New book publisher flips the script

Special to the Fort Mill TimesJune 18, 2014 

Roxanne Hanna, second from right, started a publishing company called Sunscribe, with help from her friends, from left, Rosemary Gray, Beth Crosby, Annamaria McKoy and Karen Tomas and Sabrina Colvin and Niki Melton. who are not pictured. Hanna discussed her company, scheduled to release its first books in the fall, recently at the Fort Mill Library.

CASEY WHITE — CASEY WHITE

— While the publishing world looks for a way to survive in an increasingly digital market place, Roxanne Hanna is getting back to basics.

After 25 years as a ghostwriter and editor, Hanna started her own traditional publishing company, Sunscribe, to combat changes in the industry.

As she worked with writers, Hanna noticed publishing companies becoming less friendly towards debut writers.

“I had noticed that the publishing industry was moving away from welcoming new writers so we saw that the opportunity was there to almost turn back the clock and go back to being writer-friendly and writer-partnering because the traditional companies had moved away from that,” Hanna told members of the Savvy Wordsmiths’ June 13 meeting at the Fort Mill Library.

Hanna is also a member of Savvy Wordsmiths, a Fort Mill-based writers group in which members share and critique each others’ work.

Hanna said creating her own traditional publishing company was a natural extension of her previous work in ghostwriting and editing, because she would still be working closely with authors and strengthening their work.

A traditional publishing company is one that partners with an author without charging fees for acquiring and editing the works, and then pays the writer royalties based on how well the published work sells.

Hanna, who financed her start-up on her own and is running it from her home in Rock Hill, said the goal of Sunscribe is to form positive relationships with their authors, rather than making a profit off the backs of authors.

“I think I’m passionate about standing behind the writers and helping them shine,” Hanna said.

When starting the company, Hanna enlisted the help of her friends Annamaria McKoy, Rosemary Gray, Karen Tomas, Beth Crosby, Sabrina Colvin and Niki Melton in many areas, including submissions, editing, marketing and art consulting. Tomas, of Fort Mill, writes a monthly column for the Fort Mill Times called Brain Flurries.

Hanna wanted to publish a variety of genres so she established three imprints under the Sunscribe name: Sandalwood, which publishes literary and commercial fiction; Java Creek, which publishes nonfiction including memoirs and poetry; and Dancing Squirrel, which publishes children’s picture books through young adult works.

Sunscribe is scheduled to release its debut books in the fall in both print and digital form. The company requested submissions from authors and narrowed 100 submissions down to six works that will be published. One is from a Fort Mill writer.

The company is closed to submissions but Hanna believes Sunscribe will begin accepting submitted work again around August.

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