Publishing company switches to co-op model in bid for growth

An independent US publisher is converting from a privately owned business to a writer-owned co-operative.

Word Branch Publishing, in Appalachia, says the change will increase profits, give full power to its authors, drive growth and bring in new skills and talents.

“In a sense, we are turning the process of the company upside down,” said founder and president, Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh. “There is a real sense of excitement about the co-op. Everyone feels that we are on the verge of something very new – a real part of the evolving publishing industry.”

WBP, founded nearly five years ago with the goal of giving publishing power back to the authors, covers the publishing and printing costs as well as promotion and distribution.

It represents new and emerging authors, giving them a platform for their work, and publishes drama, science fiction, personal growth, young adult and indigenous titles.

Ms Rayburn-Trobaugh said handing the company completely over to the authors, editors, and the artists is the final step.

She has launched a fundraising campaign to meet the costs of the conversion, including a promotional video:

The money raised needs to cover at least six months of overhead costs to give the co-op the best chance for success, as well as legal fees.

  • The Indiegogo campaign will end on 30 October and the organisation will be offering perks to donors that include free WBP books, publishing services for writers, original artwork, signed copies of books and relaxation Skyping sessions.
  • Contributions can be made on