In the past, publishing companies always had a hundred ways of saying ‘no’, and were inevitably staffed by failed or frustrated writers paid to have an opinion whether it was relevant or not. Today, with the advent of new technologies, the publishers no longer control the market; like newspapers, they are increasingly competing with anyone who has an opinion and a PC.
Isabelo Valencia knows all about publishing and printing; in fact he started working at 16 in Madrid, getting his fingers dirty with the old printing presses, when books were a handmade product still.
Today with digital printing technology, his fingers are clean, and he never says ‘no’ because anybody who has a book and believes in it, and is prepared to invest in it (and keep 80% of the profits as opposed to the standard 5 or 10%) can see their book published and distributed in a matter of days.
With Just in Time production technology, books are published on demand, and with Internet promotion, distribution is increasingly become a more direct affair, although bookshops will always be there to be browse in and to start off magical adventures involving keys, codes and treasure.
Isabelo never says ‘no’, but he does say ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘are you sure you want to do it like that?’ The writer is the boss, but writers are not always good business people and a book that fails neither profits the writer nor the publisher.
If you prefer, you don’t even have to meet Isabelo; you can produce your book on line from anywhere by using their self-explanatory web site, selecting format, font, paper, size, binding, adding photos and then deciding how many copies to print, and whether you also want it as an e-book, which will be available on 600 different platforms. You also decide the price, adding whatever you think is right to the cost price, which is cheaper the more you print.
Since its inception in 2009, when Isabelo diversified from printing, Obrapropia has published some 2,400 books, covering just about every subject and in other languages too.
Whether you think you have written the next Harry Potter mega-sensation, or want to share your knowledge of violin maintenance, or just want to publish a few stories for your grandchildren, Isabelo and his team, which includes his partner Jaime Pastor and his son Fernando, a big James Bond fan, are available in their premises in Calle Taquigrafo Martí 18, (which is very appropriate as the street is named after the Valencian printer Francisco de Paula Martí, who worked for the royal presses in Cádiz during the Napoleonic invasion, and is supposed to be the inventor of the fountain pen).
If you prefer to stay at home, you can contact them or on-line at www.obrapropia.com and buid your own book from there.
Obrapropia offers writers a range of services if they feel unable to deal with the nuts and bolts of book publishing, but, in the end, the writer is boss, and the answer is always ‘yes’.
Once it’s published, they offer help with distribution and promotion, helping with the organization of events and facilitating media contacts.
Working with Obrapropia is a rewarding experience, and that I can say from experience; after all they just published my latest book, ‘Movies Made in Spain’, available here: