Next up in our Imprint…… of the Future series (which really should have a soundtrack. Imagine some cymbals crashing or a nice synthesizer track playing after “of the future”) is Vanguard Press, which is a division of Perseus (the parent company of Basic, PublicAffairs, Running Press, the remnants of the artist formerly known as Avalon Books, and more).
Vanguard is run by publishing veteran Roger Cooper, and much like last week’s Imprint….. of the Future (cymbals!) it has a unique philosophy built around a philosophy of what makes successful books work.
Whereas 12 mixes a bit of the old school (big enough advances so the authors can take their time to write the books) with a bit of the new school (emphasis on advertising), Vanguard turns the publishing business on its head a bit, and asks the author to share in both the up front investment and (hopefully) the eventual success.
That means: no advances. BUT. Vanguard stipulates in advance a dollar amount they will spend on marketing, and it’s substantial. They also pay higher royalties, and rather than the two accounting periods a year typical of most big publishers, they pay monthly based on actual sales. Author gets paid a month after the book publishes (and monthly thereafter as long as the book sells), the publisher consults closely with them on promotions, and hopefully everybody wins.
The lack of up-front money puts some pressure on authors, which means it’s not for everyone. And Vanguard also targets books that are slightly more of a sure-thing, so not every author is for them. But for those authors who fit the mold and are willing to be patient on the return, it’s definitely a unique opportunity.
How are they doing? Well, they currently have a pretty big bestseller: THE PROSECUTION OF GEORGE W. BUSH FOR MURDER, and I’m very curious to see how they continue to do with authors who are hanging around at the edges of bestsellerdom looking for a push (that marketing budget, hopefully) to break them out.