Co-oping the Middle Man

An on-demand book printer at the Internet Arch...

An On-Demand book Printer

Though my wife would disagree with me, I hate spending money.

Well, I’m not a big fan of spending money on things like paying the electric bill. But, unless my family wants to go the candle-lit and or gas lamp lifestyle, we have to hand over (currently a lot of) money to the Electric Powers-That-Be so we can enjoy the finer things in life like microwaves and the internet.

Given the choice, I’d much rather spend our money on vacations for the family, the one insanely expensive piece of jewelry at Costco (how many zeroes is that?!?!) for my wife and, for me, my incredibly long wishlist of books and games.

Now after talking about price points in my previous post, I began thinking about spending money as a writer in order to, well, make money as a writer. Part of the writing process, regardless if you self-publish or not, will most likely be spent giving other people your money.  Whether it be having your manuscript professionally edited, producing cover art, and/or sending paper copies of your book for (only!) positive reviews, you will most likely have to spend money on producing your Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius.

I’ve looked into the costs of  putting out my novel, Jac and the City of 1,000 Worlds, and it seems selling paper copies will not only be much more challenging but the financial return percentage isn’t a whole lot unless I sell around 100,000 copies which would be absolutely incredible. And after all those are sold, next comes the film rights and then the lavish amusement park with little kids (and grown ups!) dressed as my characters. I mean if one is to dream, then dream big.

So, while scoring the internet looking for both traditional publishing houses and the costs of publishing my own, I stumbled across something interesting.

Cooperative publishing.

I’ve never heard about it before until just last week and the idea intrigues me. A group of writers coming together to not only support one another, but to help produce and distribute books under one common banner. A.V. Harrison Publishing is such cooperative company.

During my research, I found another type of cooperative publisher. BPS Books is an established cooperative company which will aid a writer in publishing and distributing their work. While the author will still need to put money up front as they would if self-publishing, BPS will aid getting your book to outlets that otherwise might be untenable. They also claim, due to lower publishing costs, the writer will be able to claim a much higher percentage of royalties for each book sold. In my research, I have yet to find out how this is but, once I do, I will let you all know. The nice thing about BPS Books is the company wrote a post about the advantages and disadvantages of co-op publishing.

Interesting note (at least to myself): Many of the co-op publishing companies I’ve found are located in Canada. Perhaps it’s a result of my search methods. Or maybe those Canadians are ahead of the curve. I still think we Yanks don’t give them enough credit where credit is due, but I digress.

I’ve spoken with and worked alongside a fellow writer about publishing works under the Daedalus Press banner. I never realized what we were thinking about was creating a cooperative publishing company.


So, I wonder if you or someone you know who has worked with or been part of a cooperative publisher?


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