Ever heard of Daniel Torday? Nope, me neither. At least I hadn’t, until I happened upon the website of independent publisher Nouvella books.
This was back in February. Since then I’ve spoken to him a couple of times on Twitter. He’s nice. The head of Creative Writing at a college in Pennsylvania, he’s published short fiction in Esquire, Harvard Review and Fifty-two Stories.
As a bonus, his name is Daniel. This is currency in my world.
All of this is pleasant, sure, but none of these things compelled me to buy his first book, The Sensualist, Nouvella’s latest novella (see what they did there!)
Before I explain why, here’s a little bit more about the novella;
Raised in Baltimore in the ‘90s, 17-year-old Samuel Gerson is ready to be rid of his high school baseball team, his protective upbringing, and the tight-knit Jewish community in which he’s spent his whole life.
But when he befriends enigmatic Dmitri Zilber, a recent Russian Jewish immigrant who is obsessed with the works of Dostoevsky, Samuel’s world begins to shift.
In the wake of his grandfather’s suicide, as his life increasingly entangles with that of Dmitri and his beautiful sister Yelizaveta, it sets in motion a series of events that culminates in a disturbing act of violence.
A quietly devastating portrait of late adolescence, The Sensualist examines the culture we inherit as it collides with the one we create.
Sounds good right? Yes. But again, this is not what convinced me to hand over some of my easily earned, plentiful cash.
The answer to that question sits with the publisher, Nouvella Books, and their business model.
From their website;
Nouvella is an independent publisher dedicated to novellas by emerging authors. Established in 2011, Nouvella utilizes the LAUNCH program, wherein the reading community can invest in the career of an emerging author.
During LAUNCH week, readers purchase a share in the author. For every share purchased, the patron will receive a limited edition, hand-signed copy of the novella and a letter from the author.
The first edition run of each novella is limited to 500-600 copies. The books are small, designed to fit in your back pocket or your purse, to take with you wherever you go.
Four hundred are available during the author’s LAUNCH week, and the remaining books will be available at select bookstores and events.
After the first edition runs out, the book will be available electronically directly on the site and through various ebook distributors.
Our aim is to find writers that we believe have a bright and dedicated future in front of them, and who have not yet signed with a major publisher.
The reason I purchased a copy of The Sensualist is that I believe in Nouvella Books.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in Daniel Torday also. Having read some of his short fiction, and from the description of the novella, I’m certain it will be an exceptional read - I just find what Nouvella is doing so compelling, that I was sold on The Sensualist before I knew anything about it.
On the surface, Nouvella is similar to Kickstarter - crowd funding projects. Yet Nouvella have done their diligence, spending countless hours reading literary journals and blogs in search of unique voices.
The difference is that Nouvella believe in their authors. They have to. They rest their entire business model on one author at a time. They aren’t looking for sensationalism or easy sales. They believe in the quality of thier product.
And it’s for this reason I believe in Nouvella.
If you’d like to invest in both the career of an emerging author, and a visionary publishing company, you can buy The Sensualist launch package for $16.50 (US dollars. Includes shipping) until midnight on April 16th.
Are you a fan of the LAUNCH publishing model? Leave a comment below!