I need help. Summer is coming up, and being a teacher, with summer comes free time. With that free time comes the opportunity to do some more work for Domesticated Primate. Given the scope and the type of work that needs to be done, I could use some help setting up a system and getting reliable individuals involved who can help keep us afloat throughout the year.
I started Domesticated Primate with the intention of having a little publishing venture that shares interesting work by creative and unique artists. So far, this mission has been fulfilled. I have been running this endeavor as a non-profit, or more accurately, without personal profit.
Let me explain what I mean…
After putting in an initial investment on our first run of printing (and a smaller investment on every subsequent printing), I have taken the profit and immediately reinvested it into the publishing company. In other words, I am yet to recoup my personal costs, but with every book sold, it becomes easier and easier to publish more works and in more interesting formats. The low pricing of our books is achieved by my not attempting to recoup my initial cost. I have taken into account all of the physical expenses for creating the books and averaged that out. Using this number I devised a complicated method of pricing our works based on percentages, which allows for fairly
even pricing across the board—save for when things like photo paper or alternative bindings are used, two things which I’ve learned can quickly escalate the costs on a product.
By doing this, I’ve been able to keep our traditional paperbacks at a cost of $7, our staple bound books at a cost of $5, and our 100+ page traditional bound paperback photo-book at around $25—though with the sales from our newest releases, this price is about to decrease down to a solid $22. I’m happy with these prices, I think they’re more than reasonable for the quality of the product, and as more product is sold over time, the cheaper the prices will get!
We also have a few amazing artists and writers who have been working with us on things like editing, design, and art. They have done this for no financial benefit, just to be involved in a creative process, and to help bring some interesting art to life. I am so grateful for and energized by their help. Hopefully as Domesticated Primate grows in the future we will be able to provide them with some capital as well—if they desire that (it’s not always about the dollar, you know?).
But right now, we need some help, a different kind of help. Particularly in the areas of social media, website, and marketing. Unfortunately, I cannot pay anyone. In fact, I’m not even paying myself. But what I can provide is a free copy of every one of Domesticated Primate’s releases for as long as you’re helping, as well as back issue copies of our already published material. You will also have the first look when it comes to submission time. In other words, if you submit a manuscript or a collection, you will have first consideration over anyone else for getting it published. Also owning this business, I will do whatever I can to help you in any way. For example, if you need me to sign off on volunteer hours, or edit some work for you, or whatever you might need. We can make it work for you. You know, the wonders of reciprocity.
Here’s a list of a few specific places where we could use some help:
>Someone to manage our Instagram.
>Someone to manage our Facebook.
>Someone to manage our Twitter.
>>A note about social media; I’m not the type to be insane about “staying on brand” or “using our company voice.” In truth, I can’t stand most marketing and cringe at nearly every attempt by a company, organization, or person to “brand” itself. My goal with social media for Domesticated Primate is to share interesting things with people and keep them updated on any happenings/upcoming works. We aren’t trying to take over the world or spam the living hell out of anyone’s pages. I don’t care if it’s one person helping out, or a team of people, or three separate people who manage this or whatever. Ideally it would be someone (or multiple someones) with some free time who like to wonk around on social media and have an interest in books, art, publishing, literature, or things of that ilk. The only requirement is reliability and communication. I don’t care posting at exact times everyday or anything, but semi-regularly with relatively similar quality images or blurbs would be ideal.
>Someone to help with design on the website/streamline it.
>Someone to help set up an online store.
>Someone who can help with the google search term algorithm crap.
>>A note about the website; I am not very good with website design or management. I believe our platform is based off of wordpress, though I am willing to switch to whatever works best for you—as long as it isn’t cost prohibitive. A huge help would even be just sitting down with me a few times and helping get the website into better shape, ie more streamlined and easier to use. I don’t know much about online stores but I would like to set one up where I don’t have to pay a hosting site just to sell our own product. I’m sure there’s a way to do this through our website, but not being literate in this area makes it very difficult for me.
>We need bloggers
>>>A note about blogging; If you’re a good writer and have some ideas for blogging, I’d love to have you on our site. A quick pitch e-mail for the blog—ie subject matter and approximate length—and a quick convo, and we can be off and running. I’m open to basically any subject matter as long as it is well written and unique, creative, or engaging. It doesn’t even have to be literature or publishing specific. Ideally I’d like to put up 2-3 blogs a week by different authors. So, you wouldn’t have to be a regular blogger, even a one of two-off piece would be helpful.
Something to consider is that we are always looking for artists. Writers, graphic designers, painters, sculptors, musicians, anything and everything. If you have any idea for a collaboration, project, or experiment, please shoot a message our way. Anything you think might be too ridiculous or outlandish or risky or unlikely to get picked up otherwise, make sure to send it. We’re probably crazy enough to turn it into something. I’d love to hear it and see what we can workshop.
Thanks for reading, and if you know of anyone else who might want to help out an experimental little indie publishing venture and get some free books in the process, be sure to loop them in!
–Nick (Grand Poobah at Domesticated Primate)