Dark Continents to Introduce Author-Driven, Author-Owned Publishing
Worldwide founders apply cooperative business principles to the business of writing.
TISKILWA, IL – A group of horror and dark fiction authors from around the world announce the formation of a new voice in the publishing world. Dark Continents Publishing banded together August 10, 2010 with a new vision of business success for authors. The official launch begins this week as founding members start the countdown to the first Dark Continents Publishing release party, to be held at the World Horror Convention 2011 in Austin, TX from April 28 through May 1.
President/Publisher David M. Youngquist, along with fellow founders Serenity J. Banks, John Prescott, Sylvia Shults, Adrian Chamberlin, and Tracie McBride, introduce Dark Continents Publishing as the first organized authors' cooperative to focus exclusively on the horror and dark fiction markets. The founding members, who hail from various points of the globe, are in the process of incorporating as a legal, international organization under nonprofit workers' cooperative status and structure. The six come together to steer modern publishing capabilities toward mutual book sales success, moving away from outdated business models that have been marked in recent years by mounting declines and closures around the world.
A defining distinction of Dark Continents Publishing lies in its cooperative business structure, under which authors come together as equals to produce, publish, and promote their books for mutual business gain. By moving away from standard organizational protocol, the founders of Dark Continents Publishing envision a more versatile business model under which authors work together to profit as individuals. A cooperative effort by definition, Dark Continents Publishing allows members to take advantage of innovative partnership strategies surrounding author-driven, author-owned publishing. By embracing the founding principles of Dark Continents Publishing, dark fictioneers take back control of their own work—and, ultimately, their own business success.
Founded by authors who currently reside in the United States, England, and Australia, Dark Continents Publishing is forming as an international organization that intends to welcome members of the horror and dark fiction communities the world 'round. Dark Continents Publishing membership will be extended by invitation only for the first year of operations, with a membership application process to open at large in the near future.
Dark Continents Publishing introduces the authors' cooperative concept with plans to release its first six books, written and produced by its six founding members, in May 2011. The first wave of titles from Dark Continents Publishing will be distributed in both print and ebook format, with multiple electronic versions available to ensure compatibility with a wide range of reading devices.
“I love books, and I’m a voracious reader,” President/Publisher David M. Youngquist says. “We’re not out to kill books or bring down publishing; we’re out to lead publishing in a new direction toward a different sort of success. There will always be books, readers, and writers. Our main goal is to bring those three forces together.”
For more information, find Dark Continents Publishing on Facebook and follow the countdown to launch at World Horror Convention 2011.
Dark Continents Publishing: The Manifesto
Publishing as we know it has evolved by leaps and bounds, from earliest civilization throughout human history. From cuneiform tablets to hand-painted hieroglyphics to annotations in clay, from sonnets to encyclopedias to political pamphlets, from William Shakespeare to Benjamin Franklin to J.K. Rowling… as a species, we have consistently engaged in ever-inconsistent systems of written communication. Since our inception, the very definition of the published word has adapted as the millennia have passed.
August 2010: We find ourselves on the threshold of another evolutionary leap.
Restrictive methods of publishing via ink on paper have given way to countless capabilities involving electronic connectivity and wireless transmission. Those who fail to cross the straits of industry are doomed to be left behind—to perhaps surface again one day for study by future historians.
We six undersigned refuse to become relics of an outdated system. We six embrace the freedom and potential of today's media and communications options. We six see the future of publishing laid out before us in myriad intersections of partnership and innovation, and we set forth together to pave a road less traveled for those who opt to pick up our paths henceforth.
Thus, we six hereby form an authors' cooperative by the name of Dark Continents Publishing: a not-for-profit organization working to entrepreneur today's publishing opportunities and model tomorrow's writing businesses. As a global, international authors' cooperative, Dark Continents Publishing seeks to unite the self-steering wordslingers of the world who are dedicated to taking back control over their own work and who commit to exploring new realms of possibility for their own career success.
- David M. Youngquist – President and Publisher
- Tracie McBride – Vice President, Associate Editor and Australian Liaison
- Serenity J. Banks – Secretary and Editor in Chief
- John Prescott – Treasurer and Chief of Design
- Adrian Chamberlin – Board Chair and United Kingdom Liaison
- Sylvia Shults – Board Chair and Group Publicity Director
We six bring to this authors' cooperative over one hundred years of combined experience in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, editing, publishing, graphic design, advertising, marketing, print journalism, digital media, business communications, public relations, event coordination, content strategy, audience engagement, and more. Backed by our diverse array of professional skills and talents, we draw deep from our pool of proven experience and business know-how, and, together, we heretofore seize our destinies by our own hands. Today, we band together to turn the tides of our own new era of publishing industry evolution.
Today, Dark Continents Publishing is in the process of incorporating as a legal entity under nonprofit workers' cooperative status and structure. Tomorrow, we will define a new class of author-owned, author-driven publishing business.
We above-mentioned six are the first to forge the foundations of Dark Continents Publishing. Within our first year of operation, we will invite six like others to join our authors' cooperative. We will select six other fiction-writing professionals who seek non-traditional channels through which they can oversee more control of their books, maintain more say in their futures, and play a more meaningful role in building the next stages of the publishing industry evolution.
As Dark Continents Publishing is a cooperative effort by definition, new members will be asked to make an initial, minimal monetary contribution to the organization, as the six founding members have done before them. All member contributions are applied directly toward—and only toward—the operating costs of the organization. Under the not-for-profit, cooperative business structure, dividends will be paid out to each member during each quarter of the fiscal year. True to the cooperative spirit of the founding principles, group income generated from the combined sales of members' books will first be applied toward covering business operating costs (printing, advertising, et al), and all group profit after expenses will be divided and distributed equally among members.
Dark Continents Publishing operations are inspired by successful models and best practices currently utilized by industry and warehousing visionaries. The principles of streamline manufacturing dictate that only product ordered is product produced. Therefore, no "extra" is created, and no surplus remains to be stored at expense.
Dark Continents Publishing will work with local printers (to keep costs down and to keep money in our local economies) to satisfy orders placed by worldwide bookstores, both at the chain and independent levels. By these means, Dark Continents Publishing incurs no massive print runs to fill… no unsold copies to recycle… no books to sell at a loss. By minimizing overhead, we maximize profit.
In this modern age of global business communications, e-commerce is a fact of life. Dark Continents Publishing may offer print versions of its members' books in conjunction with distribution of electronic titles. A number of titles may initially be made available only in e-book format. Decisions regarding availability will be made on a case-by-case basis to control overhead costs while increasing profit ratios. Electronic versions of books produced through Dark Continents Publishing will be made available in multiple formats to ensure compatibility across a variety of consumer devices and platforms.
The official Web site for Dark Continents Publishing will go live as of December 1, 2010. Our site is currently under development, and it will provide in-depth information and history about the authors' cooperative concept and the founding members' backgrounds. Retail booksellers will be able to place orders and interface with Dark Continents Publishing via the official Web site. In addition, the site will allow all Web visitors to log in and purchase print and electronic titles through a secure, user-friendly Dark Continents Publishing online storefront.
We founding six undertake these steps toward developing our mutual future in an effort to separate and distinguish our careers from the death spiral of the traditional publishing industry. We have watched from the sidelines as honored publishing firms perish in throes of failure to adapt. Outdated models are dying of self-inflicted wounds, while longstanding business discrepancies continue to go unresolved.
Together, we individuals are the solution. Together, we authors are the future of publishing.
There will always be books, for there will always be writers, and there will always be readers. The challenge we face lies in bringing together these elements to create catalysts for change. The opportunity we embrace lies in taking up our existing capabilities and exploring our untapped potential to guide our own destinies—and, by extension, our business success and mutual gain.
Dark Continents Publishing is taking a first step toward altering our landscape. Would you like to go for a walk with us?