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Our Writing / Publishing Journey

As internationally published, award-winning authors, we have experienced the publishing side of things from the author perspective. Our experience covered multiple publishers and led us to explore every possible iteration of how books are being published in the 21st Century.

Michael Jenet met a publisher at an event, having sat next to him at a table, and they discussed the book he was writing at length.  They kept in touch over the course of the next year, the publisher having indicated his intent to publish the book, but when the time came and Michael reached out to him at the end of the year, he was told that they ‘already decided all the books they were going to publish’ the coming year.

After getting National exposure on CBS Sunday Morning for her 50 in 52 Journey, Dafna Michaelson Jenet was contacted by an agent about her upcoming book and promised a plethora of support.
After signing a contract, however, it became rapidly apparent that the agent had other priorities.  They had also neglected to mention that their area of priority was a completely different genre of book.  The agent simply saw an opportunity for themselves from someone who had garnered national attention but had no intention of authentically helping and supporting the author with the writing process. They were simply in it for themselves.

Fortunately, both Dafna and Michael finally found a publisher willing to publish their books.  The process, however, did not live up to the billing. 
The editing provided by the publisher was marginal at best and often felt disconnected from the authors or their content. 
During initial discussions the publisher alluded to multiple marketing tools and support only to find out later that these were purchasable add-ons provided by the publisher and their subsidiaries.
Support for additional formats such as audio-books was non-existent and in some cases, the audio book versions were never distributed.

Later, the publisher sold the business.  A new publisher took on the existing catalog of authors, but immediately changed the publishing model to a ‘pay-to-play’ model with up-front cost to the authors, leaving many of the existing authors, as well as new writers, with little to no path forward.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the new publisher began to extort money in order to keep our books in print. Several months later, after having had to pay the extorsion to get the rights to the books back, we decided something had to be done.

What we learned is that the publishing industry is not designed to benefit the author.  As authors we were frustrated by the lack of genuine help and support provided by publishers and the disingenuous efforts to help authors be successful.

In our work via The Journey Institute, we have always been focused on building community.  We decided to bring that focus to create an author community of those who are overlooked by large publishing houses and create a publishing company that would provide authentic tools and support and a model that would benefit authors more than the publisher.

Disrupting the Model

In creating a publishing arm to the work we do at The Journey Institute, we wanted to disrupt the publishing model that is available to the everyday writer, the author who is overlooked by larger more traditional publishers and who is often left with the self publishing model as their only option. Our focus is primarily, though not exclusively, on the communities of women, bipoc, and lgbtq+.

By creating a non-profit publishing model, we want to provide the tools, resources, and support to authors who otherwise would not have access to them, to tell the stories that otherwise would not be told.

As a non-profit publisher we are creating a model that is first and foremost dedicated to helping authors be successful.  Successful in their writing.  Successful in their publishing process, from editing to book cover design to layout and typography, and finally to publication and distribution.

With this model we will embrace authors at the beginning of their writing journey, enrolling them in a writing workshop to receive tools, guidance, and support as they take their story/idea from concept to paper. 
We will continue to provide support and engagement from our author community to surround the author as they navigate the challenges and hurdles that all authors face.
Finally, we will work closely and collaboratively with each author throughout the publishing process. 

While the distribution channels take a large part of a books purchase price, the bulk of what remains is traditionally siphoned off by the publisher to help recoup the cost of publishing.  This means the smallest amount is left over for the authors.

Our model will disrupt the current ‘sales-funnel’ model for authors to reach readers with their books by working in tandem with our authors to help them find creative and proven ways to engage their audience, and get the message and stories of their books told.

What if the publishing model of profit at all costs flipped and became a ‘help authors succeed’ at all costs instead? We plan to find out!