As I start out on the difficult part of building (yet) another company, I felt some reflection was in order. Our goal is threefold:
1. Innovate! We seek to create a new publishing company model that works. The big six are on the ropes, and the time for innovation is now. It wasn't in 2000 when Sony was pushing their first eReader, it wasn't last year, when Wal-Mart put a kiosk of eReaders in their stores. It is now. Today. The time is now. The coming revolution and democratization of the written word that will take place over the next 20 years will be staggering even to those who think they have some idea of what is happening. We are committed to staying nimble, trying new ideas in the marketplace, and delivering refreshingly thought-provoking and entertaining books.
2. Power to the People. We want to give power back to the creative class. For too long, the gatekeepers of ideas have steered the discourse of society by picking winners and losers. A publishing company should do several things, but especially help authors and artists grow, and connect readers to good stories. As a company, we will provide solid editing, professional marketing, and the like - but at the end of the day we want our readers to know that our brand equals quality stories and authors to know that we will give them more support that they will get with anyone else, both professionally and creatively. One of the ways we are doing that is by being an honest business. Our standard royalty rate is double that of the big six. I am sure that we will adjust that over time, but hopefully always in the author's favor.
3. Enjoy every day. While building company and brand is work, I want it to be work that every employee feels is worth getting out of bed to do. Our lives our finite, too much so to spend hours bemoaning jobs we detest simply because we need the money. Yes, we do need the money, but when that is all our jobs become, then the I know the company is headed in the wrong direction and it will be time to make changes.
One of the reasons we chose biology based fiction is that the coming decades will be a time of fast paced changes in medicine and technology that has already begun to outstrip our moral and philosophical understanding of morality and humanity. A new gene therapy was announced this week that could extend life, and health, by 24%. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514204050.htm. What does this do our notions of family, equality, access, quality of life, and a whole host of other issues if people routinely live to 115 years old? Or paralyzed individuals become able to move robotic arms with thought; commercial space flight test successful; governments testing methods to control weather and climate change in a region. All of these are just today's stories on the science news sites. Any of them is good fodder for fictional exploration of the possible futures that they could create. We chose this area because the most important questions facing humanity are surfacing, and we want to be the central place where these questions are discussed