Zoals ik vorige week aankondigde, hebben we ons eerste boek vertaald in het Engels en op onder andere Amazon met printing-on-demand aangeboden. Want waarom ook niet! Na publicaties in The Guardian, Gawker, Fortune en de BBC slingeren er zeshonderd edities van Utopia for Realists rond in Amerikaanse huishoudens. Gek idee!
In dit stuk op Medium leg ik uit dat we bij De Correspondent onze eigen boeken uitgeven omdat het zonde is als alle inkomsten uit de boekenverkoop naar externe uitgevers en agenten stroomt. Zoals bijvoorbeeld bij krantenstukken-turned-bestsellers In Europa en Taal is zeg maar echt mijn ding (of En mijn tafelheer is Plato, trouwens) gebeurde.
Liever maak je van die inkomsten weer nieuwe journalistiek mogelijk.
I’m heading to the Buchmesse today, just caught an early train with my friend Daniël van der Meer. It’s a study trip for us, to see how the international book industry (net)works, but I won’t object if a German, French or any other foreign publisher wants to buy the rights of Rutger Bregmans book Free Money For Everyone.
Except for American publishers, we’ll try to conquer that book territory ourselves with a Kindle edition in early 2015.
Will write updates here about our adventures in Frankfurt! To end this first post, here’s a photo of how Daniël looks when he’s on a mission:
In November 2013, GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram reported on the Dutch journalism crowdfunding campaign which led to the founding of our publication, De Correspondent:
It will be fascinating to watch De Correspondent, and see whether it can follow through on the incredible promise demonstrated by raising $1.7 million.
In the comments section, someone replied:
I give this venture 8 months. Seen this movie before.
I have to admit this comment made me nervous at the time. Would we be able to become a valuable publication? Would our crowdfunding members like the way we executed the idea in which they had invested? Or would we go down in history as merely a crowdfunding success?
Excited to tell you we’ve started publishing books at De Correspondent (more about our platform here). Author Rutger Bregman has written about importance of utopian thinking on our platform and three months ago announced that he wanted to further explore these ideas in a book. We immediately though: why not publishing it ourselves.
So here goes, De Correspondent is now a publishing house too. These are our 4 foundations for publishing books:
Ebook is 60 percent cheaper than print edition (€18 vs €7);
Ebook isn’t secured with DRM or any of that nonsense: readers are free to lend books to friends and family (with 85 to 95 percent of Dutch ebooks being illegal copies, it’s obvious that DRM doesn’t work);
We’ve raised author’s royalties for print edition with 50 percent;
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about news sites shutting down their comments sections, since readers’ contributions are often too obtrusive (read Mathew Ingrams excellent post about this).
Here in Amsterdam, we sincerely regret these developments, since we believe that modern journalists shouldn’t see their readers as a passive group of annoying followers. Instead, they should regard readers as a potential gold mine of expert information. That’s why, at De Correspondent, we encourage our journalists to act as conversation leaders and our members as expert contributors. Continue reading “Every reader is an expert at something”