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Zibby Owens to publish books using a company-wide profit-sharing model.

Jonny Diamond

September 16, 2021, 11:24am

Zibby Owens, the memoirist, editor, and entrepreneur who’s risen to prominence over the last few years via her much-beloved author-interview podcast Moms Don’t Have Time To, is launching her own publishing house, Zibby Books. Founded in partnership with writer and publishing veteran Leigh Newman, the imprint will publish 12 titles a year, with a focus on “fiction and memoir from debut and established authors with a commitment to diverse literary voices.”

But here’s where things get interesting.

Zibby Books will operate using a unique profit-sharing model, which formally rewards the collective effort that goes into making any book successful: “75% of all net profits in each calendar year of Zibby Books will be split in equal share between every employee and the publishing program’s authors.” Yes, that’s right, authors too.

Owens, a graduate from Harvard Business School, will be attempting to leverage the kind of word-of-mouth networks—from book clubs to fellow writers to booksellers—that can impact a book’s success with a “Sales Ambassadors” program featuring built-in financial incentives. Essentially, it seems like Zibby Books is attempting to make stakeholders of just about everyone involved with the way a book finds success out in the world.

Owens and Newman (who is publisher and editorial director) will be joined by an impressive publishing team: authors Jaunique Sealey (VP of strategy and book club) and Maya Shanbhag Lang (VP of editorial and strategy), along with Anne Messitte (consulting publisher), who worked for two decades at Penguin Random House as an editor and publisher.

The first Zibby Books title is scheduled for January 2023.

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