The reason for this for funding request is to fuel our growth and expansion through increased levels of marketing, higher inventory purchase levels, the hiring of 5-12 people over the next year, and to cover seasonal cash flow shortages inherent in the publishing industry. The long term goal for would be a line of credit of up to 1 million dollars that would be seasonally paid off.
Initiative for Business
I’ve been involved with books from an early age. I guess I got that from my dad. When he died my mom passed on to me several stories he had written as a child, she also had some I had written when 7-9 years old. It was hard to tell them apart.
I remember as a kid, it wasn’t just the writing and reading that appealed to me, but putting together collections of other kids work. The genesis of a company was born, even if it did take me another 40 years to realize it.
While in college I began work on my first published piece, “Beyond the fears of tomorrow”. My inspiration for this was Longfellow and Pushkin. I had just finished reading Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” for a Russian Literature and said to myself, why not a novel length Science-Fiction poem.
I worked on this piece off and on from 1979. Finally, in the winter of 2004 my wife said “Take some time off and finish your book.” So I did. And Dailey Swan Publishing was born.
So what is Dailey Swan Publishing, Inc and what will we be doing?
Welcome to the world of Dailey Swan Publishing. We will be bringing you the best of new authors in the genres we all love. Join us as we search out new lands, ideas, mysteries, and journeys through the universe around us. And we hope, always with a little twist, to keep our lives from becoming mundane.
Publisher Casey Swanson developed the business plan with the support of the West Contra Costa Business Development Center. This built in part on Casey Swanson’s two years running U.S. operations for a Canadian publisher and three years as a publisher’s representative. Since that time new thought has gone in as well concerning the changing conditions of the publishing industry.
Launched in 2006 at the BayCon science fiction convention in San Jose, Dailey Swan Publishing now has over 40 authors under contract for 50 titles; 30 titles are available now, with 12 scheduled for 2011, and 5 so far scheduled for 2012.
The company distributes trade paperback books primarily through MidPoint Trade Books, Ingram Books, Baker and Taylor, and other regional distributors. In Europe our books are distributed through Gazelle. Although the books are available through the large chains and Amazon, the company emphasizes sales through independent bookstores and is an active member of Indie-Bound, the independent bookstore organization. Dailey Swan is currently a member of 4 regional bookstore trade groups and plans on being a member of all 14 by the end of 2011. As part of this, Dailey Swan will be taking advantage of a new program where copies of our 4 major releases for 2011 will go to the 450 largest indie stores for review and recommendation.
Not unique, but still being embraced by the industry, is our use of the latest technology. We are trying to look beyond the dinosaur age of the publishing industry to embrace new changes in technology that will allow us to continue to grow and prosper. We begin with the digital world. No longer do we use rotary presses but digital presses, printing not of plates but digital PDF templates of the books. Not to be confused with the vast and growing world of self-publication, where there are thousands of digital copiers printing books on demand for authors, these are multi-million dollar printers using inkjets. For this we are lucky to have a close relationship with our printer, Total Print Systems, located in Southern Illinois.
E-Books in over 150 formats, including Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and all major US, European, and Asian formats, are available through Scribd. We will our own proprietary pdf’s of the 6 major formats of e-books for sales of the Dailey Swan and other sites for all titles by mid-2011.
The company intends to be a major player in publishing with titles in multiple genres categories; including Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, New Poets, Non-Fiction, Euro-Fiction (2012 releases), Children’s (2013), and Golden Age (2014 ).
With gross profit margins running to 50 per cent in the publishing industry, Dailey Swan projects selling 200,000 books in 2011, excluding our offering of our titles as e-books. We will be using the Internet for publicity and promotion, including podcasting books.
Target Market and Marketing Strategy
The target market for Dailey Swan Publishing will be readers from 12 and up interested in reading books. Because of the large carryover to the graphic novel industry, we will be using known graphic novelists for our cover and interior illustration work. In 2012 we are introducing a hybrid Young Adult (YA)book, it reads like a graphic novel with limited illustrations.
To help achieve our goals we are enlisting a network of independent publishers’ reps through the national organization of which we are a member. This should be in place for 2011.
We are a member of Independent Book Publishers Association, a source of knowledge and publicity.
Our competition exists primarily of a complementary nature. At the conventions we have attended the other more established small press’s were eager to help and share there knowledge and experiences. It’s in everybody’s interest the market for books, in all of their formats, continue to grow.
A network of reviewers interested in covering our line is being established and the first reviews are coming in.
We are pursuing a steady growth strategy of working primarily with different markets each year; in year 1 developing an initiative with the independent book stores around the country. In year 2 we added Borders and Barnes and Nobles chains and their affiliates. Ingram joined us in 2009 after our attendance at the national trade show in New York. We have since had our first sales to Books-a-million and Hastings. All books are available through Amazon.com and other e-bookstores and through Scribd as e-books.
Podcasting of selections will begin in 2011 as well on ours and affiliated web-sites. (Podcasting is a voice reading of a 3-5 minute selection of each title. This is then available on the website. We have a professional voice who is willing to do it for $50.00 per title.) A short sample is now up on our website.
In 2010 we began our short story program. Our goal is to publish 40-50 short stories on-line per year with the readers favorites published in an annual mixed genre anthology. Both Publishers Weekly and Midpoint are excited to see how it turns out. The program has already dramatically increased traffic to our site and our Scribd site www.scribd.com/daileyswan.
Also for 2011, Dailey Swan is working to build a national sales force through the National Association of Independent Publisher Representatives
The book market is unique in that we are dealing with two intertwined buying entities, the Bookstores and the buying public.
Social marketing through the internet has become a huge source of marketing opportunities for authors. From the giants such as Facebook and Scribd, to the hundreds, if not thousands of author and fan based sites; this expansion of the internet has brought new forces into play that we plan on taking full advantage of through our authors. At the same time we will not be ignoring the traditional author outlets of book signing and fan based events, both of which we plan major expansions of in 2011 and beyond. Our authors take an active part in this, planning signing, finding fan based events, participating in the shows introducing and selling their books.
The publishing industry runs on cycles based on the production cycle of books and the seasonal buying cycles of the industry.
Our business is based to a large part on the continuously expanding nature of today’s technology enabling us to fully utilize the concept of just in time marketing.
With our printer in Southern Illinois and our Master Distributor across the state of Missouri in Kansas City, we can maintain minimum inventory levels bases on projected need, and for first runs on preorders, and know we can always get product to the stores in a reasonable time.
The Book Project Time Line
Continuous Reading manuscripts
18 months to publication Title is chosen
Contract sent to author
Social marketing begins by author
12 months to publication ISBN Number assigned
Authors Word File Arrives
Cover artist is selected (1/2 Paid)
9 months to publication First editing
8 months to publication Book build begins
7 months to Publication Cover is finished
Marketing Synopsis is prepared
Presentation to major buyers
Marketing to bookstores begins
4 months to publication Book back to author for review
3 months to publication Line editor reviews build w/Any author changes done
Galley Proof to Publishers Weekly and MidPoint
PDF files to Total Print
Galley Proofs reviewed
Prepress run done and sent to author (100) and Indie Bound reviewers (450)
2 months to publication Order to printer based on preorders
1 month to publication Books received at midpoint
Books to Ingram, Baker and Taylor and other preorders
Books sent to reviewers
Publication date Book for sale in stores
4 months from release First receivables
5 months from the release First midpoint receivables
October each year a catalogue is prepared for bookstores and reps highlighting the next year’s releases and back list titles.
(October is when regional associations hold there events.)
April each year, finish marketing preparations for that years BEA (National Book Show)
Management and organization
From 1978 to 1980 I ran the US distribution center for a Canadian Publisher.
From 1980 to 1983 I worked as a publisher’s representative. Unfortunately at that time there was no national organization of reps to coordinate things. I remember I went to my first National Book Association convention with two book lines in hand and no room to stay. I ended up being put up in a suite by a publisher and leaving with eight lines to represent when I left.
I have a BA in History and Russian Area Studies from the University of Washington.
Among other programs I have been through professional and managerial training programs with Keebler, Prudential, Providian, Aflac, and Lithia Motors.
I have 20+ years of experience managing sales units and companies
Gordon has won numerous awards in design and is our leading force in book design and graphic marketing needs. With his Windward Design graphic art’s company he has remained on the edge of current tools and development.
We contract out with our cover artist on a per project basis.
We look to hire 5 people over the next year to help with the following;
event planning, book building, graphic design and cover layout, editing, accounting, marketing, web design and maintenance, and internet marketing.
Positions will range in salary for $25,000 to $45,000 per year ( current industry averages per PW, July issue)
Critical Risks and issues
Including all aspects of sales, the publishing industry remains strong with its multiple formats of hard-cover, paperback, trade-paperback, e-book and audio book sales. Even during this recessionary period we have seen sales in the categories we do business in, trade paperback and e-books, increase in volume.
The main risk, being an entertainment item, is the reception of our titles by the book buying public. The risk in minimized by several factors; a strong backlist, using the principles of just in time to maintain minimum inventory levels for all titles, Publishing 12 titles a year (we would like to see this number increase over time), and not paying authors advances for titles the publish. That last idea may seem out of place in the industry, but advances can tie up huge cash reserves for the publisher with no guarantee of results. And we have been able to sign several notable authors such as John Baker of CNN and Pulitzer Prize winner William Beecher , author of The Acorn Dossier, without them.
Throughout our process risk is minimized and with our strategies in place we can move our resources quickly from a failing title to one which needs more marketing help.