With Write to Publish 2016 coming up at the end of January, we thought we would introduce you to the conference’s presenting sponsor, Desert Palm Press. Founded only a few years ago by Lee Fitzsimmons, the press published its first book in June 2013. Since then, it has signed eleven authors and published twenty-four books. The press has five new books expected to come out within the first few months of 2016.

Desert Palm Press began when Fitzsimmons, an editor at the time, was contacted by several authors who had been turned down by more traditional publishers. Feeling that these women had stories that needed to be told, she began the press (after a bit of careful research, of course). Desert Palm Press seeks to publish stories that present strong female voices, and its marketing team fosters a readership that values that perspective. The team has made a niche for itself in the world of lesbian romance, and it has since ventured into science fiction and fantasy (with both horror and nonfiction novels in the works, as well).

Desert Palm Press has everything you could hope for in a small independent publisher. Thanks in part to its size, its team has thoughtfully curated its author list and offers its authors a more collaborative experience with editors and graphic designers. Fitzsimmons is careful about growing the press slowly so that all of Desert Palm’s authors receive the attention and focus they deserve.

This collaborative approach is certainly working to its authors’ benefit; several of their books were shortlisted for the 2014 Rainbow Awards, as well as for the 2015 Golden Crown Literary Society Awards. Eight more books have been nominated for the 2015 Rainbow Awards and the 2016 Golden Crown.

At the moment, Fitzsimmons is happy with the press’s accomplishments and steady momentum. Because its team is so careful about expanding, the press is not currently in a position to search for new authors. However, they are optimistic about reaching that point in the near future.

The team takes on authors and staff members from all over, even though Desert Palm Press itself is based out of California. These long-distance collaborators often work on a more freelance basis. One such example is Ooligan’s own Kellie Doherty, who is both an editor and an author for Desert Palm Press. Kellie’s first novel, Finding Hekate, will be coming out in early 2016.

We are pleased with the depth and diversity that Desert Palm Press’s support will lend to Write to Publish 2016. With such a unique sponsor, we expect this year’s conference to be interesting and informative. Come join us on January 30, and learn about the current state of the publishing industry and what it could mean for a new author. We hope to see you there!

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