The Bay Area has ushered in the greatest communications revolution since Guttenberg. Inspired by all the start-ups around us, we decided to take publishing into our own hands. We publish our books as a co-operative publishing venture in the spirit of this revolution that was launched from our strange valley. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy creating them.
Many of you are asking about this co-operative, so here’s the lowdown. The books created through this co-operative Rawmeash will be published under the one imprint. We are using the latest cutting edge tools that are out there for publishing. Amazon’s Createspace is our printer and distributor. We also use Ingram Spark.
We get away from the notion of self-publishing and more into the idea of independent publishing using a co-operative model. The problem with self-publishing can be quality control. The cooperative is a good way to keep the quality of the books consistently good. Every book has to be original, edited and designed.
The obvious advantage of big publishers is their money. They have the cash for the marketing, and they have the avenues open to them. They can put muscle behind a book. Right now books stores aren’t that important as a way of selling, most people buy online. So the distribution angle is taken care of. Small presses can offer some hand holding but their marketing is usually very poor as they’re pressed for funds.
One of the great advantages of this model is that we can publish a book very quickly. With traditional publishing there is a frustrating 18-month wait once you’ve been accepted.
The idea of a co-operative is that there are powers in numbers. If we collaborate on creating and marketing we take out some of the loneliness of the individual journeys and we have more clout and social media coverage as a group.
The co-operative itself does not turn a profit; the individuals involved are responsible for paying the expenses of publication. Frankly, they are not very much.
The titles to come out this year are by writers who have been published by the big New York publishers in the past but are looking for a way to avoid that model.
Catherine Texier’s book Russian Lessons is our next title due out in February.
There has been a communications revolution. And it came from this strange valley I recently moved into. The internet has been as profound a change in how we communicate as Gutenberg’s printing press of 1450. In the spirit of this revolution, artists and writers have to shape shift and learn new skills. The good news is that these tools are not only simple but empowering. The great news is is that we barely have to leave the house.
What Rawmeash is doing is leading the individual artist through the actual publication process of the work.
We have graphic designers, copy editors, book designers and press release writers that we put the artist in contact with. We guide them through the templates for creating their books, and then we show them how to create an eBook and print on demand. These are skills the artist will take away with them and they will forever be able to create their own books without being at the mercy of a fickle and brutal publishing industry. Naturally, the industry is only interested in the bottom line. We know artists are interested in the book itself. What else is there, after all? Books are a passion and a vocation and the awful years wasted waiting for some outside validation of your work as it waits on the slush pile are over.
Instead of being afraid of change, we aknowledge that change is all there is. It is time for the artist to escape from the chains of patronage and the reliance on big business to give a damn about what we produce and write. For the first time in history the tools are out there. This is not time to roll over but it is time to fight for your creative life. It is time for the artists to take control. The gatekeepers are gone, the gate is swinging wide-open, time to walk into the forest where it is the thickest and embark on an adventure.