Please meet Anny Rusk, who along with John Campbell and Greg Luther are working to make out-of-print books a thing of the past. I found out about Anny at an SCBWI-Illinois event, and then later saw an interview with her on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, Cynsations. Both Anny and I thought the interview would be particularly interesting to both writers and readers of middle grade fiction!
Sarah: So Anny, tell me a little about yourself!
Anny: I’ve always written. When I was little it was soap operas a friend and I recorded, or diary entries like Nancy Drew. When I was older it was lyrics, marketing copy, or an advice blog. 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 Fantasy/Mother-daughter novel.
Anny: 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.
Sarah: That is fantastic. Seems win-win!
Anny: 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.
Sarah: Here at The Mixed Up Files, we like middle grade books.
We’ve found that there’s a real need in the kidlit world for a publisher like us because children’s books seem to go out of print quickly these days. We plan to start a children’s imprint to further expand the reach of the many children’s titles we are republishing.
Sarah: Why is the time right? Has the technology made it easier?
Anny: 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.
Sarah: So…..how does it work?
Anny: 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.
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.)
Sarah: Sounds great! Why should authors choose IntoPrint? Is there a catch?
Anny: 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.
Sarah: How should authors contact you? What are key do’s and don’t's?
Anny: We welcome anyone with a previously published book to go to http://intoprintpublishing.com/submit-your-book-to-intoprint/ 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, copyedit, and do all of the other steps that come with bringing an unpublished book to market for the first time. (However, if an author is dissatisfied with their original cover, we will 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.
Sarah: So what are your personal writing goals, Anny?
Sarah: Thanks, Anny, for visiting The Mixed Up Files! Good luck with Into Print! Writers, let’s here your questions…and your suggestions. Is there a book YOU wish would come back into print?????
Sarah Aronson writes books for middle grade and YA readers. If you like writing tips, check out her website: www.saraharonson.com and sign up for MONDAY MOTIVATION.