Backword Books, a new publishing enterprise out of Los Angeles, fills a huge gap in the publishing business, according to founder and literary author Henry Baum (North of Sunset). "With the changing landscape of the publishing industry," says Baum, "and the countless new avenues for authors to directly reach readers, there has never been a time like this. There's a perfect storm brewing."
The perfect storm is that publishers are less willing to take chances with literary fiction while, says Baum, "Emerging media make it easier for quality writers to reach readers. Backword Books is a new approach to the book business."
Named to give focus on old-fashioned values in quality writing, Backword Books brings together the best literary writers that Baum and a small group discovered. The seven writers use new digital printing technology to publish titles under their own imprints.
After Baum and four other authors landed in Entertainment Weekly in 2006 for their well-regarded print-on-demand (POD) books, he saw the gap in what traditional publishers were doing and what could be done. He created a new forum, the website Self-Publishing Review, devoted to the emerging potential as well as to the pitfalls of self-publishing.
Backword's authors bring together their quality books to help each other in marketing because they know multiple people pushing multiple, related products together is more effective than one person pushing one product alone. They make clear they're not a publishing company, but a consortium of like-minded authors who have important books that have been getting exceptional reviews.
"The writers in Backword put a lot of care into their work," says Kristen Tsetsi, author of the novel Homefront. "We've all hired editors, book designers, and have acted truly as publishers. The reviews bear us out."