What is La Gr@not@? How does it do the things that it does?
La Gr@not@ [English: The Frog] is a dream, a crazy idea, a publishing house without a house, and one which isn´t THAT interested in making money. It was born out of a frustration at the conditions that many publishers impose on the CREATORS [writers and illustrators] of a book. The idea came from a writer.
Here are some of the crazy rules under which La Gr@not@ is to be managed:
1) Book projects are NOT to be chosen on the basis of "What´s in it for us?" i.e. "Is it likely to sell really well and make us a lot of profit?" but on "Do we REALLY like this book?" We will only consider publishing books that we will be proud of.
Example: If J.K. Rowling were to approach us and say that she´s unsatisfied with her present publishers and wants to sign the future publishing rights to the Harry Potter series over to us, WE WOULD TURN HER DOWN! (Boring books, with warmed-over conservative values ["ALL the ´goodies´ are on OUR team, ALL the ´baddies´ are on another team, the other 2 teams aren´t even worth considering" - straight out of Cold-War / Third-World-oppressing foreign policy]) The same goes with the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and Lord Of The Rings. The writer of this fact-sheet read TLOTR as a teenager and liked it, even bought it as a gift for siblings; but then as a young adult read it again and HATED it (it´s racist, it´s sexist, it glorifies war and supports the idea that international problems MUST be solved through violence: any ONE of these 3 attributes would disqualify it from being published by La Gr@not@)... gave it another try decades later. ("Is it REALLY as bad as I thought back then???" - It is.) We admit it: we´re opinionated.
WE WOULD RATHER FUNCTION ON A SHOESTRING THAN PUBLISH SUPER-SELLERS THAT VIOLATE OUR ETHICAL AND/OR QUALITY STANDARDS!!
2) We do NOT buy all the rights to book/writings/illustrations. In fact, we don´t buy ANY rights. The creators maintain copyright and full control over their creations. We work as partners of the creators. And if we can act as a springboard, bringing a book to the attention of a major publisher who then offers the writer a juicy contract, we will be happy that a book that we are proud to have published makes it into the big time. The only condition that we impose on the termination of a publishing partnership is that a publishing contract with another publisher will NOT bar La Gr@not@ from selling its remaining stock of already-printed copies.
3) Given that we´re quality-obsessed and ethics/obsessed as opposed to profit-obsessed, we will be eternally damned (unless a runaway best-seller author decides to remain with us, turning us into the publishers of a best-seller) to working on a shoestring budget. This has its drawbacks:
a) We cannot offer an advance on royalties to ANYBODY. You have to be clear about that right from the beginning.
b) We will only have the finances to afford to bring out small editions to begin with, until sales convince us that we can risk ordering a larger print-run for further editions of this particular book. In these early days, the first edition is going to be LOL, ROTF, ridiculously tiny: 25 copies. (Hopefully, future collectors´ items!)
c) We will try to self-finance, but an author and/or illustrator may decide to risk some of their own money and help to finance the first print-run, making a larger edition possible. This is NOT obligatory. It's entirely up to the creators. We aren't running a scheme to make money out of frustrated first-time authors.
d) After the first edition, we play it by ear. What sells will be re-printed, what doesn´t will lie around in storage. (We WILL make an effort to "push" the book! It isn´t our AIM to lose money.
4) We advise authors to get an agent or somebody else to help "polish off the rough edges". We are absolute beginners in this field. We´re looking for great ideas. We don´t consider ourselves gifted editors... though we WILL give our advice/opinion if something occurs to us. This means that
i) Your book is more likely to be published just as you envisioned it, without a lot of changes imposed by our editing staff.
ii) It isn´t likely to sell as well, because of this lack of professional editing.
5) After publishing costs (incl. printing and p&p) have been dealt with, the actual netto profits will be divided as follows:
50% to the creators (writer, illustrator, translator[s] – where applicable). How this 50% is to be divvied up between writer and illustrator (and translator) will be decided on a case-by-case basis, with the creators actively engaged in the decision-making process.
25% to La Gr@not@ to finance future projects (incl. further editions of the same book)
25% to charitable causes. (Amnesty International will be a constant beneficiary. Others on a case-by-case basis.)
6) Sales are mainly to be via Internet. We will try to keep costs down, both to offer value-for-money and to stimulate sales. Creators will be consulted re: book price decisions.
7) We´re sure that more will occur to us later. Any ethical and/or creative suggestions will be appreciated.
To see our range of books, go to http://la-granota.com/list.htm
If you’re an author / illustrator and want to send us material for publication, see our creators' guidelines
Other reasons for contacting us: granota%%%la-granota.com *
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