Here's an imprint you may not have heard of before: Loki Press.
Launched just last week Loki Press has been financed by art collector Anatoly Ovspensky. Apparently Ovspensky, well-known here on the Med for his lavish parties and influential connections, sold a few works by El Lissitzky by private treaty to raise the necessary to float his new hobby horse.
New York imprints have no need to worry - most of Ovspensky's forays into fashion and culture have not exactly cut the mustard. His daughter's cutesy fashion house - Miloka Ma - is mired in protracted bailout negotiations, while his son Olly has had his fingers burned more than twice with dodgy health-fitness-resort schemes in Albania.
Ovspensky has appointed former East German health and fitness publisher Oskar Lunt as his C.E.O.
At the glitzy launch an ebullient Lunt said, "They tell me its all about the Long Tail - well, at Loki, we believe it's about the well-made, well-told tale."
The initial team includes former sports publishing supremo Alan Parsons; Rachelle Ingrams; Lydia Farnsworth; Olly Ovspensky as well as Lunt.
Given the new-found zeal for daring new business models Loki Press - if their P.R. kit is to be believed - have turned the whole pre-production supply-demand model on its head. Eschewing agents and packagers they are offering writers who submit MSs $500 each.
That's right - the first 50 writers who forward a complete and thoroughly polished MS will receive a no-strings $500.
The catch? Well, there isn't one as far as I can see.
Lunt insists this bait to catch and queue talent, and position themselves as the writer's best friend, has been fully costed into their ambitious launch and development plans.
"$25,000 in terms of an R&D budget is peanuts. We believe in talent and we know we can turn that $25,000 investment in talent into a ten, maybe twenty, fold return on investment. New York publishers have lost faith in talent, and most talent has lost faith with New York. Our $25,000 will float Loki on a huge swell of goodwill."
So, what happens after they've got their 50 scripts? "We'll close submissions while we work with the authors to develop their scripts and negotiate global rights sales," says Lunt.
So, what do they want? "Fiction only. No queries, no proposals, no cutesy resumés, just the complete polished MS."
Interested? Details here.
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