By Iqbal Hussain
Bindery, the new kid in town, will strive to shake up the publishing industry this August. Matt Kaye and Meg Harvey are spearheading the newly founded publishing house, their vision is to have nine “micro-imprints” each being led by a bookish social media influencer.
How does it work, you ask?
The publishing house will reach out directly to literary agents to find manuscripts that fit each social media influencers “taste.” These “tastemakers” (aka influencers) will vet the manuscripts to find their chosen gems. Bindery will attempt to acquire the titles that the influencers feel will be the next bestseller. Once a book is acquired editorial and design will be managed by Girl Friday Productions where Harvey previously worked as Chief Strategy Officer.
They are not stopping there. The aim is to create additional income to help fund these new books by creating a membership platform. There will be tiered fees to gain extra benefits such as “access to live streams, merch, some participation in creative decisions, early copies and even ending up in the acknowledgment section." Once published, authors will earn 50% of net earnings, with influencers and Bindery both taking 25% from book sales.
Some speculators have raised concerns over the authenticity of reviews. Most influencers have amassed a following with recommendations coming from the “good faith” approach, even if in recent years this has meant they have not earned as much as other non-book-related influencers, it has meant their following has faith in the products on their pages.
The concern is them promoting books purely to gain the financial rewards that come with this deal, rather than the neutrality that they previously coveted. The idea of cold bookselling is one that has the book industry in a frenzy, alongside the idea of books being chosen by influencers and not people whose job has been reading and vetting manuscripts to a level that is unparalleled in more traditional publishing houses.
Will Bindery revolutionise the industry? We can’t wait to find out!