They publish lesbian fiction -- exclusively, as far as I know, and pretty much all romance or romance-within-a-subgenre. I talked to a couple of their authors a while back, and both women said uniformly nice things about the quality of editing, the author-friendly service, and the prompt payment of royalties. I think they're POD (not sure of that though) so they probably don't sell in volume, but they've been in business quite a while and seem very legit. Their webpage lists their authors (Lori Lake etc). If you've got specific questions there's no reason you can't contact one or two of their authors and get some up to date info.
I published my novel Goldfish Dreams through them. It was a bit of an experiment ... a novel about a girl recovering from child sexual abuse. Not a LGBT book. Sold somewhere between 200 and 300 copies.
It is a PoD press, but they don't charge any fees (at least, they didn't when I sold to them in 2002). They had a cover designer who did a good job with the book, and I worked with an editor on getting the book ready for publication.
I believe my sales numbers are atypically low because I wasn't writing what their audience wanted. For LGBT tales, they do pretty well, and most of the authors I talked to were fairly happy. (I contacted a number of them before signing.)
You will be expected to do a lot of your own publicity and marketing, and they're not a huge publisher by any stretch, but they're definitely not a scam, either.
Feel free to PM me if you've got any questions, and I'll try to help.
ETA: If I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I would. I wouldn't have sold them one of my SF/F novels, because I don't think it would have been at all helpful in trying to build a career. Goldfish Dreams was an outlier for me, the only mainstream book I had done, or planned to do. But to be honest, looking back, I think I would work a bit harder to at least sell it to an advance-paying publisher. Maybe not the big leagues, but I know of at least one place that offers $1000 advances that might have taken it, had I known to keep trying.
For something that fits Regal Crest better (LGBT Fiction), you could probably earn a decent chunk of money through royalties. I know Lori Lake does quite well with them.
I know this is an old post but I wanted to give my experience.
I love RCE. Yes, it is a small publisher of mostly lesbian fiction with some gay fiction as well. They aren't into anthologies but have published a few. Nor are they into erotica. There's other publishers for that. The time from submission to answer ranges from 2-6 weeks.
They pay some of the highest in royalties and pay on gross, not net. Payments are always on time.
I had a lot of say in the book's cover. It was quite painless, actually!
Every correspondence with the publisher has always been professional and respectful.
My only small gripe with them is I have to do a lot of my own marketing/promotions. The publisher does the usual routes (announcements, mailings, limited review copies, etc) but that's it. However, they assist after that with lists of reviewers and with tons of advice and hand-holding. The author liaison helped me to design and get promotional materials. My book has been out for 3 yrs and still sells very well!
RCE does well because they are steady. They have no hidden agenda or motives. They take risks on new authors and books that are different. They don't stick to any model or mold in terms of genre. They have authors that have been with them for many years. In this nearly incestuous niche market, reliability is good.
RCE works on the print on demand model via Lightning Source. Recently, they started their own sales website (mostly due to unreliable online bookstores not paying for books sold). They've also started turning most books into ebooks which are selling well.
The owner lives in east Texas and was in financial trouble after Hurricane Rita (the forgotten hurricane that did as much damage as Katrina) and then later Ike. The company also had major financial problems due to a plagiarist that got taken to court by Penguin (2006). Luckily, Penguin didn't hold RCE responsible but there were still atty. fees. However, the writers and owner of the company stayed together and survived. We're a close group.
I submitted to this publisher because I was bitchin' on a list about how I didn't want to print out and mail my manuscript. I thought it was a horrible waste. The owner of RCE contacted me offlist and said they accept attached files in email. How modern! So off it went and the rest, as they say, is herstory. (grin)
This reply is very late, but I think that it's worth noting. Like PaulaO, I went with Regal Crest for my first novel, Twisted (which is a gender switch YA/Fantasy and not really 'gay' per se although there is a bit of a lesbian 'twist' to it) and it was nothing but a lot of fun working with their editor (Patty Schramm) as well as dealing with the owner, Ms. Bryerose. They were very understanding and kind all the way through.
I went through an even more enjoyable process when they published Lindsay Versus the Marauders. (It features a teenage lesbian main character, a nice little love story, and a whole lot of action). Patty once again served as my editor, and also on the sequel Lindsay, Jo and the Tree of Forever. (The last in the series, Lindsay, Jo and the Well of Nevermorewill be out next August). The covers, I feel, were superbly done, the editing solid, and the feedback most welcome.
As PaulaO indicates, the marketing has to be done by oneself, but that is often the situation for anyone these days unless you're good and lucky enough to score a big contract with a major publisher. Regal Crest is a niche market, yes, but it's also a very solid one, I feel. Payments have been prompt, and while my books are not bestsellers, I have made some sales and hope to do better now that I'm Facebooking and tweeting like crazy.
I would honestly say that they are a pleasure to work with and yes, I recommend them to anyone publishing a book in the LGBTQ genre.
I recently submitted a manuscript to Regal Crest, but never got a response (they don't have automated responses to submissions, they look at stuff first, then send you a reply manually). After 10 days I followed up asking them if I should resubmit, but never got a reply to that either.
Is something wrong with them and I missed the memo? Does anyone know?
I'm not sure if I've made it clear - when you submit something to them, they look at it to make sure it's approximately what they're looking for, then they send you a confirmation email to tell you your MS is being considered, and a time when you can expect a verdict. This process is not generally supposed to take more than a week. Last time I submitted to them, they sent the confirmation 3 days later.
This time it has now been over two weeks. Plus I queried them on their general info email, and never got a response for that either. I don't think that's quite normal, and certainly not in line with my previous experience with this publisher.
No information on royalty terms or who's behind the venture that I could see or find. They do mention they're interested in acquiring "all publication rights inherent to the work", which is the closest I could get as far as what rights they're interested in, I guess. Still POD and outlets such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon can order physical books through Ingram; only ebooks are available through their site as they don't have "any books on our premises or 'in stock'."
(Ironically, I'd looked them up about an hour before I came here for more information when I couldn't find it on their site.)
Yep, no info as to whether they got bought out, or if it's the same owner/staff with just a name change. But it sounds like they do zero editing, whereas back in the day they did have editors at least in name. I haven't followed them for a long time, so I don't know if expansion from lesbian-only to rainbow spectrum is a new thing or not. Their cover art looks...pretty average.
I recognised only one of their authors' names. She has published literally dozens of books with a competitor lesbian press (and looks to be still publishing with them currently), but has two books listed with Flashpoint. I'm kinda wondering if they took a couple of manuscripts that her main publisher rejected.
I saw a Regal Crest contract many, many years ago. IIRC, it was basically all rights in perpetuity and needed some serious negotation, though I'm not sure if they'd come to the party on that.