BeWrite Books this week launched Limitrophe Publishing to offer full digital production to other publishers, agencies and foreign-rights management organizations on a no-fees basis.
The new imprint is the result of over a decade’s careful industry monitoring and the past two years of heavy investment in state-of-the-art technology, retained specialist services and the creation of a worldwide independent distribution base. Only a tiny fraction of this new capacity can be used by BeWrite Books itself.
Partner publishers with large current catalogs and back-lists, agencies with out-of-print titles and foreign rights holders seeking to release English language ebook editions of their works will usually receive seventy percent return on sales after third-party discount/commission. Ebooks sold from a soon-to-open, stand-alone, Limitrophe Publishing eBookstore will be subject to zero retail commission.
BeWrite Books Technical and Design Director Tony Szmuk said, ‘As our technical and distribution side developed in leaps and bounds, we realized that BeWrite Books – which, with its small editorial team, can effectively release only a dozen to fifteen exclusive new titles a year – had grown too big for its boots. We can use only an incredibly small percentage of current capacity for BB itself. And there is still much room for that capacity to increase according to demand.
‘So we got to work structuring Limitrophe Publishing. We offer a no-fees and high-royalty arrangement to houses of repute and established agencies that might not yet be fully geared-up to meet the huge new demand for digital reading – especially to those that must cope with large live catalogs and back-lists. And we will process their books perfectly and quickly. The service will not be open to self-publishing operations.
‘We have no doubt that many may view Limitrophe Publishing as a kind of stop-gap answer to a pressing need, so flexible contracts will be short term, contain inbuilt quality guarantees, and there will be unchallenged termination when a house feels ready to take back the digital reins on any or all of its titles. At that stage, we will freely offer what assistance we can.
‘Rather than bombard prospective clients, willy-nilly, with lengthy material, we will send a detailed proposal strictly by request or ask those interested to visit our new website, where the proposal is broken into sections of specific interest and all contact email addresses are listed.'
Limitrophe Publishing Editorial Director, Neil Marr, added, 'We've signed a core team of professionally qualified and highly experienced sub-contracted copy-editors to stand in when a house's own editorial resources are too stretched to handle final proof-reading of material before publication.
'And we've adapted the old wartime expression PDQ as an informal motto ... "Perfect Darned Quick".'
AND WHAT'S A LIMITROPHE WHEN IT'S AT HOME?
The following from etymologist Michael Quinion at
A young guest in the ancient and renowned Lexicophilia Club, who ought to know better, buttonholes the oldest member in seclusion of the James Murray Memorial Library.
‘Limitrophe? That looks foreign.’
‘Your perspicacity astounds me. It was introduced from French by English members of the diplomatic corps in the eighteenth century, when – as you may know – French was the language of diplomacy.’
‘So what did French diplomats mean by it?’
‘Situated on the frontier; bordering another country. As a noun, border-land.’
‘And where did the French get it?’
‘From Latin “limitrophus”, lands set apart for the support of troops on the frontier.’
‘I don't have any Latin. It’s all Greek to me.’
‘Astonishing. You’re actually half right. The second part is indeed Greek (“trophos”, supporting) but the first is from Latin “limes”, a limit or boundary.’
‘That’s enough etymology, thanks.’
‘Within these walls, young man, we can never have too much etymology.’
‘I’ve never seen it before.’
‘Why am I not surprised? But your observation is accidentally perspicacious. Unlike French, where it’s often to be encountered, it has always been rare in English.’
‘Pass me Sir James Rennell Rodd’s Social and Diplomatic Memories, if you’d be so kind. Thank you. Grand man. First-class diplomat. Got his KCMG for sorting out that nasty Fashoda business in Africa in 1899.
‘Here we are: “Countries limitrophe with Germany, such as Belgium, Holland, and perhaps Denmark”.
‘And I can quote from a work by another diplomatist, Sir Charles Eliot. In his Hinduism and Buddhism – it appeared in 1921 in three volumes, absolutely splendid stuff, his life’s work, you know – he wrote: “In the reign of Mithridates the Parthian Empire was limitrophe with India and possibly his authority extended beyond the Indus”.’
‘These are very old.’
‘Not as old as all that, young man. But I take your point. It has always been rather a scarce word and it seems to have fallen even further out of favour during the past century.’
‘So nobody uses it these days?’
‘It’s still to be found if you would take the trouble to look. For example, “This belt of sovereign states is the Great Limitrophe: a kind of buffer zone separating Russia from the true centers of both European and Asian civilization”. That’s from Russia in Search of Itself, by James H Billington, published in 2004.
‘And here’s another, from 2008: “This stretch of international boundary, which the Colorado River forms, is known as the limitrophe”. That’s in Ecosystem-based Management in the Colorado River Delta, whatever that means, by Karen Hae-Myung Hyun.’
‘Why don’t we just say “border-land” or “bordering”?’
‘We would then lose an elegant word with which we can illuminate our discussions of political and economic geography.’
‘Show off your obscure learning, you mean?’
‘Impertinent whippersnapper! Enough! Away with you!’
And that’s all, folks.
Neil, Tony et al