Writing the next great American novel? You may want to consult Gabe Stuart before you write another word.
The Greenpoint resident’s Bayberry Books, a one-stop, full-service shop for aspiring authors pulls together all the parts of the publishing process to help turn his clients’ dreams into bound reality. From editing to proofreading to designing a cover and finding a printer, Stuart manages all aspects of producing a book. He’ll even list you on Amazon if you want.
“Basically, I bring the services of a print-on-demand company, but trim out all the things you don’t need, so you’re not wasting money on stuff that doesn’t do anything,” Stuart explained.
Stuart began assembling books, in 2007, with an Instabook machine at Vox Pop in Ditmas Park, an info house, coffee shop, bookstore and micropublishing program. He later worked briefly in academic publishing before starting Bayberry Books in 2010 – the name comes from Bayberry Lane, the road on which his family’s cottage is located in Cape Cod. He’s taught a class at Franklin Street’s WORD bookstore and at CUNY journalism school graduate center about “how not to waste your money on stuff that’s not going to return anything.” He is currently co-writing a book on DIY publishing and is a partner at publishing company Litronica.
To date, Stuart has worked on more than 100 titles. Most of them, he said, are family histories, but he also gets several requests from retirees to do business histories. Other clients include first time authors, poets and writers attempting a new genre, such as the journalist for whom he helped publish a fictional work. Recently, he was approached by a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who wanted to tell her story. He’s transcribed for Don Rubin who runs the Rubin Museum of Art and assisted with “The Rebel and the King,” about actor Nick Adams’ relationship with Elvis Presley.
“[Clients] are realistic,” Stuart said. “They know they’re not going to sell millions of copies, but they want a couple of hundred copies for their family or something.”
Bayberry’s business has been entirely word of mouth. When a prospective client approaches Stuart, he gives them a menu of options to show them how inexpensive the publishing process can be. “I want people to know that making a book and reaching their audience is not as hard as they think,” he said. “[Authors] shouldn’t get bogged down with the technical stuff. People are still interested in print, believe it or not.”