Publishing is a business which is as old as Adam and hasn’t changed significantly. Majority of the writers are only good in one thing and that is writing. That is the way it should be. Writers who toil to produce scholarly work are still at the bottom of the pyramid and receive negligible returns for their lifetime efforts. But don’t authors write because they have a story to tell and they love doing it? So they are like the farmer who loves working in his small farm and produce say rice, wheat, corn or barley. It is invariably the middlemen who make the most. Books are also like commodities. They are sold by distributors at a whopping discount ranging anywhere between 30-43 per cent to bookstores who sell books at the price printed on covers.
As a book gets produced (after you, as the author, have done your job well) a large number of people will start their work on your book: the editor, copy-editor, proof-reader, managing editor, art director, production manager, marketing department, sales staff and many others not to mention all their juniors; and everyone gets a salary. Then there are the overheads. The book needs to be printed and transported. Publicity efforts are required that may include sending out review copies (free of charge), printing up posters or bookmarks, taking out advertisements in journals, and sending the salesmen to book conventions. So the book has to be priced suitably to justify all these expenses, and still leave something for the publisher. Typically if a book is priced at say Rs.599, an author may get up to Rs.6 per book sold if the royalty is calculated on the gross price. Generally, publishers tend to pay royalty on net price. If your book is a best seller (in India) selling say 3,000 copies in the first run raking in Rs.17,97,000, you as an author could make up to Rs.180, 000. So an author on such estimates may not be paid more than Rs.90,000 as advance and the balance depending on how many copies sell and by when. The traders make a whopping 30 per cent and more. But if you ask book-stores they tell you a different story of books not selling and a standalone book store being not profitable anymore. This is the story at large publishing houses and the way they do business.
So what does Lone Tree Books do differently? We are also in this business of publishing but with a passion as strong as that of the writers. Being principally driven by promoters from the finance profession, Lone Tree Books focuses on Cost, Contribution and Cash to maximise returns for writers by keeping our margins absolutely transparent to authors. Lone Tree Books, formed primarily to encourage writers, is a venture promoted and supported by experienced and qualified professionals who are committed to bring a breath of fresh of air to the world of publishing. We are able to stand up to this challenge simply because of four reasons: (a) we have a lean establishment, no fancy frills and no heavy payrolls (b) committed people who are hands-on and multi-tasking with the skill and the will and they are all fully aligned to our mission to bring more cash to authors, (c) we price the book appropriately making it affordable for readers and carry minimum stock and (d) do effective direct marketing and cut different levels of middlemen leaving greater surplus for sharing with authors.
We also bring a book to life for those incredible people who have done wonderful things in life but are unable to transport their thoughts to others. Writing is a complicated craft and it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Lone Tree has a wonderful team of gifted people.
Lone Tree Books - New Delhi-Bangalore-Cochin Copyright Lone Tree Books 2013 :