Comstock's magazine 0519 - May 2019 - Page 130

n SEED ROUND: MEET THE FOUNDER AMY ALTSTATT INDIPUB Amy Altstatt has self-published three children’s books. From poor print quali- ty to high package prices, she says her experiences in the self-publishing world have been excruciating. She created IndiPUB, a Sacramento-based self-pub- lishing startup, as a cost-effective alternative for independent authors to print a small quantity of high-quality books and market their work collectively. “[Self-publishing companies] charged authors an arm and a leg for ev- ery single service: formatting, distributing, marketing. … You’d need to sell something like 20,000 copies before you made any money back,” Alstatt says. Wholesale prices at high-quality print companies don’t kick in until around a minimum of 1,000 books per order. Altstatt came up with the idea of “ordering groups,” so the company prints many different books of the same orientation (8.5-by-8.5 inch, 32-page paperback books, for example) in one run. IndiPUB is running beta batches to generate revenue and gauge author satisfaction. By the end of May, Altstatt plans to launch the first ordering group with at least seven children’s book authors. a passion for a vision A startup can’t be successful without.................................................... “Anne The book that best represents my approach to business would be...................... of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery ................................................................................................................... an adventure I believe life is.............................................................................................. was failure! My biggest fear about launching ................................................................... listen to what If I could give my younger self advice, that would be........................................ the people who have done it before you have to ............................................................................................................... say, especially if they have failed. ............................................................................................................ AS AN INDIE AUTHOR, WHAT GAPS DO YOU SEE IN THE MARKET? “There are so many gaps for minorities and immigrants in children’s book publish- ing, so I’d love to create a wider path for high-quality books to be pub- lished in multiple languages, and books that represent and encourage every individual child to embrace their identity.” THE WORLD OF SELF-PUBLISHING IS TOUGH. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? “My father worked as an entrepreneur my whole life. ... He inspired me to move forward when the vision felt too big because he was such a dreamer. I lost him last September so I’m trying to harness that energy boost he would always provide if I ever felt unsure of myself.” For more on IndiPUB, read Russell Nichols’ “Startup of the Month” column at comstocksmag.com. 134 comstocksmag.com | May 2019