Continuing the discussion from Ingram Checklist for Submitting Books:
Hi Marco, I am creating a new topic with this reply, since it doesn’t relate directly to book metadata but touches on the economics of collaborative work. You asked:
My hope and intention is that in the future we have at least a couple or more professional-level (or skilled/hobby/apprentice-level amateur) designers in the co-op who could could offer their services to a given project on a basis of whatever up-front compensation we can offer, with the possibility to be more fully rewarded later if a project generates income. This would mean our books would appear more aesthetically coherent and reflect well on the co-op as a whole.
I have been calling this a “faith-equity” model because the premise would be contributing to a project because one believes in it, not necessarily out of expectation of a reward… though open to acts of divine grace. In other words, this is for projects that are worth doing anyway, even if they are not immediately profitable.
However, we could also use a platform such as Open Collective to create Patreon-like (but communally focused) sponsorship options for projects that could be used to fund design, typesetting, proofreading, and so on. The co-op could have a fundraising and budgeting bucket earmarked for design.
A third possibility is that we create a credit system or internal currency to track the various contributors’ inputs into a project, so as long as people are happy giving and receiving, there could be a kind of gift economy among co-op members
It is likely that initial projects will utilize some kind of contract mechanism whereby income can flow back to contributors, being capped by the value of the time they have put in, perhaps with some additional gratitude premium
A sample breakdown might be:
- Cosmos Co-op (split with Untimely Books): 30%
- Author Royalties: 35% to 70%, unlimited
- Contributor Dividends: 35%, capped
So for example, let’s say a book earns 10,000 in profits and $2,000 of design work has gone into a project. The author and design team would each earn 35% until roughly $6000, after which the author would earn 70% of the remaining amount.
This is just an example I have been noodling of how the economics of this could work. Currently, @kayla is lined up to design Geoffreyjen and Brian George’s books, but she generally has less than 10 hours/week available for Cosmos work and also handles various web design tasks. That’s why I am hoping if we open up formal membership and extend a wider invitation, we could add to the sum total of creative skills available in the community, while growing our capacity to produce beautifully made books.