Home » Big Publishing, Small Presses, YA » Author Cornelia Funke Launches Own Publishing Company

Author Cornelia Funke Launches Own Publishing Company

17 September 2015

From Wendy Warris at Publishers Weekly

In an unusual move, bestselling children’s author and illustrator Cornelia Funke, whose fantasy series Inkheart and Mirrorworld have been globally popular, cites creative differences with her U.S. publisher, and a growing wish to be free of restrictions on her artistic output, as the motivating factors in her decision to start her own press, called Breathing Books. Funke’s partner in this endeavor is Mirada Studios in Los Angeles.

. . .

…Funke says she was “stunned” by the email she received from her editor at Little, Brown in the U.S., who she says was also speaking on behalf of the author’s U.K. editor. “It said, ‘We love the book, Cornelia, but could you please change the first chapter? It’s a birth scene. That’s a little drastic for our audience. Could you please put that somewhere else?’ ”

. . .

“From the very beginning, I had the problem of Little, Brown placing the Mirrorworld series in the 9–12 age group when I had told them it was age 14 and up,” Funke says. “The last seven years were bitter at times because of that argument.” She is grateful to Little, Brown, though, for giving her the rights back to the whole series, which has sold over 150,000 copies in the U.S.

. . .

As she speaks, Funke exudes confidence in her decision to become a publisher. “Little, Brown and others are like ocean liners that can only go to certain places,” Funke says. “I want to be a sailboat so I can fit into other places. If I have to figure this out myself, good!

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Posted by PG Vacation bench warmer Bridget McKenna

 

Big Publishing, Small Presses, YA

18 Comments to “Author Cornelia Funke Launches Own Publishing Company”

  1. Good for her!

    I self-pubbed my YA series because I knew publishers, even if they accepted it, would water it down and I just couldn’t stomach the idea.

  2. As she speaks, Funke exudes confidence in her decision to become a publisher. “Little, Brown and others are like ocean liners that can only go to certain places,” Funke says. “I want to be a sailboat so I can fit into other places. If I have to figure this out myself, good!

    So that’s why Hugh bought a sailboat! 😉

  3. If you’re interested in her books, definitely read the story. She goes into details about her plans.

    What’s fascinating is seeing what she wants to do, versus what the nurturing publishers wanted her to do.

  4. According to Mike Shatzkin, either this won’t really “count” as self-publishing (the way J K Rowling’s Pottermore didn’t), or multimillion-copy selling Cornelia Funke can’t really be considered a “major” author.

    Because after all, a major author leaving a publisher to self-publish was the industry’s “big dog that hasn’t barked yet.”

    😀

    • Well, it would be another iteration of the “move along, nothing to see here”. The only problem being, they seem to have jedi’ed themselves into believing it.

      Take care.

    • It’s a good thing Mike Shatzkin has his goal posts on wheels, because he sure does move them a lot. 😉

    • Just for fun, I went to the comments on Shatzkin’s “Publishing Is Changing, But There Is One Big Dog That Hasn’t Barked Yet” article, and linked to this PW article with a one-word comment:

      “Woof.”

      He deleted it. 😀

  5. Okay…

    Mrs. Funke has been living in the States for the past 10 years. She comes from a country with a rather high “literary protection” scheme, with set prices and such (check the troubles of Amazon-DE). She grew up as a writer in that scene. Then went to LA, not exactly libertarian country, I believe.

    And yet, the US publisher’s “nurturing” was so off she went, basically, indie.

    “Nurturing… I don’t think that word means what you think it does.”

    Take care.

  6. I’m loving the way Bridget McKenna signs her posts…

  7. Wow. Apparently her UK and US publishers didn’t know how to just pick money off the table and shut up.

    Well, that’s what you get for being meddlesome and a bad business partner. Lots of empty where money used to be.

  8. Good for her! She was the one who inspired me to write my first book. I love her writing. I think you will see more of this happen in the coming years.

  9. What’s astonishing to me was the publisher giving her her rights back to books that sold in excess of 150,000. Most authors I know are in bitter fights with their publishers to get their rights back.

  10. Bravo! Its nice to hear of established authors and artists striking out on their own 🙂

  11. Another exit from Big Pub World! 🙂

    Reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House. 🙂

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