Well, simply put: I’ve created a publishing company. Mind you, not a normal one. It’s myself, the author and -hopefully- the readers. That’s all. Nothing else. No infrastructure, no distributors, no nothing. Setting upt the website, by the way, hope I can update this with a URL soon enough :D.
Until recently I’ve been working with a publishing project (http://editorialtria.com) that used several ways to improve the usual backward feeling in the publishing sector in Spain, such as PoD books (thus, no stock to take care of), direct sales (thus, no distributors that bleed away most of the cover price for themselves), and a supposedly great deal for the authors (that is, a higher royalties rate than usual in the Spanish market).
Sounds good, right? Well, it is a nice project in general, but I have several issues with the way things are done inside and formally, so I decided enough was enough and quit. The next day I was already planning on how to do something that I felt comfortable with. Thus was Knitting Guns Press born.
The name is not only a provocation, no matter what people think (and if they think that, and they talk about it, brilliant). I do sincerely believe that, in this day and age, words are powerful weapons, the ones that inspire minds and make creativity emerge in people. The knitting part is related to the creation process. Yes, knitting can be fun (been there), but it is a laborious process, and a minefield of frustration for someone (like me) who is basically an all-thumber. Publishing a book, by comparison, is just a highway to instant success… not. Same there. So, knitting it was.
The Knitting Guns Press project has a few basic concepts that will be applied:
- CC - copyleft contents
If you buy a book from Knitting Guns Press, it’s yours. Thus, the content needs to be useable by you, however you see fit. All authors know, and so far have accepted, that their content in the e-books we’ll be publishing can and will be reused, redistributed and shared. This, aside from being a 180º turn from the usual publishing take on the issue, is based on a fundamental idea: we do not take, nor will we treat, readers (please substitute for customers or consumers as needed) for crooks. Any use you can make of what we publish, short of re-selling it (project sustainability and all that jazz) will make us happy.
- All books will be digital. No dead trees.
This means, I won’t publish your book on a nice, softcover edition that you can sign. Why? Well, reach for starters. My take on the publishing industry is that, when you go the atoms way, several creepy humans who happen to have so-called “logistics” appear and demand 40% of the cover price to move your books around. I’m very sorry for bookshops, but that’s an extorsion I won’t be part of. Obviously, the book will be available (from the website, from ibooks, from amazon, you name it), but no, there is no way of getting a printed book unless you DIY.
- All authors are those left out by the system.
Yes, no Dan Brown, no Carlos Ruiz Zafón. That doesn’t mean we won’t publish best-sellers (as if that depended on the publisher, ever), it means that if you have an idea and we like it (a fundamental element for me to be able to work on the book), we’ll publish it. We don’t care about an author’s name, we care about the text itself.
- No book over 5 Euro
Well, as we are doing e-book, and under CC on top of that, it would be idiotic to try and get 15 Euro per sale. Unless selling is not the idea, as those prices are usually the best way of getting a nice, round zero on yearly results. Books are meant to be read, not luxury items. Thus, yeah, dirt cheap, as much as we can.
- 50/50 income deal
As an author, you have put a lot of effort in your work. As an editor, so have I. If we understand the creation of a book as a partnership (and it is, or something is very wrong with the ways things are going), we’ll split the profits from each book with its author.
These are the five pillars (and no, there is no Islam connection here, it’s just that 3 is too small and more are difficult to remember in the mayhem of day-to-day life), and this is the project. I hope I’ll be able to update it with good news veeeery soon.