We're in kind of a tough position, here. Typically, what you see is an author trying to prove his or her worth to a potential publisher or agent. They submit the query, cover letter, and manuscript. Sure, that makes sense, but that's for real publishing houses, the kind with reputations and lotsa money. The thing is, we don't know what kind of publishing house we are, yet. We're still figuring things out. We have money but how much is enough to successfully throw at a book release/marketing campaign? I've released nearly a dozen duds at this point of my own but that's more something to brush under the rug than use as legitimate experience in the field. So, we have no reputation, no true experience, and no real budget. What do we have to offer authors? Well, that's what this post is. Think of it as a cover letter to authors.
The first thing is that we're in this for the authors. (I'm not claiming other publishing houses aren't; from everything I've seen, it's quite the opposite.) We want to be there with you every step of the way. We want to help you format the book and design the cover in a way that you find best showcases your work. We want to help you organize a marketing plan and see it through. We want to give you as much creative freedom as we possibly can (think more James Joyce, less Sean Penn). We want all those ideas you think are too unmarketable, too ugly, or just too fuckin' weird. How I see it is that I've just finished the most creatively-demanding and riskiest book of my “career” as a writer. I've finished it and have no estimated profits. So far as I know, it might sell two copies. The thing is, I'm happier than I've ever been after releasing a book (and we're going to market LSB releases much more extensively, so that's not a sly way of me saying we don't plan on actually selling your books). That's what we're looking to provide authors with. Our goal for Long Shot Books is to be the support system for authors, to be in their corner at all times, and to take full advantage of being too small to fail.
Another thing is that we're not perfect and we recognize that. Speaking for myself, I can often be brash, arrogant, quick-tempered, and straight-up idiotic. We are not professionals. We're looking to gain experience while learning the most we can from the least amount of mistakes possible. We're negotiable. This isn't a boss:employee relationship. We want to handle all the lame shit that you don't. When I was formatting my last book, Young Adulterer, prepping it for KDP was more frustrating for me than writing the book itself. I thought to myself, Christ, this is the shit I'm gonna be doing all the time for other authors? Yeah, that boring stuff. We'd love to hear cover ideas, but we also know how lame Cover Creator can be on Amazon sometimes. If you know a cool press that you'd like to put the book out through, we're also down for that. If you have a percentage you'd like for royalties, we'd be glad to hear it and work a deal out. We're not looking to tell anybody how it is. We want to ask, “How can we make this an ideal partnership for everybody involved?”
Our role is that of a collaborator. We don't want to ever put our feet down or force anybody into uncomfortable situations creatively or financially. We're a support network, not a source of pressure. We want to support authors in every way we can, as artists and as human beings. We've both struggled to work on our own projects; we know how difficult it can be. We understand how lonely writing a book can feel and how futile it seems once that book is finally out there to get a single person to give it a chance. We don't just want to be your manager, we wanna be your bros.
So, that's what I've come up with so far. I know it's not much but I hope it helps you know how much we care about literature and just as importantly, how much we care about authors. If you decide to take a better book deal with more a more established team, we get that. If you want to take a risk on us, then we'll go the distance for you.