Interrogation—Jason Pinter

Jason Pinter photoWho: Jason Pinter

What: Founder and Publisher of Polis Books, an independent publishing company he launched in 2013. He is the author of five thrillers and one middle grade novel, with over one million copies in print worldwide, which have been nominated for the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award and more.

Where: New Jersey

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on the third anniversary of Polis Books! What have you learned about the company you started over the last thirty-six months?

Well, being a business owner is far more difficult and complicated than being an editor or writer, which were my previous professions. It’s the difference between painting a room and building a house. I’ve been in dozens of editorial board meetings, publicity meetings, sales conferences, and pitched my own books in innumerable outlets, hopefully without boring people to death. But I didn’t have much more than cursory experience on the finance and distribution side, largely doing P&Ls (profit and loss projections) on acquisitions. Learning that side was the most time-consuming part, simply because I didn’t have a background in it, but I thankfully have good accountants and lawyers and am a total data geek and work very closely with our distributor, our bank, and our printing partner to make sure everything runs smoothly on the back end of the publishing equation.

Reading submissions, working on cover designs and promoting our authors is the fun part. That’s the muscle. That’s the stuff people see publically. But the other stuff, the skeleton, the support system that holds everything up, that’s been the biggest challenge but also one of the biggest rewards because I know we can do this.

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Interrogation—Tyson Cornell

 Tyson Cornell 2015Who: Tyson Cornell

What: Founder of Rare Bird Lit, a company specializing in book marketing, promotions, and design for authors and publishers; and Rare Bird Books, a PGW-distributed independent publisher that releases thirty-five books per year on its various imprints. He was once the longtime marketing and publicity director of Book Soup bookstore back when it was the CBGBs of independent bookstores, and he has toured extensively around the world playing with hair metal musicians.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

I swear this interview is going to be about you—but first I want to hear all about the Chuck Palahniuk vinyl audiobook that Rare Bird Books just put out. How did that project happen?

CP VinylThe Palahniuk vinyl audiobook is something that we’ve been extremely excited about. We had the idea of starting a vinyl audiobook line a few years ago and, until this initial release, have just been consumed with the practical elements of how we might roll vinyl audiobooks out. The most important component we’ve needed to take into consideration is simply how to fit an entire audiobook on so many pieces of vinyl. The first contractual vinyl agreement was for Jerry’s Stahl’s PERMANENT MIDNIGHT—unabridged, read by Jerry, featuring a full 11.5 hours worth of musical accompaniment by The Icarus Line. We did production on that last year, and it’s scheduled for release later this fall/winter. The Stahl project is the one that I originally mentioned to Palahniuk’s people (David Hyde at Superfan and Todd Doughty at Doubleday), which quickly evolved into the vinyl release of EXPEDITION, a 56-minute FIGHT CLUB prequel story read by Chuck with music by Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. We’re working on others now for release next year and beyond.

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