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Publishing Without Amazon

Posted: March 5th, 2015, 5:07 pm
by DartFrog
I used to have my books available on Amazon. I don't anymore. In the wake of that decision came the birth of a publishing company and now distribution company that is unique in one major way: none of our titles are available on Amazon. Why? First, authors earn hardly anything when their books sell on Amazon. Second, Amazon is making life for independent bookstores almost unsustainable. Our solution was to create a distribution company called DartFrog that distributes exclusively to independent bookstores (and in this way, provides the bookstores a competitive advantage over Amazon, who won't have access to our titles). Bookstores love the idea of a distributor that sells exclusive content just to them, and authors will love the idea that their books can achieve preferred location in independent bookstores (because it is in the bookstore's interest to bring people's attention to the books that aren't available on Amazon). We launched DartFrog about a week ago, so we are just now beginning to spread the word/start the discussion. We are looking for authors who may not fit the commercial publishing checkboxes. We are looking for authors who understand that placement in local independent bookstores is much more powerful than being listed on Amazon worldwide. We are looking for authors and small press publishers who want to join a movement that partners with independent bookstores to create a competitive advantage in an Amazon-dominated market (because thriving independent bookstores is in the interest of every author). Authors have been lulled into thinking that Amazon is a must-have for every title. The truth is, it's not. In fact, we've discovered that life outside of Amazon is filled with much greater potential. Please visit our publishing site ( or our Distributor site ( for more information. I look forward to a discussion in this thread. Thanks!

Re: Publishing Without Amazon

Posted: March 6th, 2015, 1:53 pm
by longknife
Maybe I scanned it too fast.

You only do hard copy publishing with direct distribution to book stores? Where and how many?

No e-books?

Are authors expected to pay up-front money in order to get published?

Re: Publishing Without Amazon

Posted: March 6th, 2015, 4:25 pm
by polymath
I explored the websites. What is unique about the services offered? Is literature culture advanced by these services' offerings? I see services that are mechanistic and oriented, like so much of publication culture anymore, on toxic caretaker exploitation of self-gratification's vanities. The offerings more or less step further along, to a point other independent publishers have gone, the progression axis of already existent vanity publication Digital Age technology enables and makes possible and conveniently self-gratifying.

Independent publisher ISBNs and platforms to work around vanity publisher stigmas.
Limited, if any, intensive editorial perspective: about par for vanity publishing overall.
Monetary appeals forefront; no declared or accessibly implied creative aesthetics slant appeals.
General unawareness of reading culture audience appeals and, otherwise, pipe-dream commerce and daydream writing.

The intent projected is commerce. A literary product's only appeal of mention is its artful packaging of social commentary. Period. Then a literary product's financial performance is a metric of a message's persuasive effectiveness and social assent. The former appeal, the cause; the latter appeal, the effect, not the other causal way around.

Consider incorporating into the business plan a creative aesthetics slant, eg, youth and adult literature that struggle with, say, an identifiable social-moral human condition (self-gratification as a vanity subset of pride, envy, sloth, gluttony, and greed, for example, maybe lust and wrath too); and give notice and method of editorial perspective: someone or someones who know more than self-publication par grammar and style, and content and organization. Seventh grade language arts and sciences skills is the global native English speakers' average and is a slight lead on vanity publication par. Passionate readers, readers who generate word-of-mouth buzz, the only infallible marketing strategy, read ahead of par, even for a grade-level age, say, younger than seventh grade.

Re: Publishing Without Amazon

Posted: March 6th, 2015, 10:52 pm
by DartFrog
Authors don't pay us anything. There are lots of vanity presses out there for people who just want to print their stuff, but we are not one of them. We are a publisher, and if we choose to work with an author, it's because we think his/her work has potential. We reject more authors than we accept, to be honest. But once a book that we have worked on is ready for publication, it goes on sale and the author receives a royalty from each sale.

And yes, we focus on print books. We may expand into digital books at some point, but for now our main focus is the printed book. As convenient as digital is, we are people who still prefer holding a book in our hand. Part of our mission, also, is to support independent bookstores, which steers us more in the direction of print rather than digital books.

As for our distribution company, we just launched it last week, so we are just now beginning to build bookstore connections. Our distribution network, therefore, is not big. But we are working on it! We launched the website to introduce people to the unique concept of a distributor who distributes only to independent bookstores. That's what is unique about our services, to answer "polymath's" question. A publisher or distributor that chooses to cut Amazon out of its business model is, we think, offering a unique perspective. Advancing the cause of literature (again, to answer "polymath's" question) is all about re-establishing a focus on storytelling, as opposed to a focus on the money that can be made from telling certain stories as opposed to others. We publish stories that we love, whether or not they fit the corporate definition of a publishable title. We publish stories we believe in, whether or not we think they will earn any money. That has nothing to do with vanity (especially since authors don't pay us anything) and everything to do with advancing the cause of the written word as something that should never be reduced to a financial equation.

If you have a manuscript that you would like us to consider, we would be pleased to review it. You can send it through the "Submit a Manuscript" page of our website.

Re: Publishing Without Amazon

Posted: March 7th, 2015, 12:15 pm
by polymath
A word to the wise: a publisher who publishes the publisher's own works, publishes family's works, and/or publishes personal acquaintances' works lacks professional objectivity, though not proscribed by law, is a conflict of interest, and is a vanity press.

Re: Publishing Without Amazon

Posted: March 7th, 2015, 1:31 pm
by longknife
polymath wrote:A word to the wise: a publisher who publishes the publisher's own works, publishes family's works, and/or publishes personal acquaintances' works lacks professional objectivity, though not proscribed by law, is a conflict of interest, and is a vanity press.
That's exactly my feeling!!!