We began publishing in 2004 with one new title every couple of months, and are now moving up to 200 new titles a year, increasing. We’re starting a number of sister imprints, organized both around different subject areas and around different ways of operating (eg; fast track as well as traditional slow, primarily digital as well as print, primarily academic as well as trade, etc.). Zero Books has just started in 2009, and Circle Books is coming in 2010.
We operate both as a general trade and specialist publisher, but have set out to be a different kind of house, organized around a co-operative relationship between publisher and author, and between authors, rather than an adversarial or competitive one. Sharing information, and a general "openness" policy, are key parts of this. It’s described in more detail in the introductory copy to our Author Database, which is given in “Our publishing process” on the Obooks website. There’s a lot of stuff there about publishing in general, and our approach to it. If there's anything of help to you there, whether you're publishing with us or not, that's great. It's taken us three years or so to put together, and over the next three we'll be developing it and extending it to embrace readers as well.
The pace of change is slow, because; a) we focus on doing as good a job as we can in the short term (like responding to submissions in 12 hours rather than the more usual 12 weeks or months), b) we try to keep the "publisher" share of the cost of getting a book from author to reader to a minimum (for instance we have no full-time employees) whilst still providing a professional service in everything from editorial to sales and marketing, one that is among the best for our kind of books, and c) we're independent and have no deep pockets. And we do try and base the business around marketing, adding a few hundred media and retail contacts to the marketing section every month, with the aim of providing a comprehensive picture of the book business, and access to the tens of thousands of dedicated people that make it up. It will all become available on our website. In the meantime, please browse, and thank you for being in touch.
All the best...
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