I’ve actually been working on Very Cross Media for quite a while. Several months back I wrote a children's picture-book text about loveable mutt Scamp and a greyhound called Zoom. I was chatting to the publishers about it, and said to them, 'If this book goes ahead, it'd be great if some of the profits could be donated to rescue greyhound charities.' They replied, 'We can arrange to have your payments paid to a charity instead of to you, if you like?' Which, to be honest, wasn't quite what I had in mind. But it got me thinking. Surely there must be a financial publishing model that would cover all the costs of production, allow for the people involved to each be decently paid, and still have something left over to give to charity? I started looking into it....
The Scamp and Zoom text needed a little more work. But before I had a chance to make the edits, my own Zoom - aka Ziggy - was diagnosed with bone cancer. When he died soon afterwards, I was heartbroken. Ziggy, however, had overcome a great deal in his life. Remembering this brought me back to my charitable publishing notion, and spurred me on. Earlier research had shown me that the key lay somewhere between running things as a 'permeable' collective and getting the print-run numbers right. So I played around, bounced a lot of ideas, and tried to come up with a workable model.
The last couple of months have seen that model cultivated and refined as more and more people have put their brains and support behind it. It’s early days, and we’re still very much in ‘building’ mode, but neverthless I’m very proud to very quietly announce that Very Cross Media has arrived.