The following post is by Alison Flood:
Launched this spring by publisher Éditions du Public, the initiative – slogan: “I invest in what I want to read” – has already received 80 manuscripts. Sixteen have been merited good enough to make it onto the publisher’s website, from Nathalie Tavignot’s Croissant de lune (Crescent Moon), in which a series of murders occur in a village whose inhabitants have just woken from a long sleep and remember nothing, to poetry collection Ghislaine Hammer’s poetry collection, Les colosses nus( The Naked Colossi).
The publishers are now looking for co-editors to help fund publication of the books. Each co-editor must invest $17 in their chosen title, and will then be able to discuss the book with its author on Éditions du Public’s forum, following each stage as it is written. Each title has six months to sign up 2,000 co-editors and some are already proving more popular than others: Tavignot’s thriller has 45 subscribers, while Hammer has just two.
Once the 2,000 threshold has been reached, an editor at Éditions du Public will go over the text and layout with the author. The book will then be sold online and through bookshops, with each co-editor able to recoup “up to eight times the amount of their initial subscription” depending on sales, as well as receiving a free copy of the book they have edited.
“We want, thanks to crowdfunding, to give the chance to every author to be published,” said Laurence Broussal at Éditions du Public. “Thanks to our website, authors have a real communication platform to make themselves known to internet users and to meet their public. But we want this to be without risk: the internet co-editor is refunded with 100% of their output, and the author gets back their manuscript, if the book is not published.”
Broussal said that Éditions du Public was the first publisher to utilise crowdfunding in France, although the concept has already been experimented with in music and film. The publisher has already received around 1,000 subscriptions across all its titles after starting to recruit co-editors at the beginning of July, and hopes to publish its first book by the