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Monday, October 7, 2013

Interview of Total-E-Bound Publishing & Stacey Birkel

Despite literature and history being her passions, when Stacey went to university in the 80s, everyone said, "Oh don't go into Liberal Arts...all you can do then is teach!"

So she got her degree in business and, surprisingly, did well at making a career out of it. After a break to start a family, the thought of going back to the rat-race didn't appeal, so Stacey returned to her first love—the written word. She joined Total-E-Bound Publishing in 2009 and gives thanks every day that she now works doing what she's best suited to.

In addition to editing, Stacey is a multi-pubbed author under different pen names. She lives in Oregon with her family and loves that her two girls want to be editors and authors...just like Mom.


Q: Describe your job.
A: As Editor-in-Chief, I oversee acquisitions and the editing process of our titles from start to finish, as well as supervising the editorial staff. I also keep my hand in and content edit for a few authors who haven’t been able to let me go.

Q: What motivated you to get involved in the romance industry?
A: Well, I’ve been involved as a reader since I was a pre-teen sneaking my mother’s romance novels. They were my escape all through school and college. But my career path was in business, so I set my interest aside for a while and it wasn’t until after I was at home raising my girls that I decide to see if there was a place for me in the genre. If you guessed that it once again became an escape for me, you’re right! And this time around, I managed to find a fit that was less about vicariously enjoying the books and more about being a part of the process.

Q: Finish this sentence: Romance is....
A: ....the belief that ‘happy ever after’ isn’t just a saying—it’s hope and a promise.

Q: Ebooks or print. Do you read both? If you read ebooks, what reader do you have?
A: I do read both. I’ve come to embrace e-books for the ease and flexibility they provide, though I don’t have a dedicated e-reader…yet. I typically do my reading on either my laptop as a break between tasks, or on my phone while I’m waiting for my girls at an activity. But I
still like to have some print books so I can read in the bath, one of my relaxation rituals at night. I don’t think that will ever change since I’m afraid I’d drop something electronic in the water!

Q: What do you consider the best way for an author to do promos?
A: I firmly believe that, while readers appreciate news and updates, there is a point at which they can start feeling negative about an author if all they ever hear are repetitive urgings to buy their book. I think that being present and accessible is the key to fostering positive visibility—sharing some of what makes you tick, if not in your personal life, at least as an author.

Q: Conferences and conventions. Do you attend any and how do you decide which ones to go to?
A: I attended my first RT this year and have already registered for next year! It was a great experience and I’m sure I’ll be back every year. I make my decisions on which to attend in tandem with my company’s administration and marketing team, though there are some I enjoy and voluntarily go to. I’m on the West Coast of the US, so I do take proximity into consideration, as my travel time does cut into family time.

Q: What are your guidelines for a writer/author to submit a book/manuscript for a review or to sell?
A: Total-e-Bound welcomes submissions of quality erotic romance in all gender pairings and subgenres. Our guidelines are on our website at


Paris said...


Welcome to Romance Books '4' Us! I've always been a voracious reader but some of my happiest memories are of the many happy hours that I spent devouring Harlequin and Barbara Cartland novels, when I was a teen, courtesy of my grandmother and her friends. I wonder how many of us start out that way?

I've dropped more than one print book in the bath and have actually been hoping that someone would invent an waterproof e-reader:)

Cara Marsi said...

Stacey, thank you and welcome to RB4U. I enjoyed your interview and enjoyed learning more about Total E-Bound Books. I've been devouring books too since I learned to read. I love romance and I crave HEA. Best of luck to you and Total E-Bound. I will check out your submission guidelines.

Rose Anderson said...

Welcome Stacy, thanks for coming and best luck for everything happening over at Total E-Bound.

Molly Daniels said...

I'd also love a waterroof e-reader, since my kids are old enough to have limited monitoring at the pool. I'd love to sit in the zero-entry area with a book, but I'd get splashed too often:) Same for my lounging chair; once I took my notebook and tried to get some work done and came home with water drops all over it.

Stacey, the best thing I love about the TEB site is the VIP area. If I lose a book to technology failure (and this HAS happened to me, lol!), I can redownload it again w/o having to pay for it again:) This should be a requirement on all e-book sites, imho...Kudos!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stacey, thanks for sharing with us today. I agree with you that readers like to know what makes an author tick. My daughter, an avid romance reader, likes to know what books her favorite authors read. I have a page on my website listing my current reads and the past and to-be-read books I have on my shelf. Gives visitors something else to know about me besides what I write!

Jill Hughey said...

Thanks for your insight today, stacey!

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you Stacey for stopping by. I'm so glad to hear that you have found a way to embrace your passion and still work! I'm jealous! Now to figure out how I can do it!

I love that you are also an author and have such a dedication to your work.

I wish you all the best!

Sandy said...

Stacey, so sorry I'm so late. I started reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Hardy Boys, and then graduated to Zang Gray westerns before going to romances. The westerns and romances I found in grandma's library at the top of the stairs. They were hidden by a curtain. lol

I enjoyed your interview and learning about Total E-Bound books.

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting interview, Stacey. I'd always nice to know how someone found their own special niche.

Stacey said...

Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome, and to Marianne for having me on! It was great meeting you at RT!

Paris--I think a lot of us did start out that way, though many have moved on to other genres. And sometimes I'll buy a small paperback of my favorites to read in the bath, even if I have them in hardback, just in case! That's probably what I'm waiting for, actually, before I commit. The waterproof version! :)

Cara--HEAs (or at least a HFN with promise!) are huge for me. I get so invested in well-writted characters that it's a shock if they don't end up in a good place. Look forward to seeing something from you! :)

Rose--Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! :)

Molly--My girls are at the great age where I can just turn them loose at the pool and find a nice shady spot way in the back somewhere. They'll find me when they get hungry, lol, and meantime I can use my laptop or phone.
So great to hear you love the VIP area!! I love it for the same reason. You can also pull down a different format if you buy a new reader. Thanks so much for being a loyal reader!

Polly--That's a great idea and I'm sure your readers really appreciate that! On the editing side of things, I try to encourage my authors to consider more quirky and personal bios and updates--something different that gives a clue as to what they're like as a person.

Jill--Thanks for stopping by! :)

Melissa--Aww, thank you so much for your wonderful words. I really do love what I do. It was really a matter of analyzing what I defaulted to when at loose ends (reading fiction) and what came naturally to me (reading extremely fast and spotting errors)...then figuring out what I could do that combined the two! :) Best wishes to you!

Sandy--Oh yes, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden for me too! I actually had the complete set of Trixie books, but of course they were long gone by the time I had kids old enough to read. Last year I spotted a full set on Ebay and bought them for my daughter, who reads them ALL the time! :) Haha, that made me laugh about "behind the curtain". Mom's were right out on her nightstand. I snuck them at first, then eventually we just shared them back and forth, lol!

Jean--Thank you! :) I enjoyed the questions! So often I do interviews and post about my author side, so it was fun to talk about my "day job" for a change! :)

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