Over on the MNW google group, you may have noticed Aliya and Tim referring to a little venture I’ve been setting up, and today is the day we’ve gone public.
A bit of background:
Around summer last year, after reading the e-mails, and comments here on this blog and on the google group, I noticed a growing frustration about getting books published, books that editors have enjoyed reading immensely, but for commercial reasons they haven’t been able to commit to.
At the same time, two of MNW’s authors, Tim Stretton and Roger Morris, embarked on their own e-publishing adventures (Tim’s Mondia books and Roger Morris’ short story collection). Also, a writer that has been involved with MNW though never published by them – Ian Hocking – had been finding considerable success self-publishing his Saskia Brandt books, beginning with Déjà Vu.
The success of these self-publishing exercises, and the success of this blog, had me thinking about a community publishing venture, one that embraced self-publishing ideals - but as a community, where the authors publishing through it would promote their own books, but also the community itself and the other authors under it. To that end I came up with Thirst eDition Fiction.
What we’re doing now:
Below is taken from the “About Us” page which sums up what we are trying to achieve:
“Thirst eDition Fiction is an independent endeavour dedicated to providing the finest ebooks from new and established authors. It is run as a collective venture, by authors, for authors. The profits of each e-book sold goes to the author and not the publisher, that is why Thirst eDition Fiction is a non-profit business.
“Our business model is simple: the author is wholly responsible for the content of their book, including the formatting of the book for the e-reader and in most cases even the cover. This ensures Thirst eDitions can operate with no running costs and the author can receive the maximum income from their endeavours. In order for a book to qualify as a Thirst eDitions release it is vetted by a number of authors and editors. After the book goes through this quality control process it is released under the Thirst eDition Fiction label, which ensures the reader only receives the best writing from Thirst eDition Fiction.
“We also offer the author a shop window for their books, a chance for trade publishers to see for themselves the quality of the writing here. The rights to the e-books published under Thirst eDition Fiction are owned solely by the author and in most cases there won’t be any print editions of these books.
“In terms of value for readers, we advise all our authors to publish at competitive prices. In the main you will not see a Thirst eDitions ebook sell for more than £1.99 ($2.99), though there will be exceptions on occasion. This ensures the best prices for the reader and more sales for the author. As e-readers retail around £100 ($189) we expect consumers not to pay hardback, or even paperback prices for their e-books.
“Thirst eDition Fiction is still in its infancy, but our authors list is growing. Each author published under Thirst eDition Fiction becomes part of the family here, taking a stake in one of the most important aspects of publishing: building a reputation for quality fiction.”
The purpose of Thirst eDition Fiction isn’t to replace or even offer an alternative to trade publishing for our members, but it’s another option to self-publish non-commercial books with the support of other writers who are already doing it. It is there for books that aren’t published through the trade due to author branding issues, commercial reasons, publishing house budgets etc., books that are well written but for various reasons are deemed too risky for a commercial publisher to commit to under the current financial climate.
What this means to the writers here, on MNWers, is that this is a chance to get those books published. Some of you have agents and may wish to speak to them first before you consider going down this route, but the offer of Thirst eDition Fiction is there to you. And it doesn't cost a penny becoming a member.
The only cost incurred so far is a payment for the domain name ($17). The time I've spent on the website and subsequent promotion is given freely, which is the ethos I want to foster at Thirst eDition Fiction. That little extra time the members give to share advice, look at other's works or promote others books etc means the reputation and the quality of this venture can only grow, which could have a significant impact on the success of the individual books. For example, the cover to Aliya's Mean Mode Median was designed by me after looking at Aliya's original printed cover. Another example is the e-publishing of the books; Tim and Ian Hocking have extensive experience of doing this, and at some point Ian has agreed to write a short idiot's guide to help us do it ourselves.
My intention is to contact some of the ex-Macmillan New Writers over the coming months to see if they are interested in this, and my goal for this year is to steadily increase the membership. Officially we are not open to submissions, but the MNWer community is the exception. Eventually we may open this up wider, but as it is new we need to control the numbers. When we get to the stage of opening it wider, we may consider head-hunting rather than an open-door policy, but that’s in the future…
Finally today, the Thirst eDition Fiction website goes live: www.thirsteditions.com. So please take a visit to see what you think.
On Monday 23rd the first Thirst eDitions books will be published: Aliya’s Mean Mode Median (first time as an e-book), Tim’s Dragonchaser (a re-issue) and Ian Hocking’s Proper Job (a re-issue).
In May, Roger Morris will re-issue his short story collection, The Bridge that Brunuel Built under the Thirst eDition Fiction name. Sometime this summer,
So there’s a lot going on. Once there is more news, I’ll post it here. I hope this of interest to you all; as a community, Macmillan New Writers blog has been a big success. Thirst eDition Fiction is an attempt to replicate that but with an end-product: a finished e-book. There is a lot of expertise being shared over there right now (we have a private room where questions, idiot’s guides, and other resources are raised, read and stored) so you’ll be in good company, as always…