Thursday, October 10, 2013

Editor Interview: Anny Rusk on IntoPrint Publishing, LLC.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Welcome to Cynsations, Anny! 

Could you share with us the history of IntoPrint Publishing?

John Campbell and Greg Luther realized that in the tech age there’s no such thing as an out-of-print book, just books that haven’t been read yet.

In addition, as readers, both Greg and John were frustrated by their inability to find certain out-of-print books.

Upon further investigation, they realized that many out-of-print books still had readers who wanted to buy them and that the authors of these books were losing out on untapped revenue.

IntoPrint was created to help author and reader reconnect.

Who are the people behind the company?

John Campbell—John has enjoyed a twenty-year career in publishing with a focus on operations including order fulfillment, manufacturing (printing), design, marketing and sales. In that time, he has successfully built business platforms to support the changing needs of publishers.

John also practiced corporate law, and as befits business in Nashville, spent a fair share of his time on intellectual property issues for music publishers.

John is excited about the future of book publishing and the ability to connect readers and authors.

Greg Luther—Greg is an avid reader and book collector with 30 years of experience in business, half of which has been as an entrepreneur. He has been a technology management executive in financial services, an educational software developer, a management consultant, and a private investment manager.

An overarching theme of Greg's work has been finding ways to use information technology to help people learn and work better. IntoPrint Publishing is the latest instance of that longstanding effort.

Anny Rusk—I’ve always written, be it lyrics, marketing copy, or books. Before I became an acquisitions editor at IntoPrint, I was a singer/songwriter and co-founded a music licensing company.

When not talking to authors about IntoPrint, I’m writing a middle grade chick-lit/fantasy novel. I’m also a Harvard College graduate.

What is the mission of IntoPrint?

By Greg Leitich Smith - now available!
IntoPrint’s mission is to serve authors by republishing their out-of-print works to the reading public, and in doing so, help them to make a living from their craft.

We think that serving authors’ needs helps readers, too. For readers, we represent an opportunity to discover, purchase, and read excellent works that have disappeared simply because their sales may not have met the financial requirements of a large publishing company.

What types of books are within your focus?

Our focus is out-of-print books. We welcome all genres in fiction and nonfiction, and most formats including picture books and graphic novels. (We don’t republish coffee table books and the like.)

Why is now the time for this idea?

How many times have you gone to the bookstore, or online, to search for a book you want to read again, or one that was recommended to you, only to find that it’s out-of-print?

As readers, we’re being deprived of a treasure trove of works because traditional publisher’s business models require them to dump books that fall below a certain sales number, often within months of the book’s release. Digital technology allows us to keep these books available by keeping our costs low; thus, we don’t have sales minimums for our books.

We think it’s time that the 99% of authors who want to keep their books out in the market, but who haven’t been well served by the traditional publishing industry, have a publisher who will allow their work to continue to be read.

Do you work with any author who contacts you or is this a selective submission process? 

By Greg Leitich Smith - now available!
It’s a two-way selective process. The author has to feel that IntoPrint is the right place for their work, and so do we. Once an author submits their book, we review it.

If we think that our business model will serve the author and the book, we’ll move on to the next step.

At any point before a contract is signed the author can walk away if she/he decides that we’re not a good fit.

What are the logistics of getting a book back into print?

First we scan our physical book(s), or we convert the author’s Word doc, PDF file, or InDesign files into print-ready digital files. Then we convert them into e-book formats.

Once we have these finished digital files, we use Ingram’s global distribution network to make our print books available to over 30,000 retailers in 100 countries, and our e-books available to 160 online distributors including Amazon for the Kindle, Barnes and Noble for the Nook, and Apple’s iBookstore for the iPad. (See our Web site for a more detailed list.)

Why should authors choose IntoPrint? What are the benefits? How do you stand out and above other options?

We do all the work required to get our authors’ books back into the marketplace. They don't have to master new software, technology, or complicated business arrangements. And they don't have to pay for a series of service "packages." Because we are a publisher and not an author services company, we only make money if authors’ books do, and we do that in partnership with our authors.

Our print quality is excellent and we have a lot of options. Print on demand technology now uses the highest quality inkjet printers in addition to the toner-based solutions that marked the early years of print on demand publishing.

Our authors receive a sliding-scale royalty based on net sales that starts at 50% and goes up depending upon units sold. There are no upfront charges for digital conversion or distribution, and we pay for marketing. Our contract has a five-year term, but if book sales fall below a lower limit, the author has the option to terminate the agreement before then.

In addition, we support our books with what we call Discoverability Marketing. We’ll create a profile for your book, including a description, author information, available reviews etc., and send it to online bookstores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as to reader sites such as Goodreads.

Using continuous search-engine- optimization and search-engine-marketing techniques, we’ll also increase the likelihood that your book will pop up when readers search for you, your title, or keywords related to your title—making it easy to purchase.

We understand that authors have a great deal at stake in terms of their personal brand. Our intention is to go forward as partners and provide visibility to our process and methods so that the author is comfortable with IntoPrint.

Publishing is harder than it looks, and we aren’t perfect, but we want to do everything we can all the time to foster a trusting and effective relationship between us and our authors – and the same between authors and their readers.

How should authors contact you? What are key do's and don't's?

We welcome anyone with a previously published book to go to and submit your book to us for review.

At this time, we are not a good fit for unpublished authors. Our aim is to get previously published, out-of-print books back into the marketplace within 90 days or less. We’re not set up to edit, create cover art, and do all of the other steps that come with bringing an unpublished book to market for the first time. (Though that being said, some of our authors are dissatisfied with their book’s cover, and in those instances, we do work to obtain a new cover for the IntoPrint version.)

As a note, for those of you who want to submit picture books and/or graphic novels, we need both your consent and the illustrator’s consent before we can move forward.

Based on Ulman's Banner in the Sky,
Do you also publish original titles or only those that previously have been traditionally published?

We are open to taking self-published works if they meet our criteria.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

We recently decided to go look for James Ramsey Ullman’s titles. We’d read his mountaineering stories, and like for so many others, his words led us into the mountains.

We Googled his name – and in a several-step exchange found our way to his grand-daughter, who is the rights-holder on his work. We are in discussion to license these works and bring them back into print.

The lesson is that the technology—coupled with modern fulfillment practice—is enabling us to connect with authors and readers in a cost-effective manner that was impossible just a short time ago. I expect the same story to repeat itself for literally every genre over and over again.

We want to make out-of-print books a thing of the past.

Cynsational Notes

Greg Leitich Smith says:

"I’m absolutely thrilled to be bringing these books back into print with new editions and hilarious new covers.
"Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo and Tofu and T.rex are set in and around the world of the fictitious Peshtigo School, an academically rigorous and zany institution in downtown Chicago.
"Although I love the covers of the original editions, when it came time for new editions, we decided to go with a more cohesive, thematic look (see above).
"Tying it all together is the wrought-iron looking gate (the bird at the top of the gate is Phlogiston, the Warrior Penguin, the Peshtigo School’s mascot). And, since each of the books is told from multiple points of view, each corresponding to an element in the titles, it was decided to go that way with the cover elements, too."

Ninjas, Piranhas and Galileo was a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, Junior Library Guild selection and ALA Popular Paperback. It's companion, Tofu and T.rex, was a finalist for the Texas Reading Association Golden Spur Award and Writers' League of Texas Book Award.

Order Ninjas, Piranhas and Galileo and Tofu and T.rex, both comedies featuring academically gifted kids at set at the fictional Peshtigo School of Chicago. The books were originally published by Little, Brown.

Greg also is the author of Chronal Engine (Clarion, 2012), a dinosaur time-travel adventure, and the forthcoming Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (Roaring Brook, 2014), which is about what happens after a UFO appears over Cape Canaveral.

Greg is a popular speaker and writing teacher. His school programs connect language arts and science in a fun, kid-friendly way. See more information to book children's author Greg Leitich Smith.

1 comment:

Liviania said...

Great interview! I'm always excited when a book I've been looking for comes back into print as an ebook. (And I love Ullman's stuff - I'll have to look for their editions!)

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