Ethical Publishing

by Tim Dedopulos, Managing Director of GWDBooks

As you may know, I run a Ghostwoods Books. Even in this new, rapidly-changing publishing environment, I believe that writers need publishers. I’m primarily a writer myself, after all. So Ghostwoods Books was set up with the idea of being the sort of publishing company I would want to publish with. A fair one.

Ethical publishing shouldn’t be controversial. Sadly – just like music and acting – a lot of publishing is quite predatory. This is a bad thing. It’s bad for everyone, not just authors. As the business gets nastier, the books get diminished and… well, just like Hollywood, it turns out bland pap.

I don’t know why publishing thinks that driving readers away with bland pap is a good business model. I sure don’t want to have to be exploited horribly because I write things.

Ghostwoods Books is trying to make a difference. We believe there’s a place for fair trade in publishing, particularly now, when books are becoming digital. One digital file can be sold infinitely. Paper books have a cost per copy, as well as development costs; eBooks don’t. It’s time to play fair.

We’re in the process of trying to fund our second-stage development. At the moment, Ghostwoods Books makes me no money. We’re too small still, so it’s a cost, not an income stream. But I can see it developing. We need to nursemaid it into self-sufficiency. Then we can start changing the world a little.

We need the funds to make next year really strong — fair advances for authors, proper pay for cover artists and illustrators, resources for advertising. None of it is destined to come to us personally; we’re going to keep on donating our time on this until it works. It will work. You can help us make a difference.

Here’s how.

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The core of Ghostwoods Books is being fair to authors, which means splitting a book’s sales 50/50. That’s our strength, but it’s also a vulnerability. Most books don’t sell that many copies, and that’s true right across the publishing industry. When you’re being fair to authors, and to readers, that means not much income. We’ve always […]

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