Sunday, 10 February 2013

Forging Tragedy into Triumph: The Dark Company Story

After months of dedication and hard work, Dark Company is finally available to buy. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring its publication. I've enjoyed working with the other authors, they're a good bunch. It truly has been great to make something good out of the circumstances which befell us.
Last autumn we found ourselves in the same spot. We'd expected our work to be published together in an anthology through a publisher, but that fell through.  We were suddenly left hanging, our stories and poems just itching to be out there.  After a little online networking, a group of us were agreed: putting out our own anthology made sense. With Createspace there to be utilised, it seemed an awful waste not to. Then of course there was the issue of royalties. Splitting royalties over such a small amount seemed a little silly. Besides, we all still felt the sting from having our money taken from us in the shady practises of a certain publishing company. After a brief discussion it became clear that getting paid for it was not the issue. All any of us wanted was to get our work out there. We'd never expected to make any real money anyway, what with the royalties being split so many ways. Making a charity the beneficiary of all royalties seemed the perfect resolution.

But which charity? With our audience reaching across the Atlantic, I was positive that an international organisation was the way forward. I discovered buildOn in a Google search for literacy charities. What first grabbed my attention was their slogan on their web page: We are not a charity, we are a movement. Immediately I thought of all the wonderful art I associate with the word "movement". Build On recognise that a lack of the right kind of education can condemn poor people into an endless cycle of poverty. From tough urban schools in the states,  to actually building schools in some of the poorest countries in the world, their  dedication to giving young people the opportunity learn is unquestionable. It didn't take much to get the rest of the anthology authors on board with this.  Charity picked, and editing already in progress, it looked as though we were going to make this anthology happen.
Then we hit a snag just a couple of weeks ago. Finally formatted and ready to go on sale, we discovered something alarming. The cover art was identical to an image that was already being used on a cd cover, making ours copyright infringement. Whether it had been on purpose or a genuine mistake made no difference: we were left without a cover at the eleventh hour. Thankfully not all was lost.  Dark Company editor Amanda Wimer found Andrea Kozári, who came up with the new design [pictured]. It was a short wait to get the new cover, but it allowed me a little more time for some fine-tooth combing over the manuscript. Once the cover was uploaded there was nothing left to do but wait for the book to appear on Amazon. To purchase your copy simply follow the link to the top of this post, or alternatively go the the Books page on this blog and follow the link.
I think I speak for all of us involved when I say that this anthology is something to be proud of. Not just for the work that we have done to create our contributions, but for our team effort in getting the job done, and done well. It just goes to show what people can do when they have a common goal. At no point did any of the Dark Company team shirk responsibilities. We tackled every obstacle as a collective in a no-nonsense, positive manner. I'd like to think that it wasn't just the fact that publishing the book for charity made us feel that we were doing something worthwhile. I'm convinced that this is proof that authors can work in a group together to produce an anthology, without the need of a publisher, and feel good about it. 
I do hope you'll purchase this wonderful book, not just for what it contains, but for the wonderful opportunities your money will go towards creating for people in need. It really doesn't cost a  lot  either. So what are you waiting for?

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