Hello beautiful readers!
I’m back from my writing-cave high in the Scottish mountains, having shaved my beard and scraped the moss from my knees, to bring you an exciting announcement: the new website of my publisher, Endever Publishing Studios, is now live!
I joined Endever some months ago as an in-house author, and I have been busy since polishing and buffing the first book in the Shannen Academy series, Momentum. The book is currently next in the queue for release, after the imminent release of This Never Happened by Ryan Morris, a speculative noir about the nature of reality and the question we may have all asked ourselves at one time or another: ‘What am I doing here?’
So what is Endever?
I may have mentioned this before, but Endever is a unique entity within the world of publishing. The company’s tagline is ‘Books so vivid you’ll think you’re in a movie‘, which reflects our publishing ethos: books are entertainment, and as such they deserve to be treated with the same rigour in development that a film or TV show would be.
Within the film and TV industries, ideas and scripts will be worked and re-worked countless times, honing the characters and plot to (hopefully) their very best version. Obviously this works better in some cases than others; at Endever we like to follow in the footsteps of Pixar Animation Studios, which consistently releases films that are good, sometimes excellent, and sometimes stone-cold classics. Whatever you might think about some of their output (*cough* Cars *cough*), Pixar have hardly ever released a straight-up dud of a film: even their short films are jewels of storytelling, setting and character, and deserve to be studied in their own right.
This is because Pixar has a mantra: story is king. And if character = plot = story, then that means the heart of a good Pixar film is relateable characters coming up against believable drama, and everything else acts in service to this core principle. The Pixar method is to pitch, refine and hone their ideas down to this core idea, which is why Pixar films are so strong and their stories stand the test of time.
At Endever we strive to follow this ideal. Whereas the world of traditional publishing can be very isolating – a lone author working on their lone manuscript, maybe for years, usually interacting with a very small group of people, and often without guarantee of a deal at the end of it – Endever reflects the collaborative model of film and TV development.
So how does it work?
Authors are encouraged to pitch ideas rather than finished works (imagine a director writing, filming, editing and producing a finished film, and expecting it to be a blockbuster, or filming twelve episodes of a TV drama, with no input from producers or a studio system of any kind), and in this way we stick to the mantra: story is king. If the kernel of the idea is good, it will receive the attention it deserves. Different people with different skillsets within the company will be able to give it their attention as it is developed and honed towards publication, and in the process the dead wood will be cut away and the final product will be the best it can.
We feel this is especially vital in the current publishing climate, which is polarised between the big publishing companies and booksellers on one side, and the struggling independents on the other. The advent of print-on-demand and ebooks has made it easier than ever for authors to get their words out to an audience, but in the process two things have happened:
Firstly, there has been a glut of self-published fiction flooding the market, often of poor quality. Just have a look on the Amazon Kindle store, and especially on Kindle Unlimited. I know the saying goes that you should never judge a book by its cover, but in the case of self-published ebooks you really should. A poor cover more often than not means poor content, and the lists on Amazon are full to the brim with covers that look like they were designed in Microsoft Word, with contents to match. I’m not just talking about spelling errors and poor formatting; fundamental elements such as plot, character, tone and style are either ignored or mangled beyond recognition. (I’ll insert a caveat in the form of Dan Brown and E. L. James here, but thankfully they are the exception that proves the rule.) It’s one thing to write a story to make available to your friends and family; it’s quite another to flog it to the unsuspecting public.
Which leads us to the second thing: the drawbridge has been all but drawn up in the traditional publishing world. Agents and publishers are (rightly) fed up with the sheer volume of dross that crosses their desk day in, day out, and in an increasingly saturated market they are focusing purely on what will cut through the noise and shift copies. Mostly this comes down to celebrity biographies, cooking books, self-help books and established names. When the occasional new writer breaks through and wins a prize, it is national news. (Another caveat: there are exceptions to all of this, of course. But this is the prevailing zeitgeist of the age.)
Imagine yourself, then, as a new author with a great idea. You approach an agent, who is only interested in your final draft. You complete the final draft, but it’s just not ‘fresh’ enough for the market. Or (let’s be honest) maybe your writing isn’t up to snuff. But that’s a shame, because the idea is mint. You need some guidance, and someone who can take that idea to production and share it with an audience who would love it.
Then you think, “Well, I could always self-publish.” And that’s tempting, because you know your idea will be out there, ready for people to shell out cash to ingest it; but it’s not been edited, proof-read, beta-read, honed and improved from that first rough kernel. So all that happens is that your awesome idea, complete with its Microsoft Word cover, drowns in the waterfall of sludge in the Kindle lists, and never sees the light of day again.
That’s a shame. And that’s where Endever comes in. Endever will take anything – an idea, a pitch, a chapter, an outline, a rough draft – so long as the idea is there. They will pass it to their team of editors, feed it through the collaborative author process (TM), and bring your story to the audience who wants it.
You might not be a great writer. But you can still be an Endever author. Because Endever is a team, a family, a process. Endever is a means of delivering stories to the public, and those stories can come from anywhere.
Ok, what now?
So here are two things for you to do:
- Budding authors: submit your idea to Endever. Or your manuscript. Or your paragraphs. You’ll be given a fair hearing, fair feedback, and a chance to join the team and add your talents to the pool.
- Readers in search of the Next Great Book: head on over to endeverpublishing.com and check out the first two releases – These Great Affects by Andrew Toy, and A Deathly Compromise by Coral Riviera – then watch the page for news of This Never Happened by Ryan Morris, and, of course, Momentum by Yours Truly.
And, as always, enjoy!