HHello! Welcome to Burning Chair, a shiny new independent publishing company based in the UK.
Burning Chair has been founded to support authors in getting great books out to the readers they deserve.
But, we hear you say, please tell me more about this Burning Chair of which you speak.
Well, thanks for asking!
We at Burning Chair know what it’s like to pour your heart into writing a book and then, just as you finish and think the hard part is over, find yourself faced with the challenge of getting that same book out into the hands of adoring readers.
We’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Gone through the mill of endless submissions to agents and traditional publishers, ending up with little more than a growing pile of rejections – from those that bothered to reply at all.
It was a demoralising task. You know your book is good, but you face a massive wall of indifference from the world.
Pete, one of our founders, was told his book would never sell. Agents and publishers told him that his genre was too niche, and that he should give up with his book doomed to never see the light of day.
Except it did sell.
He set-up on his own and self-published that book, then three sequels, and a non-fiction book, and garnered some sales, then some lovely reviews, then yet more sales, and then a group of (gulp) fans. People who loved the story and wanted to know more. People who he feels so privileged to have reached. People who would never have read his book if he’d listened to those agents and publishers: the so-called gatekeepers.
You see there’s a whole world out there which a lot of traditional publishers would rather you didn’t know about. It’s called “indie publishing”, and it scares them to death. The big traditional publishers have tried killing off indie publishing, belittling those who go down that path as immature amateurs churning out crap pulp, while also deliberately trying to kill the eBook market with deluded press releases and even more misguided pricing policies. But we indies refuse to roll over and die.
The traditional publishers continue to pay brick-and-mortar bookstores to put their books on shelves face-out, paying to push their books up the “charts” and into celebrity book clubs, putting adverts on physical billboards in the hope that someone will see it who might want to buy that particular book…
They continue to focus their energies on trying to kill the competition and chasing the dollar signs by focusing on big names to the detriment of the majority of honest, struggling authors. And that’s before we even come to the pitifully low royalties offered by the traditional publishers. I mean, 7%? Is that really a fair reward for your ideas, for all that work? Especially when you consider that even then you’re not guaranteed a marketing budget. No wonder so many of their authors are struggling to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, indies are working together, realising this isn’t a zero-sum game: just because readers buy one author’s book, it doesn’t mean they won’t buy another author’s. There are some amazing communities full of self-published, indie authors who help each other, share their learning, gee each other on. These are people working right at the cutting edge of marketing techniques in this digital age.
We are proud to count Burning Chair as a member of these indie communities.
But here’s the thing. Self-publishing is a full-on job. You have to be not just an author but also a marketer, financially and legally astute, and an entrepreneur. And it can be costly – cover art, editing, proof reading all need to be bought and paid for before you can get your book out to the world. Then there’s the marketing and advertising to make sure that people know about your book: just launching and hoping is a guaranteed ticket to obscurity. If you do all this right, that investment should pay off – it has for our founders.
But to do self-publishing right, you need some cash to start with.
For some people, that entrepreneurial thing is right down their alley. But others want to concentrate their time and energy on the writing. And so, Burning Chair was born.
We offer you, the author, all the benefits of self-publishing – a community working together, cutting-edge marketing, a nimble and quick approach to the publishing and marketing process. We won’t insist on tying you in for unreasonably long periods of time, and then forcing you to buy back your rights if we don’t do a good job in marketing your book.
We also offer much higher royalties than most trad publishing houses. Yes, it’s less than if you went it alone and self-published, but we invest our time and cash in getting your book out there and actively marketing it.
All this is combined with the benefits of being with a publishing house. Yes, you can impress friends and family by saying you’ve got a publisher. We’ll also cover those pesky cover art, editing, marketing costs. And because we do a lot of that, we can get better supplier rates than if you went it alone.
We will market your book, and we will treat every book the same and give it the same amount of love, care and attention. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because your book matters – to you, to us, and to your readers.
We are not just building a publishing house; we’re creating a community of awesome authors sending great stories out into the world. We’re all stronger together and will succeed together.
If that sounds interesting then drop us an email at email@example.com, or click here to sign-up to our mailing list for news, submission opportunities and free guides on publishing.
Have a great day and stay lucky
Simon & Pete
(Founders, Burning Chair Publishing)
<Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash>