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- Christine de Portugon

- Phoenix as a Co-op

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C. Portugon Publisher

Christine de Portugon – Publisher

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The New Totalitarianism

Questions Answered

By Christine de Portugon

Food for Thought

Editorial Policy Page

Phoenix Press is a new kid on the block with a mission to do urgent CPR on the ailing and increasingly moribund publishing industry. In brief, the cart started dragging the horse, as we explain on other pages here. At Phoenix Press, the publisher is at the service of the author clients and as such is part of the co-op team, as the facilitator—as publishers used to be before the servants took over the Manor. Christine's the conductor of the growing Phoenix orchestra of instruments and voices. She's French, born in Versailles and raised in Paris. She studied Law at the Assas Faculty of the University of Paris. She migrated to Australia in 1983 to become a pastoralist near Bathurst in NSW. She's a poet in her own right, and understands the workings of the authorial mind as few managerial types do. Christine has firm views about the responsibility of the writer in society and of those on whom he/she relies on to have the works disseminated. Publishing has driven itself into a black hole, she maintains, and the only way back is radical surgery on professional practices to focus back on the goose that lays the golden eggs—the author and creative writer, the forgotten essential element in the book equation. Middlemen had taken control of the service being performed. Her aim is to develop a strong team of writers of a breed that will meet the challenges of our age via the wielding of the pen. A new age of publishing has already dawned. Never before has the number of opportunities been so rich and abundant.

Phoenix as a Co-op

As a co-operative, Phoenix Press is modelled along the lines of United Artists set up by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr to bypass the big Hollywood studio system with all its bureaucratic humbug and rip-offs. Such a co-operative ought not to get so big that it turns into what it was trying to avoid in the first place. The way to do that is to set up cells the way the resistance movements worked in fascist Europe. The first Phoenix cell is already in place, dominated for the moment by G.James Hamilton. It serves as a model for those to follow, all overseen by a co-ordinator in Christine de Portugon. During the initial period of getting the first ten books onto the street, we're working as a team consisting of three writers (novels, short stories and essays); a conductor or co-ordinator (publisher in old terminology); a graphic artist for cover design, graphics and website; an editor; a typesetter; and an eBook formatter. In this first team, there are six persons bringing these skills, with some members able to double up. Some teams will be leaner and meaner than others depending on this multi-skill factor. It depends on the availability of talent and the amount of it being lent between one cell and another. For example, writing for Phoenix is considered a full-time job, but editing, typesetting and formatting aren't, so some skills can be shared until the demand gets too great and new people are required. Our editing is done by a US group, so they can take any quantity of stuff thrown at them. Mostly, new members will be invited or chosen by word of mouth but interest shown by outsiders will be considered for the production team in one or other cell. Authors who wish to make use of the services of Phoenix may seek affiliation as writers and benefit from the skills accrued in the cells. The exercise is not about money so much as diversity and getting the word out—all that the old publishing industry wasn't.

We decided on the co-op business structure for a very good reason: to put managerial wankers back in their cage. Since the early eighties, bullshit artists made a lunge to control various sectors of human endeavour. Publishing was one of them. Here's how actor Michael Douglas and Oliver Stone explained the phenomenon in the Hollywood context, where the same rat-tailed blood-suckers pulled the same coup d'etat, ousting the rightful principals. Douglas: 'Hollywood is doing the same thing modern Wall Street is: Trading for its own benefit, and not for the good of its customers.' 'Let put it this way,' Stone said. 'If you look at the fig-ures at Goldman Sachs, 67% of their profit in 2008 came to their own house. They made most of their money for themselves and 11% for their customers. That's a huge difference from my father's era when all these houses, were essentially agentary houses; they were agents. It's like our business (acting); the agents took over.' The greedy idiots took over. And they're still in control, driving film and publishing into the ground. If you want to confront that, as we did, you have to come up with more than the simple desire. All the motherhood statements are no good. The co-op system cuts out all the free-loaders and deadwood. In this, Phoenix is a first. It was Hamilton who said the deadbeats needed dumping, and that the co-op was the tool to use to dump them. 'They can't spell the word co-operative,' Hamilton said.

Meet our authors

Read our writers biographies and download free book samples on the Writer Bio's pages.

Larry Kynne
Lorcan B. Lawson
Paul Perrot
G. James Hamilton

Phoenix Press Book Title List

Alchemist Apprentice e-book Thunderbolt Book Novel Bamboozel Book Novel by Larry Kynne Book Novel Onward to Nowhere

See the title list for a selection of books by our authors with publication pending at Amazon.com as e-Books and new releases due in 2012.
Book Title List