music Minis (www.themusicminis.com), blogs about books at Book End Babes (www.bookendbabes.com) and maintains a personal blog at www.marimargene.blogspot.com. Find her on Twitter as @marifarthing. If you’re looking for an editor for your next fiction or non-fiction project, give her a call. (This applies to non-Buzz contracted authors.) All buzz authors receive editing as part of the contract.
Mari credits her professional success to a stroke of pure luck (read: hard work, dedication, professionalism and drive). She looks forward to getting submissions (following the sub guidelines listed here) at buzzbookseditor (at) gmail (dot) com and working with Buzz Books’ incredible authors. She also published her first fiction short story under the pen name, Mari Hestekin, in the Something Wicked anthology.
Buzz also utilizes publicity and promotions assistants for outreach to more bloggers and reviewers and assist with social media. What’s more, our Hive authors promote each others’ work. Sweet.