There’s a specific reason I like income-sharing (or co-op) models for businesses. They inherently work to ensure that everyone’s interests are aligned.
For example, take the “author copies” scam I talked about the other day. A large part of the reason this is problematic is because the publisher’s interest is not aligned with the author’s. Yes, they’re both interested in making money – but the publisher is interested in making money from the authors, not just by selling to readers. So the publisher has less interest in promoting and distributing the book to readers – because they already have a market
by selling marked-up copies to authors.
There is enough acrimony and distrust between authors, editors, and publishers out there today. That’s why I make a big deal about being financially transparent, each project being self-sustaining, and that when I publish 1, I only get paid when authors and
editors get paid.
Sometimes that means my prices are a little higher… because I’m not taking a loss on one project in order to make money on another. That’s not fair to authors. That also means that I don’t publish work that I don’t believe in. If I don’t think it can make money
on its own, then it doesn’t pass the green light.
Because I know that our interests are all aligned, I can trust that authors and editors are all doing the best job they can. “Phoning it in” doesn’t work in a profit-sharing environment. Likewise, they can trust that I am doing my job to the best of my ability. None of us can
take financial advantage of the other.
Being able to trust each other like that means we can focus on the quality of the work, and not have to micromanage or second-guess each other.
And that’s a damn cool thing.
1 As opposed to the daywork of publishing services, such as