In 2012, Karen McDermott founded a vanity press called Inner Light Publishing which, in 2014, became Serenity Press, with Karen as its Creative Director. Current Editorial Director Monique Mulligan first worked on the Serenity Romance imprint, before joining the publisher full time in 2016 when it became a company. Serenity Press’s mission? To create “beautiful books” “by inspiring and nurturing writer’s journeys – one story at a time.”
Based in Waikiki, Western Australia, Serenity Press offers three imprints. Serenity Romance, as the title implies, specialises in romance titles, both anthologies and stand-alone novels, and so far has published eight titles: the anthology, A Bouquet of Love; Perhaps Love and Risking Mr Wrong by Teena Raffa; Love on the Rocks by Louisa Loder, Beached by Karen Weaver, A Healing Hand by Monique Hall, The Point of Love by Monique Milligan, and their Serenity Press’s anthology, Rocky Romance.
The second imprint, Serenity Inspire, concentrates on inspirational and self-help books, and includes Writing the Dream: A Serenity Press Anthology which features articles by a host of Australian women writers such as best-selling authors Anna Jacobs, Juliet Marillier, Natasha Lester and Jenn J McLeod.
The third imprint is Serenity Kids which offers a fun range of titles including: The Seven Day Dragon by Teena Raffa-Mulligan, My Silly Mum by Monique Mulligan, Lizzie Reaches the Rainbow by Lara Woods.
Although none of Serenity Press’s titles have been reviewed for the AWW challenge as yet, we must give a special shout to Monique Milligan’s My Silly Mum. Monique was an early contributor to the AWW challenge and it would be great if we could inspire one of our reviewers to review her book. You can see the promotional video for her book here.
As a small publisher, Serenity Press appears to work hard to create opportunities for emerging authors, a trend I have noticed as I have worked on this “small publishers” series. Small publishers often don’t require agents and accept unsolicited manuscripts, providing chances for newer authors that larger publishers might not always have. Serenity Press are carving out a niche for themselves in terms of the genres and forms they publish: in particular anthologies and novellas, and children’s books and fairy tale retellings. Of these, I am most intrigued by fairy tale retellings, and will hopefully be able to get the 2018 Serenity Press release by Kate Forsyth, Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women – Kate Forsyth’s fairy tale retellings always attract me and I hope this will be just as good as her other books.
An issue facing small presses is: how can readers find their books? Serenity Press use the following distributors as part of their marketing and distribution strategy: Booktopia, Novella Distribution, Australian Standing Orders (ASO), Ingram Content Group and TitlePage, among others. Booktopia, of course, needs no introduction, but I had a quick look at the other distributors online and came up with the following: Novella Distribution specialises in Independent Australian titles for readers; Australian Standing Orders is linked with Scholastic and specialises in offering books for primary and secondary school libraries; Ingram Content Group is a platform primarily for indie authors and publishers; and TitlePage was set up by the Australian Publisher’s Association to offer a free and user-friendly service for booksellers in Australia.
Serenity Press’s current list of books is small – twenty-five at my count – and they are not currently accepting submissions; however, keep an eye on their website, Facebook page or sign up for their newsletter to stay updated.
One unique aspect of Serenity Press is that it offers writers’ retreats. In March 2017, it hosted the inaugural retreat in Crom Castle, Northern Ireland. (I wish I’d known about that as the UK has inspired my own writing!) In 2018 the retreat will be held in Busselton, Western Australia, from 10-15 October. The venue is Inn the Tuarts, close to the Margaret River wineries, beaches and galleries. You can find out more about this retreat – which looks amazing – on the publisher’s website.
Finally, don’t forget, Serenity Press is sponsoring AWW’s Bingo this year (you can read more about it here). They will be giving away a copy of Writing the Dream as a prize.
So, who’ll be the first to review a Serenity Press title for the challenge? If you’re inspired, please let me know.
My Silly Mum by Monique Milligan synopsis:
Dancing with the vacuum cleaner … making my dinner into funny faces. My mum is so silly she drives me nuts! Sometimes I wish my mum wasn’t so silly … or do I?
With delightful illustrations and a hearty sprinkling of humour, My Silly Mum captures the eye-rolling, face-palming moments of growing up with a mother who still remembers what it’s like to be a child.
About Ashlelgh: I’m a book reviewer, student, aspiring author and hopeful editor living on the Central Coast, NSW. I blog at The Book Muse and can be found on Twitter @TheBookMuse1.