Note: Press release downloads listed below are in pdf format:
LVF Expands Its Services [January 8, 2009]
Literary Ventures Fund to Launch New 'Back List Boost' Program [January 23, 2007]
Literary Ventures Fund Announces First Recipient of the Writers Fund [January 16, 2007]
LVF Pilots New 'Jumpstart' Program to Eliminate Bookstore Returns [October 11, 2006]
Literary Ventures Fund Announces First Portfolio of Literary Investments [February 14, 2006]
LVF in the News
Venture Capital for the Literary Set Poets and Writers, January/February 2008
Literary Ventures Fund Adds Initiatives Publishers Weekly, 11/12/2007
Live From BEA: Fund Takes Risks for Small Press Books Publishers Weekly, 6/1/2007
Firmin is a Barnes & Noble 2006 Discover Great New Writers Award finalist The Wall Street Journal, 2/1/2007
Backlists Get a Boost Bookselling This Week, 1/24/2007
Seeking out Literary Venture Capital mediabistro.com, 1/19/2007
"Literary venture capitalist" picks author Boston Globe, 1/18/2007
Gate of the Sun is a New York Times 100 Notable Book of the Year The New York Times, 12/3/2006
A Venture Capitalist's Read on the Publishing Business The Washington Post, 5/18/2006
Publishers Weekly, 5/16/2005 Calvin Reid
In an unusual venture, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and a newly launched firm called the Literary Ventures Fund are merging to create a nonprofit organization looking to use the venture-capital investment model to provide support to literary publishing.
The new entity will be called the Literary Ventures Fund and Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. LVF will act as the parent company of CLMP. Although merged, the two organizations will maintain separate incorporations with offices in New York and Boston, where LVF is based.
Jeffrey Lependorf, executive director of CLMP, will act as executive director of LVF. He said the new endeavor would use a "venture philanthropy model" to provide financial support for individual books. Lependorf said that the venture's "investment" in a book could take the form of an advance for a writer, specialized marketing support (including personnel) or even funds for an author tour or promotional events. "It's not an effort to find marketable books," explained Lependorf, "but to help each literary book meet its market potential, whatever that may be." CLMP is a nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of technical support to independent literary presses.
Lependorf said the fund will begin accepting applications for funding in the fall. In addition, Ande Zellman, a former publishing consultant, has been hired to serve as editorial director.
Book projects will be solicited from literary houses and selected based on literary merit, said Lependorf. Books that produce a profit will pay back a percentage of their revenue to the fund, to help support future projects. Lependorf emphasized that this percentage would not come out of the writer's royalties.
Jim Bildner, president and founder of the Literary Ventures Fund, is a general partner at the venture capital firm of New Horizons Partners in Boston. Bildner, also on the board of Graywolf Press, said he started LVF because he was "disheartened" by the "lack of support available to literary publishing." He said that by "creating a new channel for support that relies on market forces, we think we'll be more effective in providing help."
From The London Times
Many venture capitalists have invested in publishing, sometimes misguidedly. Jim Bildner is the first to put his money into individual books. Bildner, who made his money with a US grocery chain, has set up the Literary Ventures Fund to inject cash into "exceptional" books from small presses. In return for its largesse, the fund will take a share of any profits that the books might make.
From The Boston Globe Alex Beam
His latest venture is buy the book
After a decade running a medium-sized technology consulting company, Jim Bildner is devoting himself almost exclusively to philanthropy. One of his more interesting and innovative projects, the Literary Ventures Fund, will crank into gear next month. Here's the idea. Bildner wants to apply venture capital rules to book publishing. LVF will make small investments, and thus own portions of, promising novels, nonfiction works, and even book series. It's the spread-your-bets-and-hope-for-a-hit VC model. If one out of 10 investments pays off big, you get rich. In this case, the LVF gets rich, as any gains will be plowed back into the nonprofit for reinvestment in future projects.
Here's an example of how a little money might help a fledgling book project: The modern book editor doesn't edit. He or she acquires a manuscript, cheerleads the author, and holds the writer's hand when, 49 times out of 50, the much-enthused-over project slides quietly down the drain.
Well-heeled writers often hire their own editors to juice up their manuscripts. That's a luxury few can afford. So LVF might pay for an editor, or a marketing consultant, in return for a piece of the action. "I believe it's harder for beginning writers to get the career support they need than it has been in the past," says Bildner. "It's just harder to get an audience."
Bildner is doing more than just flapping his jaws. He is pursuing a master of fine arts degree in Lesley University's nonfiction writing program, and he serves on the board of Minnesota-based nonprofit Graywolf Press. He's started to assemble a team of collaborators with serious publishing cred: former Random House editor in chief Jonathan Karp, now at Warner Books; Jim Miller, editor of the well-regarded (but little read) intellectual review Daedalus; publishing veteran Constance Sayre of Market Partners International; and my former colleague Ande Zellman, past editor of the Globe's Sunday magazine.
"Momentous" new philanthropic effort to support independent literary publishers . .
In a unique cooperative effort, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses will join forces with venture capitalist Jim Bildner and his new Literary Ventures Fund to form a new company that will provide a "level marketing playing field" so that "exceptional literary works from small presses can thrive in the marketplace." As a press release details, "Using a venture philanthropy model, the LVF will support small presses book by book, granting both funds and expertise." Explains Bildner, "In the current environment, many of us believe that if great writers like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or Flannery O'Connor were beginning their careers today, they would have difficulty finding a publisher who could afford to nurture their careers from the beginning. The largest commercial houses dominate the book-publishing world; while at the same time, support for literary works and not-for-profit presses continues to decline. It's vital that literary works have a new channel to help find their way into the marketplace. We see our role as being a force to do just that."
These guys will go to heaven
The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), a 38 year-old non-profit organization providing technical assistance to independent literary publishers, has announced its merger with the Literary Ventures Fund (LVF, Inc.), a newly formed venture philanthropy supporting literary publishing.
Founded in 1967 by the National Endowment for the Arts (as the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines), CLMP provides technical assistance to a growing community of nearly 450 independent literary publishers. These small publishersliterary magazines, small presses, and online publishersreceive help with marketing, business plans, distribution, and fundraising.
The Literary Ventures Fund, Inc., founded by Jim Bildner, builds on the premise that given a level marketing playing field, exceptional literary works from small presses can thrive in the marketplace. Using a venture philanthropy model, the LVF will support small presses book by book, granting both funds and expertise. The goal of each philanthropic "investment" will be to ensure that each book reaches its market potential, whatever that might be given the specific book project. Over the course of a two to five-year horizon, a selected manuscript may be granted writer advances, specialized marketing expertise, funds for targeted marketing programs, and money for author tours. Projects will be selected based on their literary merits; those books that do produce a profit over time will pay back a percentage of profits to the Fund to help support future projects.
LVF President Jim Bildner says, "In the current environment, many of us believe that if great writers like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or Flannery O'Connor were beginning their careers today, they would have difficulty finding a publisher who could afford to nurture their careers from the beginning. The largest commercial houses dominate the book-publishing world; while at the same time, support for literary works and not-for-profit presses continues to decline. It's vital that literary works have a new channel to help find their way into the marketplace."
posted by Adam @ 11:52 AM
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