Heeding the advice of industry leaders like Steve Riggio about keeping book prices low, George Rubich has formed Innova Publishing, a company that will publish hardcovers at $12.98. Rubich, who held financial positions with Simon & Schuster, Random House and Henry Holt, is able to publish at low price points because his company plans to republish in hardcover titles that did not fare well as trade paperbacks. "I'm positioning Innova as a value publisher," Rubich said.
Innova's first list will feature six titles whose rights Rubich acquired from paperback publishers. Rubich has given all the books new jackets and, in some cases, new titles, and will relaunch the books this fall. "We will focus on price and packaging," Rubich said, explaining that he hopes a new look and new marketing will give fresh life to books that failed to live up to expectations. First printings will be about 10,000 copies.
Rubich is concentrating his efforts in the nonfiction areas of parenting, health, cooking and self-improvement. His first list includes Secrets of Great Skin, The Smart Love Parent and Comfort Your Crying Baby. "I want to publish books that will give people answers," Rubich said. His business model calls for selling books nonreturnable. At BookExpo America in June, Rubich received positive feedback from the major chains, and he took his first order, from Books-A-Million, earlier this month. Rubich is also talking with distributors to help him get Innova's titles into independent stores. The company also sells its list directly from its www.innovapublishing.com Web site.
Although Innova's first list was developed by acquiring rights from publishers, Rubich said that he expects to buy hardcover rights from agents as well as publishers in the future. As word has spread about Innova, Rubich said, agents have approached him as well. Rubich has enough projects in the pipeline that he expects to publish 10 titles next spring and 15 in the fall. Republishing trade paperbacks in hardcover "is a win-win for everyone," he said.