“The first thing I did was I needed to see if my premises were right—if there were good writers who wanted to do something different. I opened the business and started looking.” One book he found, Journey of the North Star by Douglas Penick, was an Amazon contest finalist. Another came from a Colby professor Susan Sterling, author of Dancing in the Kitchen, who was “willing to try something different with me.” Mason sticks to his vision for high-quality fiction. “I said no to most everything unless I really, really believed in it.”
Next came the challenge of distribution across a wide array of options. “I needed to figure out how to deliver through every platform, even those we don’t know about yet. I discovered BookBaby and that was the answer to my problem.” BookBaby, which calls itself “the world's largest ebook distribution network for indie authors,” enables Mason to have the reach he desires.
With Cooney now on his roster, Caleb is prepared to keep working at slowly growing the company, hoping to publish about twelve books a year. His outreach focuses on social marketing, but also included a New Yorker ad. Feedback is positive, including a Richard Russo endorsement for Dancing in the Kitchen and five-star reviews on sites from “real readers.”
Mason definitely thinks he’s in the right place at the right time with his all “e” model. “The number of tablets that will be sold this year at Christmas is going to be astonishing.”
In sum, he’s cautiously optimistic. “I have a great feeling in my gut about what we are doing, and so does Ellen and our other authors, which is very encouraging. Nobody knows where any of this stuff is going, and that's what so much fun about it: the chance to do things differently.”