The Corner Office: Indie Thinking Drives Dzanc Books
• How have you deviated from the template of how a traditional book publisher is “supposed” to operate?
Wickett: A lot of horror stories that we’re hearing … [are] that [authors] are hearing [from publishers], “We love this book. We just don’t know how to sell it.” It’s because they’re allowing sales and marketing to pick what is published. Sales and marketing is something Steve and I do after we decide to publishing something.
Gillis: When you have the old template, it’s, “Let’s look at a book, and can we make money off of it?” We look at it and say, “Is this a book that excites us?” If this is a book that excites us, it will find its own market. We don’t do a market analysis on a book. … We have other editors and interns, so a book goes through a detailed vetting process. We don’t ever, ever reject a book by who’s going to buy it. … There’s some unique stuff on our list. That doesn’t scare us at all.
• How do you approach advertising and marketing?
Gillis: One of the things you don’t see is [publishers] getting authors out there to read anymore. That’s another thing that Dan and I said from day one. They just don’t or won’t send an author on a tour. We’re not going to publish a book and let it die on the vine. Some authors don’t like to read as much as others, and it’s not economically sound to send an author cross-country. But we’re helping an author to build a career, and you do that reader by reader. We do everything we can to get them out and expose them. …
Wickett: A lot of authors are geared toward sitting at that desk, and writing and hoping someone will find their words. They’re not [always] the best to do their own marking. [The Internet] is where the industry has gone. You have to have your own Web site. If you blog—great. If you can set up readings in your hometown—great. …