Innovation’s Momentum: A Digital-Only Publisher In Oz

Image - iStockphoto: Zetter
Image – iStockphoto: Zetter

“I Got Acquired”

Over the weekend, an Australian author, Steve P. Vincent, was a guest blogger at Writer Unboxed, one of the  best-read daily blog sites around.

In his piece, Advice To My Newbie Self , Vincent made some perfectly cogent points familiar to many writers. Among them:

After submitting your manuscript, it will take longer than you’d like to hear back…You shouldn’t be afraid of asking questions throughout the publishing process…Your editor is smart and respectful, loves your book, and is working their behind off to make it better…

He started his post with this: “I never thought I’d make it. After sending off my manuscript, I waited for the ‘Thanks, but…’ response. Instead, I got acquired.”

And he wrote that he’d done this without an agent.

Steve P. Vincent
Steve P. Vincent

What Vincent didn’t say in this article was that his debut, The Foundation, has been published by Momentum, a publisher with a difference.

It’s a division of the Australian arm of Holtzbrinck’s Macmillan Publishers group, one of the world’s biggest publishing conglomerates.

In New York, you may relate MacMillan to the Flatiron Building and a familiar family of publishing divisions — St. Martin’s Press, Tor/Forge, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG), Henry Holt, Picador.

In London, Pan Macmillan’s Picador has published Emily St. John Mandel’sStation Eleven, which was just longlisted in the States for a National Book Award in fiction. We wrote about Picador’s work with that book here.

But Macmillan’s Momentum is digital-only.

In fact, it’s “print-rarely,” if you’ll allow me to coin a phrase. The company makes it clear that only in some cases is it interested in making print editions of ebooks available as print-on-demand (POD). But it’s not unheard-of. And there’s an option to publish in a traditional arrangement with Pan Macmillan Australia “if both parties decide it’s worth doing.”

Three more key points that may have some authors sitting right up:

  • Momentum takes unagented submissions from all over the world.
  • It covers all the costs of production.
  • Its output is DRM-free except where retailers require DRM.

Based in Sydney, Momentum was launched about two-and-a-half years ago, on February 1, 2012, with 22 ebooks for sale. Today, a glance at its catalog pages shows you some 25o or more titles.

In comments on Vincent’s post from Writer Unboxed readers (most of whom are authors at various stages in their careers), it became evident that Momentum is not well known and that Vincent’s path to publication wasn’t clear to everyone.

So it’s definitely worth going over Momentum’s very helpful About page to get a clear picture of what’s offered here. This is a case of a major publishing force innovating in a way that meets both its own needs and those of many authors. Some might think of it as a hybrid form of publishing, in that a manuscript is handled with the same editorial support that another Macmillan MS might get, but the book isn’t headed for paper, boxes, trucks, and physical store racks.

Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Innovation’s Momentum: A Digital-Only Publisher In Oz

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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