Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

This week I have been stumbling through what makes Thursday Night Press a small, traditional publisher instead of a self-publishing effort: contracts.

Our third biggest startup expense, after forming the corporation and buying a block of ISBNs is going to be review of our Author, Work for Hire and Royalty/Profit-Sharing Agreements by general counsel.

We will have the luxury of publishing friendly authors (us) and using friendly contractors during our first year. This, I hope, will give us the time learn what's good and bad about our agreements and give us the opportunity to amend the agreements so that they are ready for prime time.

In a later posting, I'll get into our compensation model, which is a little different from traditional. In this model, which we are refining, authors get a share of gross profits, rather than a percentage of list price. We hope to see higher royalties for authors that way on successful works. But, as I said, I'll get into details at a different time.

Ta ta for now.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thursday Night Press begins

This last Sunday night (2/6) the four of us had a shareholder meeting where we wrote investment checks and then elected ourselves as the board of directors. The new board appointed me as Chief Executive Officer.

Thursday Night Press, Ltd., now exists and has started business. Thursday Night is a small press publisher in Denver, Colorado, focused on developing local new authors.

Our name describes our origins. For a few years, I've hosted the informal Thursday Night Writers Group in Denver. At the group, we review, critique, and edit each other's work. I, for example, am about 10,000 words from completing my first novel, a science fiction "space opera" that I call Fisher King: Percival's Descent.

Some members of the group have written or are writing works that I consider gems. I liked them enough that I got a few partners together to create a company to publish them. We will spend the next year, I estimate, learning the ropes to put out and market our first 6 to 8 books in both print and ebook editions. This is a side business for all of us, and we are not quiting our day jobs, not yet.

I decided to start a blog for two reasons: First, it makes good business sense. It's an inexpensive way to connect with the public, especially since it will take a while to have a website good enough to show the public. Second, I need to write. Since choosing to become a publisher, I haven't had as much time to sit down with my novel. I don't know about others, but I find that if I go too long not writing, it becomes difficult to get back into it. Writing is not what I do to earn a living, so I need to find time to write and reasons to write.

In this blog, I will write about new books and new authors as we get them under contract. Occasionally--but not too much, because plenty of people are doing it--I will write about our adventures in learning to be not just a publisher, but an excellent publisher. You can be sure that when we are ready to accept submissions from authors outside the Thursday Night Writers Group in Denver, you will hear about it here first.

Let me close my inaugural posting by inviting your feedback. I look forward to answering your comments and I look forward to finding inspirations for further posts.