What new process for publishing books can there possibly be that has to be kept entirely secret, yet still include professional editing, proofreading, production and placement in mainstream bookshops?
"Writers supporting writers"
- says it all really.
Basically a self publishing cooperative.
Hi both. I'm one of the people behind this project. Firstly, it's not a scam: we're all writers ourselves, and our model is and always will be free to writers. However, it's not a self-publishing cooperative either. "Writers supporting writers" is a tagline for the other work I do as Pow-Wow- we have a thriving writers' group in Birmingham, and I do courses and workshops, mentoring and manuscript appraisal. I've worked with Birmingham, Coventry and Newman Universities, and teach at the Midland Arts Centre.
We believe we've come up with something genuinely new, and are investing time and money in developing it. I know the secrecy might seem suspicious, but we just want to iron out any wrinkles in our digital platform before going public; hence the beta testing. If you're intrigued, why not register an interest? You'll get all the information before you have to make up your mind about taking part.
all the best
I've registered an interest. I spent 30 years in and around Birmingham, but that was before I took up writing. I'm now in the Philippines.
As with all these sorts of projects (and there are many of them around), the proof is in the editing (and I don't mean just the proofreading). Buy one of their books and double check the quality before deciding whether or not to submit to them.
Edited by NMott at 17:12:00 on 27 May 2014
Currently there are four books listed on the website. Two by Andy, published by Dedalus , one by David Wake, self-published via Createspace, and one by Katharine D'Souz, also self-published via Createspace. However, they request that writers "must not be planning to publish it by other means. Please do not apply if your manuscript is currently under consideration by agents or publishers, or if you intend to submit it to anybody, or to self-publish."
First rule of marketting is don't offer something you are currently unable to provide. Andsecond rule is, don't contradict yourself.
I think you're reading too much into our website, which is about all the different stuff that goes on under the Pow-Wow umbrella. The books you refer to are not published through our new model, which isn't up and running yet; they're just books written by members of the writers' group, and published in different ways. We haven't published any books yet, because we're still developing the platform, as the site makes clear. This is going to be ready at the end of June, and then we'll have around six months of beta testing before publishing our first books and opening the site to the wider public. What we're doing at the moment is looking for writers and people with publishing skills who might be interested in testing the platform for us. I understand why people are suspicious of new models, because there are a lot of sharks around. But this is genuine.
all the best
Incidentally, the reason we're asking for manuscripts which people are not planning to publish elsewhere is because we need people to commit the manuscripts exclusively to the platform for the period of the project (if they don't get published through it then of course that commitment will lapse.) In time we expect that people will come to us as a publisher of first choice, but until we've proved that the model works, we don't want to limit people's opportunities elsewhere. However we believe that there are plenty of manuscripts out there which people have reluctantly given up on, but which could be publishable with the right editorial input.
Please feel free to ask any questions about the project!
How do you intend to pay the editors, if you don't intend to charge writers to publish their books?
Broadly speaking it's a profit sharing model. Of course this isn't going to deliver full-time incomes straight away, but we think that people who come from a writing background are not going to be scared of working for future royalties, and of portfolio careers. It offers people a chance to use practical skills developed through self-publishing to build a freelance, home-based career in publishing without having to go and intern in London for a year. And of course if we don't sell any books we don't make any money either, so we're very motivated to help everyone succeed! We'll have collective power when it comes to purchasing and marketing, and we have a few tricks up our sleeve too.
*shakes head. walks away*
Edited by NMott at 19:03:00 on 27 May 2014
I shall choose to take that as an expression of awe!
Seriously though- you may not believe it will work. But there was a similar model in America which was very successful before running into a problem that we believe we have the answer to. I don't think profit sharing is either impractical or unethical as a business model. And traditional publishing is in retreat, becoming increasingly risk averse, while self-publishing will never be the answer for all writers. Until the magic money tree is invented, it's the only logical way forward- sharing the risk and the rewards to produce fabulous books. I hope that in a few years' time we will have proved you wrong. In the meantime, I'll just have to respectfully disagree with you.
I wish you the very best in your venture, Andy. May you prove the doubters wrong!