Certain industries have been in existence for so long, and the tides of change roll into shore incredibly slowly. At the end of this spectrum, the criticism that often gets levelled is that they are archaic, regressive and stuck in their ways.
The publishing industry often is considered to fall under this bracket and challenging the status quo and breaking the mould or causing innovation and distribution can be a tall order, but one such company that is aiming to do just that is Page Two Books.
Page Two openly markets itself as being different from other publishers. Indeed their website looks and sounds more like that of a tech start-up than a publishing house. Photos, blurbs and insights into their staff provide aspiring writers with a level of insight into their knowledge and expertise that goes far beyond the usual cliches.
On top of that, there’s a level of transparency that is refreshing to see, with upfront answers and details about their pricing, business model and every other aspect of the process that writers deserve to have answers to.
In this Page Two Books review then let’s dig a little deeper into their backstory and their range of services and find out if they are worth considering for any writer looking to have their work published.
What is Page Two Books & What do they Publish?
Page Two considers itself different from other publishers. They strive to offer a faster path to market, more creative control and deep engagement in each writer's launch strategy. Their co-founders, Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White, have a combined forty years of experience in the industry and launched Page Two in 2013 to help thought leaders, subject matter experts and organizations publish leading non-fiction books.
They are past finalists for the RBC Women Entrepreneurs’ Award, recognized for building a thriving, innovative company. Their core team of talented professionals and carefully vetted freelance associates, have worked for some of the world’s largest and most prestigious publishers. Combined, they have gone on to produce thousands of books, publishing international bestsellers and winning numerous awards.
Under the section mentioned above that details some of the key members of staff, the range of experience and expertise is very impressive. There is an extensive list of job titles on display, giving credence to their ethos of being a full-service company. From designers and project managers to sales and editorial, it seems as if Page Two is confident their team will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to make each book as successful as possible.
As mentioned above, their focus is on nonfiction but that still provides a lot of scope and the titles listed on their website cover a wide variety of topics and themes. Their published works are sold through all major online retailers and brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as having 25 co-agents who market their books for translation globally.
Which Authors Publish with Page Two?
The home page on Page Two’s website features a number of books which it’s reasonable to assume are either their bestsellers or titles they think represent who and what they publish best. Below is a selection of those titles to give you some further insight into Page Two.
- Railroader – Howard Green
- Sell the Way you Buy – David Priemer
- Levelling Up – Eric Siu
- Birds of all Feathers – Michael Bach
- No Safe Harbour – Mark Sangster
- See You on the Internet – Avery Swartz
- Catalogue Baby – A Memoir of Infertility
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan – Allan Dib
- The Art of Creative Rebellion – John S Couch
- Dream Bold Start Smart – Tatiana Tsoir
From memoirs and business advice to crime stories and biographies, as we said the fact it’s non-fiction that Page Two publishes, absolutely does not limit their scope of work.
Can Authors Submit to Page Two?
Yes, they can, however, there are some pros and cons which are worth consideration.
Firstly, they state that they only publish a small, thoughtfully curated list of books. This is encouraging as it shows they are not just doing it purely for financial gain and care deeply about their work but does mean even though they operate under a hybrid publishing model there is no certainty your book will be accepted.
In order to commence the process, Page Two requests that you get in touch with an overview of your project. If they believe there is a potential fit, they will respond and arrange a meeting where everything can be discussed in depth, for them to learn more about the book as well as for the writer to learn more about Page Two. In particular Page Two are keen to understand the concept of the book, the target audience, the writer's own background, their motivation for writing the book and how each writer would personally define what publishing success looks like to them.
If all the above aligns then Page Two will prepare a proposal outlining exactly how they believe they can help the writer including a full breakdown of services provided and costs/fees, which is standard procedure for hybrid publishers.
What are some Alternatives to Page Two?
The most common alternatives would be to self-publish or submit a full submission to a conventional publisher. Of course, a writer could also consider the hybrid publishing model with a different company if they felt that Page Two would not be a good fit. Based on everything available it seems like Page Two are industry leaders in this model but given the specialisation of non-fiction as well as no clarity on pricing, they may not be the right option for everyone.
All of these avenues have various pros and cons as one would expect. Submission to a conventional publisher carries with it both an increased chance of financial reward as well as the prestige that comes with having your work accepted. The downside however comes with the fact that many publishers only accept submissions from writers who have agents and there is no guarantee that you will receive any reply which can be particularly demoralising for a writer given how long a submission can take to put together.
Other hybrid publishing companies may be more suitable if the writer is looking to publish fiction for example. The retention of certain rights combined with utilising the company's expertise can provide a happy medium. But the financial outlay required by the writer is often a sticking point and may lead them to pursue the final option.
Self-publishing is ever-increasing in popularity for writers looking to get their work out there. Keen readers have all the tools at their disposal to find any book they like and writers also have everything they need to market it self sufficiently. If successful the rewards are numerous and the ability to work to the writer's own schedule and maintain complete autonomy is often very appealing.
Page Two Books Review – Final Verdict
If a writer is looking to publish a work of non-fiction under a hybrid publishing model and has the financial means plus the time to enter into discussions regarding a proposal, then Page Two Books is a fantastic option. Their progressive approach, clear insight and upfront ethos is a novel and refreshing approach from an industry that all too often feels stale. The specifics of who Page Two is though and what they do will mean they are the right option for some but all writers. Those who fall outside these parameters need not fear as the other options are plentiful and may indeed find all they need from pursuing a self-publishing route.