Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday - Gina Cianfarani

Today I am very excited to welcome someone from the "other" side of the book business - president of XoXo Publishing, Gina Cianfarani!  Let's pick her brain for a bit, shall we?

Gina Cianfarani is a well-known publisher, public speaker and sous chef. Gina lives in Toronto, Canada with  her two  children and a mini farm consisting of 3 angel fishes, two Canadian geese’s, and a whole family of raccoons that her children named, “the Nicos Raccoons”,  which is now a children's anti-bullying series coming out with XOXO in Nov 2013.  Of course there is also the family pet, a sweet tempered and all bark kind of “dude”  pug named, Lucky.   Gina's latest project is Touch a Soul, and the Catering Ladies, a catering company.

Gina, how did you get started in the publishing business?

I’ve been in the business all my life. My father passed away 6 years ago and he was a journalist with the Italian Canadian newspaper Corriere Canadese, and radio broadcaster of our own radio program on Chin Radio International, L ’Eco Del Lazio. Therefore my passion for writing, broadcasting and publishing’s comes from my dad.

What genres does XoXo Publishing work with?

We are open to all kind of submissions from young adult, children, to literary fiction and nonfictions manuscripts. We are seeking high quality stories that will stand out and grab our attention.  Unique stories with an emotional intense voice, a story that will make the readers want to escape and want to read your second book with us.

What are some things authors can do to help you out, both before submitting and after getting their work accepted? 

Many authors
do not comply with our guidelines unfortunately they do not read our submission guidelines pages which are posted on our website and blogs.

If they would take a few minutes to read over and follow our guidelines they have a better chance at being accepted by us.  Submit your complete manuscript as an attachment; include your word count, genre and full real name and pen name.  Our Submission Editor email is:  

If you could tell prospective authors one thing to NOT do, what would it be?

Never tell a publisher that they should handle all of their book promotions.
You’re either serious about your writing career or you’re not. I’d suggest that you read my blog  

Here at XoXo Publishing we work together as a team. I always make sure that I or one of our in house promoters will help them with promotions by helping our authors write out a marketing and promotional plan to ensure successful book sales.  I believe that as a publisher we always will play a major role in marketing and publishing your books, but it’s up to you to play your part by following through with your plans.  I cannot stress enough for our authors to learn how to promote and market their for themselves or seek out a promotional services to help them out.

Do you have any big news you’d like to share about XoXo Publishing?  Any big stuff happening in the next few months?

I’m really excited about our new divisions at XoXo Publishing.  We have launched our print program and it’s doing very well, and our YA and children website will be launched at the end of this year.  Therefore we are once again open for submissions.

I know you’ve also written for publication.  What experiences have you been able to take from writing to publishing and vice versa? 

I have taken my experience from both of my past journalism and broadcasting careers and combined them both to successfully implement what I am doing now. 

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!

  1.       What is your favorite word?  Oh gosh
  2.       What is your least favorite word? B*tc*
  3.       What turns you on?  My soul mate
  4.       What turns you off?  Lairs and wanna beesss.
  5.       What sound or noise do you love? Whispering his name;)
  6.       What sound or noise do you hate? Loudness
  7.       What is your favorite curse word? Lol va fan Napoli another work for f*u*k off nicely in Italian. 
  8.       What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’m already own a catering company, I used to teach. Maybe go back to school and become a lawyer.
  9.       What profession would you not like to do?  Oh gosh, I was becoming a nun then I got hit by reading those aka trashy books which I still have on my classic bookshelf.  (joking)  I realize that becoming a nun wasn’t for me.
  10.       If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? My gosh Gina, you sure took a long time to come back where you belong welcome home.
11.  What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you?  

      Good question.  I will share a personal experience with you as a writer.
I kept on submitting my first manuscript which had been rejected more then 5 + times, meaning 11 rejections in all. So I approached a Harlequin author while she was here in Toronto and I told her to please read my manuscript.  Within 24 hrs. She got back to me and the first thing she said to me was a complete shocking disappointment, I cried all night.
“Gina it’s good but not good. It’s not publishable.”  I’m like wtf do you mean??
“Rewrite it.” She handed me her signed book and I walked away crying. 
 I spent hours upon hours writing my first romance novel and this woman just told me my manuscript is not publishable!!   My dreams shattered, I wasn’t a good writer.  So I sat down at that time I didn’t have a computer I rewrote my whole manuscript twice prior to submitting it to a writing competition rather than submitting it to a publisher. Well guess what I won the grand prize! My award winning novel was published and the rest is history.  Taking the advice of my favorite author to rewrite it with passion.  Thank you Debbie, you made me what I am today.  Authors if your manuscript has been rejected more than a few times please rewrite it; make sure that you write something that a publisher wants to publish and the readers to read. 

Gina thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow XoXo Publishing, and you as well?

Thank you Aaron for this wonderful opportunity. Gina


Submissions Editor:


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Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies.  You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories!  Here's where you can find them:

Evernight Volume 1:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Evernight Volume 2:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe


  1. Great post you guys! Enjoyed you both.

  2. Hi Gina and Aaron,
    Thank you for this interview. It is informative. Good advice about rewrite.
    Gina,you have so much experience to add into your publishing company and your authors.
    Yours truly,

  3. Thank you everyone for your comments. If you have any suggestions, idea and want to write your own exclusive series for XoXo Publishing. Please email me at

  4. You a nun no way cara Gina. Great interview, lots of information and Congratulations with your new YA and Children publishing division. Vincent

  5. Thank you Vincent. Yes it's true I was going to become a nun, the Daughters of St. Paul. Thank the stars, I didn't or I wouldn't have been publishing or enjoying reading the Blaze line.

  6. Great interview. One thing that did not come out, partly because Gina is too modest herself to state it needs to be told. The most remarkable thing about Gina as a publisher is her willingness to take huge financial and risk of reputation by giving ignored voices from around the world a chance to appear on the literary center stage, courtesy XOXO publishers.

    To all such writers she is a fairy godmother who makes their wishes come true. Here's hoping her years of health, success and achievement.

    1. I think I have no problem agreeing with all of this ;-)

  7. Thank you Vic and once again Thank you Aaron for interviewing me.