Southern Skies Publications, Ltd. is run on a profit-share basis. Every person involved in getting a book to print is given a share of royalties according to what they contribute. That’s what royalties are, a recognition for the work done by the writer. The writer is offered a contract outlining what their royalties are, the same as other publishing houses. But at Southern Skies, everybody involved gets a contract outlining their share of royalties. Just as the writer gets royalties, so too do the printers we use, and all the others involved can choose to do so as well: the person designing the cover, the person (or people) marketing the book, our editors and our proofreaders.
Often companies will use interns as a source of free labour, arguing that the mere experience is reward enough. Nobody works for free at Southern Skies. And nobody is getting a free ride. We pride ourselves on quality and professionalism, as well as hard work.
Maybe its because I am also a sailor, maybe its because I finally finished Moby Dick by Herman Melville (a cracker of a tale, by the way), but I’ll use the analogy of a whaling boat here. Think back in time when we didn’t know any better and whale oil was a valued and lucrative commodity. Ships were sent out to hunt whales, and it was only when they returned with the oil that any profit was turned. Somebody fronted the money for the ship (in most cases that is me, but not always). They got a share of the profit. The captain of the ship got a share—our writers. And everybody who worked the venture got a percentage. The harpooners, the deckhands, the first mate.
The marketeers are our harpooners, and they always get a fair share. Where writers also market, their share increases. I like the analogy of the ship, as each book will have its own crew, ensuring the success of that venture. Of course, we can be more flexible than a Nantucket whaler when it comes to individual arrangements.
Every book is its own journey, and the crew will often vary. The aim of Southern Skies Publications is to see that every ship (book) returns full of oil (readers).