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Apostrophe Books Interview

Posted on 05 September 2012. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Apostrophe Books

Tell us all about you; history, ethos, aims, people involved

Apostrophe Books (www.apostrophebooks.com) is a collection of professional writers, journalists and designers. We set up Apostrophe because we were fed up with publishers riding roughshod over existing authors in the digital age, and taking fewer publishing risks with new ones. The concept seems to have struck a chord, perhaps because our financial model is very simple. Apostrophe publishes, markets, and distributes to the major e-book retailers; the author doesn't receive an advance, but collects 50% of revenue. That's not 50% of profit, which would mean authors waiting for a project to break even before earning money. It's 50% of the money we receive on the very first sale of their book. We don't believe anyone else is offering a deal quite like this.

Who’s on your list and why?

We didn't set out to build an eclectic list, but that the way it's heading (http://apostrophebooks.com/books/). It includes first-time writers, both novelists and non-fiction, and established writers whose books have gone out of print but deserve new life: http://apostrophebooks.com/writers/.

Our ongoing Fiction Fast-Track competition (http://apostrophebooks.com/fictionfasttrack/) launched a month or two back and has proved very popular. Would-be authors submit their novels or short story collections, and if we like what we see we put up the first chapter on our site. Visitors to our web site and Facebook page can then vote and comment. Every two months, the best-received entry is published.

What excites you about a piece of writing-

Original ideas and distinctive voice every time. After that, it's all about the organization of those ideas, and that includes everything from clean presentation to memorable word choice, sentence fluency, good grammar and spelling.

and what makes your heart sink?

The absence of the above - and especially poor layout. If work is sloppily presented, why read it? Why bother with the work of a lazy mind?

Can you tell us what makes a pitch/covering letter/synopsis/etc work best for you?

This isn't applicable, as we only take submissions through Fiction Fast-Track (http://apostrophebooks.com/fictionfasttrack).

Can you tell us about a recent acquisition?

We acquired a fantastic collection of poems after spotting the poet on Twitter http://apostrophebooks.com/books/poetry/familial. We followed up one of his tweets and found these beautiful poems by John Lavan. Poems like 'Eden Conception' will be anthologised for decades to come.

And the two most recent winners of Fiction Fast-Track are both excellent works - The King Of Spain by film editor Robert Ford http://apostrophebooks.com/books/literaryfictio/kingofspain, and Fingerless Gloves by New Yorker Nick Orsini http://apostrophebooks.com/news. You will be hearing a lot more from all three.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

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