Our Story

The Bookpress Story

It was 1996. Four single friends dealt with life’s everyday absurdities in Seinfeld, the world fought alien invasion in Independence Day, and people gathered everywhere to dance the Macarena. My book was selected to be published by Simon & Schuster, a century-old behemoth and one of the Big 5 publishers. I was over-the-top excited. My ideas were finally being legitimized. I was going to take the world by storm and could visualize people everywhere clamoring to book me for television appearances and speaking gigs. So I joyfully signed the contract. Shortly after, reality set in, and my visions of talking with Oprah quickly faded.

Once I had signed over the copyright to my life’s work, the manuscript of my inspired words, I lost control, and the problems began. Editing without my knowledge, terrible cover design, especially for a book on creativity (and people do judge books by their covers), and the assumption that I would do most of the marketing myself were only some of the surprises I didn’t expect. I was even required to purchase the 50 copies I wanted to donate to an inner-city youth program. These reasons and many others led me to believe their business model was at best flawed, or at worst, broken. The publishing industry, it seemed, was being controlled by the time-honored traditions of a handful of large companies that, unlike other content industries like music and film, were slow to change.

I knew there had to be a better way to publish inspired content, and after studying the industry for years, I launched Bookpress Publishing in 2010. Initially, I only intended to publish my work and learned many lessons during the process—mostly what not to do. My first book earned success in some ways (I sold more copies of this book than I ever did with Simon & Schuster) but was a dismal failure in others. More importantly, though, people took notice and wanted help with their books too.

Thus, Bookpress began its journey, working with more and more authors and growing our catalog. Authors became partners, services continued to expand, quality was built in at all levels, and national distribution was added.

THE Bookpress Model

Bookpress Publishing is a partner publisher. We’re authors helping authors, sometimes to a fault, but it’s the reason why most of our business comes through direct referral. If our authors are successful, we’re successful. All of our books are published to the same high-quality industry standards with the same national distribution as Big 5 publishers, and most of these books win countless awards in a variety of categories. Bookpress authors always retain ownership and control of their copyright.

Our business model varies based on perceived risk. While we do publish books within a pure traditional business model, the financial risk related to publishing some books may require authors to partially invest in their project (ranging from 20 to 80 percent). Regardless of how a project is financed, we partner with our authors through open communication, honest transparency, and a genuine willingness to jump into whatever foxhole they’re in to fight their battles alongside them. If you have any concerns about our business model, we encourage you to reach out and discuss it with any of our current authors.

We’re committed to helping our authors achieve success with their work regardless of format and serve as a coach throughout the entire process. If a manuscript or story is selected for publication or production (all submissions are thoroughly reviewed and must be accepted by our submissions team), we figuratively hold our authors’ hands throughout their publishing journey.

If you have your own manuscript of inspired words or a story idea people need to see or hear, let’s change the world together.

Anthony Paustian, PhD, Managing Partner