People who work in the book publishing industry must get tired of hearing about their "inevitable" professional demise. It's true that many have lost their jobs and seen publishing houses fold or make deep cuts to staff and budgets, but author Stona Fitch, founder of the Concord Free Press, thinks there's a different (and unconventional) way forward.
Fitch, in addition to having a unusual name that seems quite appropriate for a novelist, started the Concord Free Press with the motto "Free their books and their minds will follow." Anytime anyone orders a book from the site, they receive it with the following statement on the back: "This novel is free. By taking a copy, you agree to give away money to a local charity, someone who needs it, or a stranger on the street. Where the money goes and how much you give—that’s your call. When you’re done, pass this novel on to someone else (for free, of course) so they can give. It adds up."
Notably, most of Concord's authors are well-established writers who want to try ideas that may have had lukewarm, or no, support from traditional publishers. Fitch says Concord is probably not a great fit for first-time novelists. Two years into its existence, Fitch says there is a total of about $135,000 in donations from Concord's books.
On Thursday's show, Kojo's talking to Fitch about how he came up with his unique business model and why Fitch believes it ultimately benefits both writers and readers.