"Our main challenge for now is
to help authors distinguish the cooperative concept from the
self-publishing companies - and from traditional publishing models. We
may eventually phase out cooperative publishing, but I don't see that
happening right now. No publisher can expect to serve their readership
by publishing two books a year. That's why this new model is so
~ Robert Buckland,
Publishing Then and Now
Authors in former times often oversaw the printing and
distribution of their own books, but the last two centuries have
witnessed the paramountcy of the commercial publisher, whose business
it has been to organize various services under one roof: choosing and
editing manuscripts, designing and typesetting books based on those
manuscripts, printing the books, then distributing them and promoting
them - all time-consuming and costly. Given the commercial risks, only
a minority of authors could hope for acceptance by such a publisher.
Now, as the 21st century gets underway, we find ourselves in the early
stages of a technological revolution. Amidst all the clamour about
digital publishing, not everyone is aware that this revolution has
affected real, physical books too - reducing the cost of production and
enlarging the possibilities for distribution and promotion. The
editorial and artistic skills that publishers have always called upon
remain irreplaceable, but the paper publishing universe has entered a
state of flux that has no equal since the invention of moveable type.
More on all that at The Publishing Landscape, but let's get down to present cases.
Ocean Cooperative Publishing
publishers. We publish and distribute books in North America, the U.K
and Europe in partnership with our authors. We'll probably never be
able to accept every manuscript submitted, but authors who are
accepted by OCP enjoy the same range of skills and services offered by
publishers of long standing. These may - or may not - begin as a direct
relationship with an editor and go on to include everything author and
publisher require to see a title published. We're a cooperative
publishing house because, like many small publishers today, we can't
afford to do this alone, not even for our qualifying authors. We do not
however apply for or accept government grants of any kind but rely
instead on our own time, money and effort - and on our publishing
partnerships with our authors and their sponsors.
Behind Ocean Cooperative Publishing stands me, Robert Buckland, and The Business of Words - one of the oldest literary and academic editing services on the internet.
What Types of Books are Eligible?
an academic with a book manuscript or thesis you believe deserves
exposure. You're the author of a novel, a collection of short stories,
a miscellany of essays. Your advisors, friends or family think others
would enjoy your writing. You've produced a spiritual or self-help
guide that is helping no one while it sits in your desk drawer. You've
written a book for children or a personal or family memoir. Perhaps
you're merely planning to complete such a book. In every case, we
invite you to submit your work to Ocean Cooperative Publishing for
consideration. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It's
your readers - not a reviewer or committee - who will ultimately decide
If you are a painter, photographer or work in the visual or plastic
arts and have dreamed of a book devoted to your work, the work of your
group, or the work of an artist you support, you'll want to read about
our EyeStorms Books imprint and the Bright Harvest series.
Who is OCP Publishing Right Now?
Just out of the gate this spring are three new books, published under the OCP imprint, Encompass Editions. Three more titles are scheduled for release this summer. Go here to visit the Encompass Editions web site. Return to this page by using the back button on your browser.
Launch: The Basic OC Publishing Program
The Launch program is a cooperative partnership
between Ocean Cooperative Publishing and authors whose work we accept
for publication. Here follows a short description of the service
elements OCP delivers as part of the program. Have a quick look
through, then, if you'd like more detail, go to An Author's Agreement.
The Design of Your Book
As your publisher, we will commission the
professional design of your cover and inside materials. However, as a
cooperative publishing partner, you can instruct OC to execute your own
concept or use your artwork or other materials: We will follow your
instructions. There's no set limit on graphic concept and OC provides
over 30 size formats in paperback, hardcover and color. As your
publisher, we provide PDF and paper proofs at no charge.
The Layout of Your Book
is the step once described as "typesetting" but in fact it includes
much more. Layout determines the look of your book and makes the
difference between mediocre production-line stuff and a beautiful
object to hold and read. As part of the Launch program, your book will
be prepared for press by an experienced technician and designer who is
trained to avoid the many pitfalls that can bedevil the layout process.
The result will be professional in every sense.
The Production of Your Book
Print-on-demand technology has revolutionized the publishing world. As
cooperative publishers, we no longer need stock thousands of copies,
but on twelve hours' notice or less we can ship as many or as few
copies as are required. We produce our books to technical standards
that rival or exceed those of traditional industry publishers. And your
book - the book you worked so hard to write - need never end up in the
remainder bin. What you or we or our distributor sell, OC produces.
That's the beauty of the revolution.
The Distribution of Your Book
new authors are unfamiliar with a key publishing truth: no one can buy
a book if it's unavailable. Ocean Cooperative authors enjoy
distribution through these major book outlets: Ingram, Baker and
Taylor, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, NASCORP. The distribution channel
of Ingram guarantees that your book always appears as in stock and
available to all Ingram customers - more than 30,000 wholesalers,
retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries. And as the OC imprint
develops its list, all OC authors benefit from the company's growing
clout with distributors and sales outlets.
The Promotion of Your Book
be perfectly frank. Promotion - a form of advertising - is expensive,
whether in terms of time or money. The costs of promotion are a major
factor in drastically limiting the number of submissions traditional
publishers can accept. When Penguin Books says, "No Unsolicited
Manuscripts", the company is not trying to be heartless to new authors.
Its management is simply admitting that the company cannot afford to
promote more than a limited number of titles. OCP's mission is to help
break through this economic barrier by providing our authors with an
authentic publishing platform and harnessing our authors' own
motivation and resources to build on that platform. Since OCP books are
never out of print, promotion through word-of-mouth, through blogs,
ads, speaking engagements, local bookstores or community events is an
cumulative process. But before that begins, and as part of OCP's Launch
program, we give every new title a promotional boost by featuring it on
the web sites devoted to our imprints (Encompass Editions, for example)
and issuing press releases through recognized wire services that draw
attention to these pages.
Selling Your Book
With your book available to
booksellers everywhere, you can promote it with confidence, purchasing
copies at the lowest publishing price possible but only as many as you
want and only as you require them. Meanwhile, your author's royalties
from distributed sales through Ingram, Amazon and major on-line
retailers will be considerably higher than those offered by publishers
employing traditional business models.
Your Rights as Author
are accepted for publication under the OC imprint, they surrender none
of their rights as they often do with traditional publishers. You as
author retain full control of all rights, including copyright and
rights to film and other media derivatives of your work. You also own
outright the design and editorial work of our OC team.
The OC Publishing Timetable
Traditional publishers often require a year or two to move books
through their system from contract to delivery. It depends on your
book, of course, and your own requirements as author, but OC generally
manages to ship within 30 days of our signing a contract.
Book Industry Standard
your publisher, Ocean Cooperative obtains national and international
registration of your book, including ISBN numbers, a commercial barcode
and applicable Library of Congress or National Library of Canada
Again, all this is laid out in greater detail in An Author's Agreement.
Ocean Cooperative: More Support
The Launch program may be all a book needs to meet
your and our requirements for success. But authors often ask about a
range of editorial and promotional help and even additional design
work. We provide this at our cost.
Working with a professional editor can be a
gratifying experience for many authors, just as working with a director
is often a rewarding (and necessary) part of acting. The relationship
is a direct and personal one. A good editor stands in for your future
readers and is a mentor and guide, not an exam marker. You can read
more about our editorial work at our sister web site: The Business of Words
Although editorial input is not included in OC's Launch package, you
can submit your manuscript and, if it meets OC standards, see it
progress all the way to book design, production, distribution and sales
without editorial help. Unfortunately, we can't accept every unedited
manuscript for the Launch program (see "The Ocean Cooperative Selection
Process", below), but we can guarantee publication of every manuscript
when you, the author, have worked with me, your editor, on editorial
problems that might otherwise make your book unpublishable.
As to simple copy editing and proofreading, we'll offer you
the best advice we can to enable you to perform these jobs yourself
under the Launch program. Or, of course, we can apply our expertise as
part of the The Business of Words editorial service.
The Launch program allows up to ten hours of our
designer's time without additional cost. This is normally more than
enough to satisfy all concerned. But in exceptional cases, where more
elaborate cover or interior work is required, our designer is available
to you at a discounted hourly rate.
Our distribution network and promotional program is
designed to get our books underway. But book promotion is an intensive
and ongoing challenge to every author and publisher. Ocean Cooperative
can act as your promotional and public relations consultant to keep
this process moving forward.
The Ocean Cooperative Selection Process
Ocean Cooperative cannot accept every manuscript submitted. We do
give every manuscript careful consideration and where possible make
recommendations that we hope will be of service to prospective authors.
Writing is a process, a book is a considerable undertaking, and we
encourage all authors to make future resubmissions as their project
The Contribution of Publishing Partners
If you as an author, or the author you are sponsoring, is accepted for
publication by Ocean Cooperative, your financial contribution under the
basic OCP Launch
program is US$895. All other costs entailed in the set-up of titles
accepted for publication are borne by OCP. After publication, in cases
where our authors wish to purchase copies for their own purposes, the
cost per book to them or their representatives is the lowest available
anywhere. But OCP authors are not required to purchase copies under the
Launch program. OCP titles are generally wholesaled through OCP's
distribution network -- Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and the others
-- and our authors automatically and regularly receive royalties based
on the difference between the price they establish and the production price they pay OCP. Overall, OCP's Launch
offers a level of interactivity and accessibility that is not always
offered in the models employed by traditional publishers. At the same
time, our author/partners' contribution to the cooperative venture is
less than writers are currently paying various self-publishing
companies such as Xlibris and AuthorHouse to produce their books.
The OCP Springboard
I won't go on further about the difficulties most writers face in
finding a publisher. The dreaded spectacle of the slush pile, that vast
heap of unsolicited manuscripts that we imagine teetering dangerously
in young sub-editors' back offices, is sadly not far from the truth.
The good news is that, in recent years, titles published by small
companies such as OCP have proved effective tools for drawing the
attention of larger publishers. And unlike many publishing contracts,
your OCP Author's Agreement does not restrict you or your agent from
reaching a publishing agreement with a larger company.
How Do We Get Started?
Don't waste time on e-mail. Pick up the phone and speak with our editorial desk at any time. I'm usually on duty. My
office telephone number is:
(613) 659 3666
You can reach us by e-mail at:
And we are real people with a real address:
Ocean Cooperative Publishing
9 - 115 Wright Crescent,
Canada K7L 4T8
hope this is the beginning of a memorable experience for you. There are
few greater pleasures for any writer than seeing her or his book in the
hands of another person.
Very best wishes!