The Black Spring Press Group is three limited companies, linked together to form one larger indie publishing group.
We offer two models of publishing.
Here are the options:
1. Traditional Publishing with Eyewear and Black Spring Press
A traditional approach to publishing whereby an author approaches us, or we approach them, and if both parties agree, a traditional publishing contract is signed - whereby the publishing company pays the writer, and undertakes the full costs and risks of production: the gold standard Eyewear/Black Spring model. For more on this, our main traditional route, see here:
2. Partnership Publishing with Maida Vale and Dexter Haven under the BSPG banner.
This business model is undertaken by Maida Vale Publishing and Dexter Haven Limited on a case-by-case basis; your book will be published under one of these imprints only. Red Penguin is an example of this company form, and it is a legitimate option, better than self-publishing, as it offers bookshop distribution. This form of publishing is NEVER undertaken by Black Spring Press or Eyewear Publishing. To read more about this, see below. To be clear, you CANNOT PAY US TO PRINT YOUR BOOK - regardless of what you offer. We must want to take your book on, and truly believe in it, and want to share in the costs and time investment, to even consider this sort of partnership. We are not printers, we are dedicated publishers who apply love and care to every title we take on. We reject dozens of offers of books weekly, because we are not interested.
Every poet and author should try their best to find a literary agent, and then sign a publishing deal with a large press, with large marketing budgets, if their ambitions lie in the direction more of commercial success. Agents provide a great deal of support and large presses can generally offer higher advances and sales.
As a small boutique indie publisher, we cannot compete with mega-dollar companies, and we do not claim to. Our advances are (much) smaller and we offer traditional contracts that we not only believe in, but that we see a demand for in the market.
While most of the team are writers, art lovers and believe in expression for all, we do have to be particular with the choices we make in order to meet the market of demand halfway. Bookshops have a responsibility to fill their shelves with books they know their customers want to see. Some books, though brilliant and a masterpiece in its own right, are a little trickier to pitch to bookshops and therefore require more risk taking; it is at this point that publishers may decide your work isn't best for their catalogue and that is where the story ends for most writers; unable to find a publisher who will assist them, they self-publish.
This is where we as a publisher offer the author another option to consider. We have an imprint created especially for this tricky situation - a co-op model; a mutual investment, where the publisher partners with the author, and invests 50% of the costs, taking half the risk. The Partnership-Publishing model offers the chance for an author to invest in their book, alongside the publisher. This model helps us as a publisher in our mission to discover unique talent and keep the door open for more writers.
HOW DOES PARTNERSHIP PUBLISHING WORK?
Practically speaking, the author gets a standard contract and all the usual editorial, design, production, publishing and marketing support we offer authors. This means your book is entered into prizes, sent for review, and sold into good bookshops across the USA, UK and Ireland, as well as online at Amazon. The difference is that the author is offered 50% of the sales profits. In exchange for this better deal (offered because the risk is shared) the author invests in some of the production costs up front, sometimes only as a temporary loan, sharing the risk equally with the publisher, who becomes their business partner for this project. Depending on the marketing spend and levels of editing or ghost-writing required, this can cost £4k or a bit more.
WHY WOULD A WRITER DO THIS?
Partnered publishing offers writers the chance to create a bespoke, completely unique project, with more control than most publishers will offer. Some books are huge, strange, eccentric, unusual, or even too commercial or personal for some publishers. Collaborating authors may have been frustrated by making endless rounds of agents and publishers, and tired of hearing No as an answer. With the Maida Vale Publishing and Dexter Haven model, they have an opportunity to achieve their goal.
IS THIS VANITY PRESS PUBLISHING?
No. The hybrid model is a partnership, and an eyes-wide-open business deal based on mutual respect. Because the publisher continues to invest a minimum of 50% of the expense of creating the book and also continues to share in the royalties, the publisher will want to help sell and promote the book for years to come. Far from being a short-term scam, it is a respectable, reciprocal, co-operative model. Some major authors have been involved in such co-operative endeavours. It is more like how A-list actors becomes producers of, and owners in, their major motion pictures, thereby retaining more control and profit.
WHAT IF MY BOOK IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
Maida Vale Publishing and Dexter Haven Limited can only take on projects it believes in.
However, since we take the time to develop the book with the author, we seek to make sure the book is of sufficient quality to be published. And since the author agrees to share some of the risk, we can take on more unusual and unique books.
WHAT MAKES A BOOK UNPUBLISHABLE?
A work judged by experienced editors to be without any redeeming intellectual, emotional, or artistic merit; a book without any sense of literary or genre tradition; or a profoundly offensive work that breaks hate speech or obscenity laws.
HOW DO I SUBMIT?
For interest in any of our services, please email