Tell us a little bit about your press and how you came to be.
Endaxi Press is a very, very, very small press. We started up in 2009 after Michele Brenton (our commissioning editor) decided to publish a series of seven poetry books. It made sense to start a press because the minimum number of ISBN numbers purchasable at that time was ten and a hundred hardly cost any more. We had seen a couple of novels we felt we might like to publish and so we decided to start Endaxi Press and learn the process of publishing using Michele’s poetry as practise pieces. We were also working on the theory that if we could sell poetry we would be in with a fighting chance with fiction.
Are you open to publishing a wide variety of writing styles, or is there a specific style/voice you are looking for?
We still only have a very tiny inventory but we are trying to be open to any book as long as it is well written and likely to have a paying readership.
How do you discover new writers? Do you take recommendations from authors or contacts you are already friendly with, or do they tend to be blind submissions?
So far we have chosen our writers from contacts and from authonomy – a peer review website run by Harper Collins. We are very different from most publishers in that we seek out prospective future members of the Endaxi family of writers, online. We don’t accept submissions. We are a “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” outfit.
What is the most common mistake that authors make when querying that, in turn, causes you to lose interest in their work? (i.e., perhaps the way they wrote the query letter, a manuscript that is less than polished, etc.)
We don’t take submissions so we don’t know what common mistakes are. But a poorly written query letter would put us off. Manuscripts which are less than polished are not necessarily a deal-breaker if the novel has that special ‘something'; but an attitude from a writer which suggests they would be less than co-operative during the editing process would send us running for the hills. We are small and so we need to work as a team to do the best we can for our books. If the writer doesn’t trust our vision then they shouldn’t be with us in the first place.
A lot of writers submit to multiple presses at a time and are naturally anxious to hear your thoughts on their work. What is the protocol for an author to follow-up with a press about the status of their query? Is it appropriate to follow-up, or is this something that is off-putting?
We don’t usually waste much time before getting back to an author once we’ve requested a full manuscript. If we know we have a backlog we give them a timescale by when they should have heard back from us. If we ever overshot that timescale we would welcome a nudge. But then we have a friendly relationship with any author by that stage and so “should I, shouldn’t I? ” mental gymnastics are unlikely to figure into any interaction with us.
What do you take into consideration when you’re thinking of publishing an author’s book/novel/whatever? Is it the writing alone, or is it more than that?
Definitely much more than that. Preparedness to submit to the editing process. Do they have a readership base already? Do they have a realistic attitude to what being published means? Will they be supportive of our promotional strategies? Can they undertake promotion themselves? Are they interesting personalities which would make for press opportunities? Are they active in their genre communities? Are they likely to be able to produce more work of a consistent standard? Are they likely to be happy with us and stay part of the Endaxi stable in the long-term?
Since so many authors are going the self-publishing route, why would an author go with you?
Because we do all the expensive stuff for free. Thorough editing, cover design, ISBN numbers, worldwide distribution, promotion and printing, typesetting and interior design. We also ensure that when we produce a book it is priced competitively so that it will be able to stand happily among books from the big six publishers. The remuneration to an Endaxi author can in some cases be more than if they went it alone as far as hard copies are concerned.
What can you do for them that they might not be able to do for themselves?
We have a great deal of technical expertise and contacts within the industry. Publishing is not always as easy as it seems. It is easy to produce an okay book. But to produce a top class book in every respect takes a lot of skill. Things go wrong with the print process, with ebook conversions, with online listings to name a few examples. As an individual it can be overwhelming to try and deal with these issues especially if they occur as they so often do at time critical moments. We have been through most of these things by now and have learned how to handle them.
We also look at the author’s book with new eyes. But with eyes that care as much as theirs that the resultant book is presented to the public in its very best light. In fact in some cases we care more than they do. We see ourselves as the Jeeves to their Bertie Wooster – passionately concerned that we send our charges out in to the world impeccably turned out and always at hand to ease their troubles in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. Their success and contentment is our success.
How do you feel about self-publishing and where it is headed?
It is all very exciting and we look forward to seeing what happens next.
And lastly, if you could publish any author in history (dead or still alive) who would you publish and why?
The authors we have already. We chose them because they are authors we wanted and the authors we believe in. They are Endaxi authors.
Michele Brenton aka banana_the_poet is commissioning editor at Endaxi Press.
Endaxi Press is proud to have one of its books – Pierre Van Rooyen’s Saturdays Are Gold currently in the running for the shortlist of the Guardian Not The Booker prize. Endaxi will also be launching its first steampunk novel – Raven Dane’s Cyrus Darian And The Technomicron at The Asylum which is the biggest Steampunk Festival in Europe and will be held in Lincoln UK from the 9th-11th September 2011.
Both Pierre Van Rooyen’s Saturdays Are Gold and Raven Dane’s Cyrus Darian are available to be won as Goodreads Giveaways.