With the publication of Null_Pointer this month, a new kind of publisher also debuts. GB Press is a different take on the process of publishing novels. It is a virtual press, run by independent authors, editors, graphics designers and marketers all working together to produce great novels.
One of the major problems with self-publishing is that the process by definition, circumvents the vetting process by professionals in the industry. You write your novel and then you just put it out there and hope for the best. You may think it’s brilliant, but in reality, it has a poor cover, ugly typesetting, sloppy editing and nobody knows it even exists. Which for many of these books is perhaps a good thing.
What if instead of going at it completely alone, you could draw from a talent pool of really awesome people who all wanted to make your book better? What if everyone in this pool, worked for modest individual gain with the hope that eventually, more and more people would use their services and net them more business?
This is the idea behind a virtual press. A writer writes a novel and then has the ability to offer the editing of said novel to one or more professional editors for line and copy editing. These editors charge reasonable rates, so that the author can afford to use them. The book gets edited and then the author goes through the same process to obtain a cover and interior layout. Finally, she is ready to take her novel to a POD printer and offer it for sale. The virtual press logo then goes on the book, certifying that this novel has been through a vetting process and now is as professional as any traditionally published book.
It is then up to the author to market her book. She may eventually be able to hire the skills of a marketer who also is a member of the virtual press talent pool. Using social media and traditional media, the author’s book is released into the world to sink or swim.
You may be wondering what an editor, or a graphic artist in this group can expect to earn by working on someone’s novel. At first, they might not earn a dime. They may decide to offer their services for free or to delay payment until after the book begins to earn out. But by being a member of the virtual press and by doing great work, they will become known for what they do. This exposure will generate more business and in time, they will be able to generate modest income doing what they do best.
The actual virtual press makes no money off of anyone. It ambles along, existing only as a catalyst for bringing talented people together under one roof. All rights of creative works done by the members from books written to cover art painted, remain with the artist and not the press.
Can such a co-opt of bookish people exist and flurish in the market place? Who knows? But GB Press is going to find out.