“What we’re bringing into existence is unlike anything ever offered for writers in the history of publishing.”
Rhonda Kay -CEO Steemhouse Publishing
What if the world had a publishing house where the “gatekeepers” offer help and encouragement, not just form rejection letters? An ecosystem where authors can participate as editors? Where everyone involved can become investors? What if hopeful writers could speak one on one with publishing house staff? Get feedback on their work? Learn how to make it publishable? Learn how to write what sells? What if “real people” could have access to the same publishing and promotional resources as most top authors in the industry and still collect up to forty percent of royalties after the publisher’s cut?
We think we know exactly how to make all of this a practical, permanent reality.
Steemhouse Publishing founders have heard the frustration expressed by authors, editors, agents, and even readers about the difficulties faced in bringing new, high quality fiction to market. So we asked ourselves the following questions:
We believe the old model is imperfect, and that there is a better way. When we began to explore alternatives to the nearly impossible gauntlet highly talented authors face in getting exposure and compensation for their work, we saw that it could be done. Not only that, but we could offer them more access to professional marketing, as well as coaching that helps them to improve their craft, and still run a profitable publishing company.
We’re about to share our plan with you to revolutionize independent publishing and give serious authors a chance to compete in traditional, Top-Five markets. To our knoweledge, we are the only project of this nature in existence at this time.
Steemhouse Publishing is an independent book publisher with a focus on quality fiction. We’re also a thriving online community of writers, editors, and skilled creatives capable of mentoring authors from their very first attempt at fiction all the way to publication. Because we’re rooted deeply in the Steem blockchain community, we have the ability to generate income in both cryptocurrency and FIAT environments. This gives us an edge when it comes to affording aggressive promotion of our authors.
A blockchain is a type of digital ledger that records transactions across a very secure infrastructure. Wikipedia has a great article about blockchain technology here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain. However, it isn’t necessary to have greater understanding of this topic in order to know how our publishing ecosystem will operate. Our website will include a Steem wallet and the option for writers to become only as involved with the blockchain as they want to be. The bottom line is that we will function within the scope of traditional publishing and target mainstream audiences, and hopefully give our authors the best possible chance of success.
Steem is one of the most efficient blockchains in existence. “Steem” is also the name of the cryptocurrency associated with it. Steemhouse Publishing emerged from the Steem blockchain user base and has deep roots in that community. Find more information about the Steem blockchain here: https://steemit.com/.
The idea of starting a crypto-backed publishing house germinated in 2017, when the Steem community neared an unprecedented peak of activity. Bitcoin’s performance in late autumn of that year gave us a first look at the potential of cryptocurrency to affect world markets. Regardless of fluctuation in value, we’ve seen the possibilities, and our vision is steadfast.
Steemhouse Publishing is now an LLC in the Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. We have formed a legal business entity, and have a tax I.D. number. We have a full staff of highly competent editors. We have a novel physically on bookstore shelves across the U.S. that bears the Steemhouse brand. We’ve accomplished all of this without large investments or cash infusions. And we’re just getting started.
Those of us involved with this project are taking a different approach with our publishing house. We’ve seen a gap in traditional publishing, where some of the greatest contemporary talent is shoved out of the market by big name authors and left with only self-publishing as an option. Sometimes, that talent needs only a tiny bit of guidance or editorial help to produce writing that exceeds the quality of many mainstream books. We intend to offer recourse for promising authors whose work may not ever see the light of day.
How will we accomplish this? As shown by the triangle above, Steemhouse Publishing is the pinnacle point, but underneath it are two foundation points–an active, informal community where editors, authors, and readers mingle, and a blockchain front-end site that rewards authors for shorter fiction not published in book form. Workflow runs both directions between all points. For example, a novel writer could find us through our community or our literary magazine. Often, they will need coaching on the finer points of mechanics. We will refer them to the community for mentoring rather than reject their work with no explanation.
Writers with an account can submit a manuscript for consideration by Steemhouse Publishing, or a short piece to be considered for the featured section of our front-end site, which will operate like a traditional literary magazine. The entire business model is very fluid and interactive, designed to maintain high standards of quality without putting the barrier of impersonal gatekeepers between writers and publication.
Our community makes use of a Discord server that offers features like real-time chat, voice and video chat, and screen sharing. Discord is free to use, secure, and has a relatively shallow learning curve for the non-technical among us. In our Discord, we run regular workshops that focus on the craft and mechanics of writing. To visit our community and learn more about us, feel free to follow this link: https://discord.gg/kAb4KKa . When you first land in the server, you’ll be in Welcome Center. Please chat with our Hosts so they’ll know you’re a real person and not a spam bot, and they’ll give you the necessary roles to interact in other areas of our community. Please let them know you’re there after finding the link on this site.
We intend to publish short fiction and serialized novellas that will appear on the Steemhouse Literary Journal website, which is still in development. Work approved through our submissions queue will be eligible for authors to use in professional portfolios as is the case with any mainstream online lit mag. In this submissions process, author’s whose work is not yet suitable for publication in our literary magazine will be informed of the reasons,rather than being subjected to a form rejection letter. In many cases, we will offer these authors a consultation with our editing team at no cost to discuss ways to improve the material.
Steemhouse Publishing will function in very similar ways to most traditional publishing houses and small press. The foremost difference will be the royalty split with our authors. We’d like to offer 40% to the author, which is a significantly higher percentage than the 8-15% common in the industry. This will be experimental for a while as we explore different strategies. We don’t have the overhead cost of office space and other expenses that traditional businesses encounter. Most of our expenses will be marketing and promotion, and we also intend to employ salaried staff. We have to cover those costs. But since this is a crypto-backed enterprise, we will have additional options for investment and that is not typical in most mainstream business ventures.
Rather than focus on volume, we intend to start slowly, with a few novels released every year. We’ll spend a great deal of time preparing each one for market. Then, we’ll use traditional resources like Netgalley for pre-launch exposure and many other promotional services that are proven in the industry. Steemhouse Publishing is a member of IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. Membership gives us access to many resources we would not otherwise have.