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Harper launches digital publishing business

Journalist and editor Charlotte Harper has launched a new digital-first publishing business called Editia.

Editia (pronounced ‘edeesha’) will focus on works of long-form journalism and short nonfiction between 10,000 and 35,000 words. The titles will be published as ebooks first, with the option to publish printed editions via print-on-demand. The first Editia title, Crowdfund it! by Digireado’s Anna Maguire, is available now from the Editia website for $7. 

Harper told Bookseller+Publisher that Editia titles will be available through all the major international and local ebook platforms, as well as the Editia website, and will be free of digital rights management (DRM) where possible. Harper said Editia will ‘pay better than industry standard royalties’ and, in lieu of an advance, will offer ‘a package of digital consulting to assist the author in building and managing their social media and web profile’.

Harper has previously worked as a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, the Canberra Times and the South China Morning Post, and for the past two years has been writing about digital publishing for Fairfax Media, and, as well as contributing to Bookseller+Publisher. She is also currently publisher of Mt magazine and teaches journalism at the University of Canberra and digital communications at the Canberra Institute of Technology.

At Editia, Harper will take on the role of publisher and will employ various freelancers to help with editing, design, marketing and publicity. Editia will also be supported by a corporate advisory board made up of members of the publishing and bookselling industry. The members of the board are: publishing consultant and agent Alex Adsett, editorial consultant Sarah Hazleton, digital publishing consultant and author Anna Maguire, general manager of Pages & Pages Booksellers and president of the Australian Booksellers Association Jon Page, publicist and communications specialist Katie McMurray, editor and current Beatrice Davis editorial fellow Jane Morrow, art director Anthony Nankervis, web designer Connor Tomas O’Brien and media and policy advisor Victor Violante.

Harper said she hopes to publish between six and eight titles before the end of 2013. While she said Editia’s list is already quite full, she will always make room for ‘compelling works’, especially those which need a quick turnaround because of their newsworthiness. For this reason, Editia will accept unsolicited manuscripts on ‘Six till Seven Submission Sunday’—between 6-7am or 6-7pm each Sunday.

Editia will also launch a new prize for an unpublished manuscript in November. The Editia Prize will offer a digital publishing deal and a $2500 advance on royalties to an unpublished piece of Australian creative nonfiction of between 10,000 and 35,000 words. The prize will be judged by Harper, author Jane Caro, former editor of the Australian and the Sunday Age Malcolm Schmidtke, and University of Canberra professor of journalism Matthew Ricketson. Entries for the prize will open on 30 November and close on 1 March 2013.

Harper said that she has always wanted to establish her own publishing business and technological advances have now made it possible, as has the fact that the local market for ebooks ‘has grown to a level that is viable’. Launching her own business will allow her to make use of her journalism and web productions skills, said Harper, who added that workplace flexibility is also important.

For more information, visit the Editia website here.



Category: Local news