Team Publishing Platform
As of November 1, 2013, our team publishing platform has been closed.
Thank you for your interest, and to many of you, for your participation.
For further inquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is team publishing?
Team publishing is a unique, collaborative model for publishing that Hol developed and implemented when first launching. In a departure from traditional methods, Hol's team publishing model brought authors and publishing professionals together online to collaboratively identify, evaluate, and develop titles, and the process was open to everyone. Here was the vision:
- An author would post their book proposal online.
- Designers, editors, publicists and other publishing professionals would review the proposal and others like it. They would apply to be on the publishing teams of the projects they liked best, or those they thought had the best potential for success.
- Once a complete team was formed for a proposal they would work together to develop it into a finished book.
- Upon peer review approval from other Hol teams, the finished project would then be printed, distributed and marketed by Hol.
- And everyone—the author, the team, and Hol—would get paid a percentage of the book's sales for as long as it was selling.
Why team publishing?
On one hand, it was a better way of publishing. The teams handled the things unique to their title, and Hol handled the things that were common to all the titles and could best be scaled. This put the expertise and control where and with whom it was best suited. Teams know their title better than anyone else and are in the best position to nurture and champion it, while Hol and the other teams collectively could support the title with the power of scale and collective leverage.
On the other hand, it made financial sense. As a startup publisher, Hol couldn't afford to invest too much too early in the publishing process, nor could it compete with other established presses with author advances or the like. What it could do was give people the freedom and support they needed, and the opportunity to drive their own destiny and be rewarded with their success as everyone owned a stake in the book.
Did it work?
In many ways it did. Several books were published within the team system, and to this day we are still paying royalties on those books to their authors, designer, editors and other team members. These dedicated and enterprising professionals continue to be rewarded, even if sometimes modestly, for their dedication and passion to the book projects they participated in.
And, in many ways it did not. Those early teams came together anything but independently. Instead they were coaxed and coddled and poked and prodded. Not because team members were hesitant or at all stubborn, but because the idea of team publishing was new and needed a lot of explaining. And of course, Hol was a new, no-name press without the reputation or reach necessary to really gather the critical mass of people necessary to make the system work effectively.
So, what's the verdict on team publishing?
We still believe in team publishing, and given the right time and place it could undoubtedly be amazingly successful. And in fact, there have been a number of efforts in the last few years following similar open and collaborative models so perhaps someday soon, we'll see it happen. And we'll be awfully happy when it does.