Quote Originally Posted by traveo2343 View Post
Greetings AW,

It's been about 2 years since I closed Zharmae. Recently I have been considering getting back into book publication. As promised, I am reaching out here to get some feedback from the community and to answer any questions that might be posed. This would be under a new organization, Daven Borlen Publishers (www.davenborlen.com), DB was a project that I had been working on toward the end of Zharmae and never got off the ground. Please note that if you do visit the website it will not relate at all to what I am considering starting a new publishing house. I would like to reuse the Zharmae assets such as the social media accounts and name but I think that the name and brand have too negative an image in the publishing community so I am having to nix that idea. I was able to bury Zharmae with some dignity, so I need to let t rest.

Over the last two years I have focused on Whorde Worldbuilders (whorde.co) and my management consultancy with my husband Alyn Robert (alynrobert.com) as well as going back to school to complete my masters.

You still have zero experience of working in publishing. You still no next to nothing about how to run a successful publishing house. If you're so determined to work in publishing, get a job with a trade publisher, or a good literary agency, and learn your trade. Because until you do that, you're just going to keep failing, and every time you fail you'll take another tranche of aspiring writers down with you.

From that experience, I have come across a niche that I am thinking I'd like to focus on in the book market. And while I am planning primarily to operate the new house very much like a book packager in the same manner as the Goosebumps series is produced,
I've worked at a book packager.

Goosebumps isn't a packaged product as far as I know, and Stine really exists. He's not a made-up person like Erin Hunter, for example. Can you provide more information about this, please? Because I'd hate to think you were basing your new business on a misconception.

I do not want to discount the possibility that I might find myself working with authors again. From my experience and that of several agents and publisher colleagues, unless I have AW's support the venture is not likely to be successful.
I was an editor for a small book packager years ago and I worked with lots of authors. All books need authors. I don't understand why you think packagers don't work with authors. Again, can you clarify?

With that being said what follows is the initial outline of what I am thinking. I would love any questions, comments, and especially your concerns:

- DB will produce franchise style content in a select few genres in a saga or collective world style.
- All work would be published under a single branded author name like R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series.
- We would produce work in eBook, Print, Audio, Comic, and Translation (Spanish, French, and Portugues).
- DB would own the franchise and work with writers under ghostwriting contracts (generally flat fee), would provide the story treatment, character profiles, etc. The writer would simply be tasked with writing the content.
Hang on. Three sentences ago, you said you were not going to work with writers again but here you are, asking writers to work for you. No wonder I'm confused.

- Beyond the content production process where I believe ghostwriting or work-for-hire projects are very well defined,
Work for hire and ghosting are two separate issues. They can't be used interchangeably like this. Please make sure you know the difference between the two before offering any more contracts.

I anticipate that we may work with Authors aking to a "showrunner" or "master storyteller" type of role. Where they are being paid to develop the overall story concept and help lead where the story goes.
Travis, when you set up Zharmae you didn't know what publishing entailed, and so you failed to make the income you needed, and ended up closing the company.

Now you're proposing to work as a packager. But you don't understand what packaging involves, and so you will fail at this too.

It's harder to make a book packager work, because you're adding an extra layer to the process. Packagers don't publish books. They produce books for publishers. So as well as those books having to pay all their publisher's costs, they have to pay their packager's costs, and turn a profit too. In packaging, costs and profits are cut to the bone. If you failed to make a profit at Zharmae, how are you going to make a profit at this new venture? It's not going to happen.

At this point, I'd like to be clear that I have not signed any contracts with anyone, and am still very much in the ideation phase of this.

PS - I hope you guys think I am moderately reformed. ;-)
My concerns are that you don't know what you're doing, you have no relevant experience, you seem to think that book packaging is somehow easier than publishing, and that you're suggesting that if we don't somehow approve your next venture it will be a failure, leaving all the blame on us.

Get a job at a publishing house, Travis. Work there for a decade. Then, when you come back and tell us about your new publishing venture, we'll be able to have more faith in you.