Heliotrope is a conduit for emerging writers and for veteran authors who have taken risks with new material.
When we believe in a manuscript we do what it takes to find the right structure and home for it. We develop book proposals with select literary agents who sell them to bigger presses, or we ourselves publish and promote the books.
In the current climate of technological transformation, we honor traditional paper books and aim to sensitively adapt material to digital formats. As trade publishing becomes more risk-averse and yet more experimental, we strive for balance.
From a creative standpoint we’re drawn to brightness — just as the leaves of heliotropic plants follow the sun’s movement from dawn to dusk. Our trade books are thought-provoking, informative, sometimes controversial, yet upbeat, sexy and life-affirming. We do not promote any particular political agenda, but prioritize the individual voice and perspective. Nevertheless we consider any material that makes a fair and compelling case for itself.
Our specialty is the “brilliant hybrid” book whose sales category is complex and does not easily fit within the traditional publishing vernacular. Interestingly, such categories as “Business/Self Help,” “Business Humor” and “Cookbook/Memoir” that did not exist 7 years ago have now become popular. These changes confirm our belief that while sales categories are necessary, they should serve readers and writers before booksellers.
Our categories thus far have included fiction and nonfiction and a curious blend of the two, such as "Fictive Memoir" and "Typographic Novel."
We find authors whose passion, expertise and determination matches their ability to promote themselves creatively. Unlike most literary agents who prioritize “a fit for their list,” we seek voices that are a fit for the world now.
Innovative Media Strategy
As an independent press we explore different formats and media outlets. In addition to traditional paper-bound books, which we believe will survive the industry’s many changes, Heliotrope is developing a number of innovative projects:
- Min-E-Books – a new line of short, pointed presentations by experts about specific topics that may be expanded into longer manuscripts, or included in future book proposals.
- Contests and Crowd-Sourced Projects – in 2010 we began collaborating with the public through our online writing contest, Jobs of the Damned. Our forthcoming book will include essays by experts and interpretations of prize-winning stories by renowned comic book artists.
- Video Books – see our video short of My Monk by Elizabeth Dembrowsky, our “typographic novel.” (credit Mohair Media, 2009)