Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Can A Book Be A “Start-Up ‘Company'”?

You’ve heard of start-up companies, right?

Wikipedia defines a start-up as:

“…a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets.”

That part about, “…search for a repeatable and scalable business model.”, sounds a lot like writers doing the heavy-lifting of discovering where their readers are

Certainly, someone who’s only authorship desire is to write a formulaic genre story doesn’t have to do much research, unless their “genre” happens to be something like “anti-neo-grunge zombie-romance” :-)

Of course, the production of a book takes more than a projection of readership and an eager writer

Back in February, I wrote the post, Yet Another Publishing Option . . ., that featured NetMinds.

This is an option that I, personally, wouldn’t consider; yet, other writers might find it Perfect :-)

In March, The New Yorker had an article called, A Book Is A Start-Up, that said:

“…a book and a start-up are each ‘a risky, highly creative endeavor undertaken by a small team, with low probability of success.’”

They refer to the Book-As-Start-Up with the term “Lean Publishing”:

“…the act of publishing an in-progress book using lightweight tools and many iterations to get reader feedback, pivot until you have the right book and build traction once you do.”

Here are their bullet-point features:

* Team Building
* Royalty Sharing
* Ratings & Reviews
* Fair Contracts
* Book Proposals
* Collaborative Workflow
* A different way to publish
* Publishing smarter takes a better process

And, here are the “players” in the Book-Start-Up-Drama:


As The New Yorker article has it:

“As reading habits evolve, the definition of a book can hardly be limited to the familiar, narrow terms. It can be developed in a sprint or like a video game, posted on a Web page or printed as a work of paper art, a hub of social interaction that becomes a book club or a rare escape through which a reader can power down the outside world.”

Is this intriguing to you?

Does it seem better than traditional publishing?

Could it be an option along with what’s called Self-Publishing?

Need more to think about?

Try this video :-) {aimed at the folks who will partner with a writer}

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2 responses to “Can A Book Be A “Start-Up ‘Company'”?

  1. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen September 19, 2013 at 1:43 am

    I wonder wether it is neccessary or even helpful to ask which option is better. Authors have different needs and expectations for their book. They now have the choice between models of publishing. This is the most important aspect for me and I hope that this freedom of choice won’t be strangled by a backlash.


    • Alexander M Zoltai September 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

      Yes, I agree, Martina — It’s not which path is better but which path is better for which author


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