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bookLiterary agents and traditional publishers evaluate novel proposals for two things:

  • a story they love
  • marketability

Marketability includes factors such as:

  • fits in a genre
  • there’s a section in bookstores for the genre
  • there’s an identifiable target audience

Many strong novels aren’t published because they don’t, in the agent’s or editor’s minds, meet those marketability factors even if they love the story.

In particular, the “fits in a genre” criteria guns down manuscripts because, after all, they’re in the business of selling books for a profit. That means keeping costs as low as possible and a clear path to an audience.

A case in point is The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles. We’re publishing and marketing it. And we’re sure that there are other novels out there that can succeed with readers even if they don’t with marketers.

Platypus solo 50WThat brings us to Platypus, a new imprint for Flogging the Quill, LLC, our micro publishing company.

Our theme is “Unbeaten paths to worthy reads.”

Platypus aims to publish compelling fiction that meets these criteria:

  • we love the story
  • we see marketability
  • doesn’t fit into a genre

We can do this because, unless an author has lots of $$ to invest, we publish through the print-on-demand services of Lightning Source, which also generates worldwide distribution through The Ingram Book Company. They’re partners with Amazon.com, and bookstores order from them.

This model keeps costs for us and the author at a minimum, yet offers a real window into a huge audience.

The author invests his or her manuscript. We invest our editorial, design, and marketing skills, plus a few hundred dollars in costs for such things as ISBN numbers.

We work as partners, and split the income 50-50.The odds are, to be honest, that neither one of us is going to make a fortune--or even a lot.

But it’s possible! The right story that hits the right market at the right time has a chance to build an audience.

Like the platypus, novels that are put together in non-standard ways can be just as viable as ordinary critters. Our aim is to put them out into the world and see if they can survive, if they have the stuff to hook readers and grow through word of mouth and Internet marketing.

So if you have a manscript that meets our criteria, see the submissions page.

Platypus paperbacks:

front Patch 11-14-09 100W face cover 100W shadow2


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