GMLTJoseph, a newly-created non-profit imprint with a charitable purpose, primarily targeting the digital and POD markets, will launch its first digital offering, a series of eight books of genre-blending women’s fiction, Extraordinary Days, by best-selling novelist Polly Becks on January 5, 2015. Catering to the binge reader, the first four full-length books will launch a month apart in the first four months of the new year.
“GMLTJoseph has a number of attributes that make it unique as an imprint,” said the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Carol Pearson. “First, it functions like a marketing co-op rather than seeking to follow the re-creation of the traditional publishing structure that many companies catering to indie authors have adopted. All our authors thus far are traditionally- or digitally published professionals, the majority of them bestsellers, seeking to explore the frontier of the digital market outside the aegis of their agents and publishers. For everyone thus far, this is a side project to their normal careers.”
Authors retain their royalties and pay their own expenses while sharing a common marketing pool to publicize their offerings, as well as expertise in navigating the process of digital publishing. The over-arching structure of the imprint does not profit from the work of the authors; a one-percent kick-in covers the marketing and technical expenses.
“In addition to bringing a high level of quality and established readerships to the digital market, each author also agrees to donate a percentage of the profits of every product sold to the charitable institution of his or her choice in perpetuity,” Pearson says. “The soon-to-be-published works of current and upcoming authors will be supporting the good work of the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, Tuesday’s Children, NYC Medics Global Disaster Relief, and Wednesday’s Child: the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, with many more to come. It’s amazing how much a little bit can add up to make a big impact.”
While women’s fiction was chosen as the initial line of GMLTJoseph’s publishing agenda, many other genre lines are in development, Pearson says.
The first series to launch, Extraordinary Days, begins with No Ordinary Day, a free-download setup book set in 1991 that describes a devastating flood and fire that drowns half of a fictional town in New York State’s Adirondack mountains. The remaining seven books, each titled after days in the poem beginning “Monday’s Child is fair of face,” first recorded in A. E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire in 1838, are set contemporarily and feature the stories of five kindergarten children, now adult women, who were trapped together in the town’s flooding school and rescued at the last minute. “Though each of the books has a romance structure, including a happily-ever-after, we’ve taken some license with the characters, especially the heroines, each of whom is broken in one way or another,” says the series author, Polly Becks. “Additionally, while every book stands alone, a mystery is established in the first book that carries through to the end.”
Despite its grim beginning, the series is full of humor as well as intrigue, history, and, of course, romance.
Like most of GMLTJoseph’s authors, Polly Becks is a pseudonym for a best-selling traditional author who is interested in being part of a new publishing paradigm.
“There are pitfalls on both sides of the transitioning industry right now, with authors caught in between Scylla and Charybdis,” Becks says. “It’s an honor to have the chance to help open a new frontier, even though that honor is not without risk. The ever-changing landscape is both exciting and terrifying, but you may as well get in and swim for your life, rather than just be devoured by change.”
Once the traditionally published authors have successfully swum in the digital market, the management of GMLTJoseph expects to consider newbies who show promise in the publishing agenda.
“It’s important to pay it forward to a new generation of writers by offering them the perspective of the past,” says Becks. “The digital book marketplace is absolutely the way of the future, and a lot of good work has been and is being launched there—but there are also a lot of bad habits being propagated. We are a co-op of bookstore authors not at all afraid of the ‘stigma’ of self-publishing, which is fading fast anyway.”
After the first book, Monday’s Child launches Monday, February 2nd, Tuesday’s Child on Tuesday, March 3, and Wednesday’s Child on Wednesday, April 1.
Since GMLTJoseph’s authors have relationships with paper publishers and Hollywood agents, the potential for crossover back to the traditional side of the industry is high.
“We believe that the gap left between traditional publishing and independent authorship can be filled in new, creative and collaborative ways,” said Pearson. “This is why we do what we do.”