Luling publisher joins with Apple for eBook revolution

July 02, 2010 at 9:42 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Luling-based Write2Grow became the first Louisiana publisher to be picked up by Apple, Inc. for its iTunes Book store, which will allow customers to purchase books online to read on their iPads, iPods, computers and eBook readers.

This opportunity puts the small Louisiana publisher in the same ranks as the big five already picked up by Apple: HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Penguin, Macmillan, and Simon & Shuster.

“This is wonderful for us, but we think it has a potentially more powerful impact for the writer’s of south Louisiana,” Gary Dauphin, CEO of Write2Grow said. “We have a lot of talent here, and until now it has been nothing short of painful for authors to get consistent national exposure.
“Our deal with Apple brings immediate opportunities for a national audience, and long-term opportunities to reach a worldwide audience.”

Dauphin started Write2Grow as a non-profit organization that teaches children how to read and write. But he soon discovered how hard it was for a non-profit to secure funds.

“Write2Grow was then turned into a for-profit company so that we could generate revenue for our non-profit activities,” he said. “We became a multimedia publisher that publishes videos, books and eBooks and other multimedia products. ”

Two years ago Dauphin saw how big the eBook market was going to get after the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle and knew online publishing was just the way to get exposure for Louisiana authors.

When Apple debuted their iPad, which is an eBook reader that can also cruise the Internet, Dauphin made his move.

“I used to work for Apple, so I contacted them and we put a deal together,” Dauphin said. “We quickly became the first Louisiana publishing company to be included in their iTunes Book store.”

Dauphin said the best part about eBooks is that they cost next to nothing to reproduce, but give authors exposure that they couldn’t get anywhere else.

“When an author has a book published online, they are put in front of a nationwide audience,” he said. “Revenues generated online can then be used to publish traditional paper books.”

Write2Grow has already signed their first author, New Orleans native Nicholas Favaza, who has written three books.

“Nick has a lot of great stories to tell, but he needed some press and we needed to get the word out about him,” Dauphin said.

Write2Grow is currently in the process of finalizing deals with six more authors.

“After word got out that we had signed a deal with Apple, we received more than 100 submissions,” Duaphin said. “We can only handle about six at a time, and we told some of the other authors to get back in touch with us in September.”

Write2Grow doesn’t offer its authors royalty advances like some of the larger publishers, but instead they give the author up to 87.5 percent of the profits generated by their books.

“Most publishers pay their authors what ends up being about $1 a book, which means that if a book sells for $20, someone else is making $19,” Dauphin said. “I never understood why publishers believe they deserve to make more money than the author.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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