We are not a traditional publisher. We don't pay advances to authors. We don't distribute to bricks-and-mortar bookstores. We have no advertising budget, nor much of any kind of a budget. We don't deal with agents. We don't have a New York or Tokyo address. But we do have royalties. And we are pretty quick about getting a book into the hands of the reader.
We are a publisher. But we are new, and still wet behind the ears. At the moment, what we bring to the table isn't much more than what authors could do by self-publishing.
But give us time.
We started up in January, 2012. On March 9th, we published the collection of essays, "Reconstructing 3/11", on Amazon as an eBook. Amazon takes 30 percent of the royalties. Under the Abiko Free Press model, the remaining 70 percent is split equally between those who worked on the project. In this case, nine writers and three editors will each take one-twelfth of the income from "Reconstructing 3/11". And most of the book's authors are giving their cut to charity.
Will this be the model for future projects? Possibly. It depends on the project, and how we get the book to market. It might be via Amazon or one of the other growing book retailers. It might be via Lightning Source or another printer with distribution to bookstores. Or by selling PDFs from this blog directly to the reader. We're not sure yet.
But you can be sure that the author is at the center of the show. So what does the Abiko Free Press do then, exactly? "What exactly" is we edit, we format, we do the PR and distribution (hint - that's really easy on the internet these days). And we do the cover design and all the intangible, necessary, nit-picky stuff that makes a book a book and not an extended rant on a blog.
And if we can't do it, we'll learn how to do it, or find someone who can do it. Because this is a labor of both love and practicality.
And over time, we'll get better and better while we build a catalog of quality, cutting edge fiction and non-fiction about Japan. The kind of catalog that we hope readers will find consistently excellent, and essential reading for anyone with an interest in modern Japan and good writing.
That's our goal.
And who are we? Meet Our Man in Abiko and Dan Ryan. Drop us a line here.