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Jan 28, 2021

Interview with Reagan Rothe - Black Rose Writing

Reagan Rothe spotlight
A warm welcome to Reagan Rothe, creator of Black Rose Writing, an Indie Press located in Texas, and a fellow published author. 

He currently serves on Ingram’s Publisher Advisory Board and is a Social Media Certified Professional. Rothe has contributed to IBPA's Independent, NetGalley Insights, and other reputable literary channels. 

He lives with his beautiful wife, Minna, and has two children, Lena and Walter Lee. 
Reagan Rothe picture
CM: Share a fun fact about you. 
Reagan: I’m a scratch golfer with a career low round of 64 (-8). I’ve had 3 open-heart surgeries, which hold the lead against 1 career hole-in-one.

CM: How did you decide to create your own publishing company? Tell us a bit about your journey at Black Rose Writing. 
Reagan: Through my journey as a fellow author, I wanted to improve upon my experiences and create something more personable and transparent. I started by publishing a few titles when I had free time, doing this part-time from 2006 – 2009. Then in 2009, based on the data and passion I had for publishing deserving authors and give them a chance, Black Rose Writing became my full-time career. We’ve grown financially each year since 2009, adding new staff and teams.

CM: How many authors/books do you work with per year? 
Reagan: We are publishing just over 200 titles per year. This number hasn’t increased in the last two years, as we continue to focus on marketing our authors/books more than increasing our book output. The breakdown for 2021 is almost 50-50 for new authors and our current authors—which is really exciting to know that we have over 100 titles being released in 2021 by authors we’ve already published at least once.

CM: How involved with a book are you, past the editing stage?
Reagan: I’m still very much involved with every title we publish. While I don’t design the covers, format the interior, or personally copy edit a book anymore, my time is spent more perfecting a book’s metadata, marketing strategies, and reviewing our data (such as paid ads or reaching out to media).  

CM: How do you acquire books? How has the process changed during the pandemic?
Reagan: We still acquire titles based on our online submission form. I review every submission query, and then based on the strengths of the query, decide whether to accept a manuscript for further review. Once a manuscript has been requested, it gets assigned to one of our acquisition reviewers. Our process has not been directly impacted by the pandemic. 

CM: Who are some of the rising stars in Mystery or Fantasy genre that we should keep an eye on? 
Reagan: For Black Rose Writing, we have several authors on the rise for mystery and fantasy. For fantasy, readers should check out JR Konkol, Elle Lewis, and Christopher Monteagle. For mystery fans, check out Len Boswell, Bill Percy, Clark Viehweg, and A.J. McCarthy.

CM: What is the demand for stories set in a COVID-19 world?
Reagan: I’ve received some pitches from our current authors and new submissions with a COVID-19 angle or impact. I don’t feel there is a strong demand, more of a slight uptick in writer’s using this current event to try to jump on board. I also don’t feel there is a large wave of readers just waiting to not only live through the pandemic but also read about it in their next thriller. 

CM: Can you name a few virtual events that you will attend in the following months?
Reagan: Black Rose Writing will have a presence and online booth at AWP2021. As for future events, such as the Book Expo, we are still waiting on the announcement for whether they will be virtual or in-person. We will make a decision closer to the event date(s) based on the safety of our team and families.

CM: Name a book you recently read and can’t stop thinking about. 
Reagan: I read a bunch of great titles in 2020, but the series I’m most eager about completing is Joe Abercrombie’s The Age of Madness. The final book in the trilogy is due out late 2021, and I’ll read that book within a few days. The First Law world he created and its characters are just too good if you love hardcore fantasy. 


Wish List

Genres/sub-genres you’re acquiring:
  • Fiction: Action/Adventure, Chick Lit, Children’s Book (with full illustrations only), Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Horror, Humor, Inspirational/Spiritual, LGBT, Literary, Mystery/Suspense, New Adult/Coming of Age, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s, Young Adult.
  • Non-fiction: Biography/Memoir, Business, History, Inspirational/Spiritual, Self-Help, Sports, True Crime
What you’re not interested in:
  • Poetry


2 Black Rose Writing Author Examples
(This list includes affiliate links)

The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride by Joe Siple, 2018
Special Access by Mark A. Hewitt, 2013

Do you accept un-agented submissions? Yes