Concord Free Press calls themselves the world’s first generosity-based publisher. Instead of a monetary exchange between reader and publisher, the Massachusetts-based non-profit asks that you give money to someone else when a reader receives a copy of one of their books. They make it all work through donations, low costs, and generously donated time on the part of designers, editors, and printers.
They ask that readers report their donation online and to date Concord Free Press has raised more than $130,000 for causes around the world. After factoring their costs, the publisher calculates their ROI at more than 800%.
Others are helped too. Founder Stona Fitch used her own novel Give + Take as the first book given away, after the book was orphaned following the departure of her editor. The success and publicity of the whole venture has caused St. Martin’s to pick up Give + Take. The book will be released in May.
Be sure to check out Fitch’s account in Publisher’s Weekly.
There is so much that is interesting about this story. The fact that we could give one thing and expect something completely different in return is wonderful. We also see again that free is a powerful way to spread an idea, but it is not the mailing of free books that creates the success. No, the success comes from the story of what Concord Free Press doing for readers, authors, and the world at large.
Call it “Pay It Forward” Publishing.