Here, three’s not a crowd

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There’s power in threes. Consider all of those fabulous threesome acts through the years.

The Supremes. Mod Squad. Alvin and the Chipmunks. Kingston Trio. The Stooges. Harry, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter. Ferris, Cameron and Sloane in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

In religion, too. Christianity boasts the trinity, Buddhism has its Three Jewels, and Judaism its trio of patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Yep, three’s company, it seems, everywhere. Baseball’s three-strike rule. The 3-minute egg. The three-bean sald. Those sorry, blind mice. The three-point basket. Paper, Rock, Scissors. Veni, Vidi, Vici! Beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice.

So we welcome you to a new trio with, appropriately, a triple-word score: Mission Point Press. “We” includes:

  • Anne Stanton, investigative reporter and editor who co-founded the National Writers Series with husband and best-selling author Doug Stanton.
  • Heather Shaw, former magazine editor, now book editor and designer who has produced more than 50 books over the last five years.
  • And me, Doug Weaver, former publisher of Kansas City Star Books, the book-publishing arm of The Kansas City Star newspaper.

Mission Point Press publishes books. Or more to the point, we can help you publish your book.

How the three of us got together is a product of serendipity and welcome advice.

I got to know Anne and Heather’s considerable talents when I hired them to help on some book projects at The Kansas City Star. Long before that, the pair had worked together on countless other book projects.

When The Star’s corporate chiefs decided to close the book business after 15 years, I was a free man. Soon after, Doug Stanton suggested the three of us join forces.

Good advice, we thought. So we did.

Our company’s mission is pretty simple: To provide top-quality book-publishing and marketing services at a fair price. We’re not a traditional book publisher that accepts manuscripts, prints a bunch of books and pays an author royalties if and when the book sells. Our focus is on custom publishing … helping a client self-publish.

It’s a growing field. There’s never been a greater opportunity for individuals and organizations to publish their own stories and also get widespread distribution. Thanks to technology, the barriers to book publishing are falling, much the way they fell in the music business. The role of the gatekeeper – the agent, the publisher – has also diminished.

Sure, those gatekeepers still guard the walls of big publishing houses. But more authors are finding they can reach readers directly, through low-cost e-book and print-on-demand techniques. And they can market directly, too.

Which isn’t to say that authors can also bypass good editing and design. Both are still vital. An author’s success, in fact, depends on them.

So that’s where we come in. We offer top-quality editing services – that’s Anne’s focus – and top-tier design – that’s Heather’s domain – at what we feel are affordable rates. We also offer printing, e-publishing, marketing and distribution services.

My job, by the way, is to manage the business … the sales, the legal and financial affairs, and the production schedules.

We keep our rates down by keeping our overhead low. We have no fancy offices. We work from our homes with our dogs at our feet. (We each have white dogs, by the way, ranging in size from a few pounds to a 110-pounder.)

We do meet weekly … at Anne’s place, around the kitchen table. Of course, we communicate daily by phone, email, text – whatever it takes to get the job done. We’ve also identified a large, very talented group of freelancers to supplement our own work.

Our focus right now is on projects under way in Traverse City and Kansas City. But we are aiming for a broader reach, across Michigan and beyond. (For starters, we currently have a client in Texas.)

Mission Point Press also holds the exclusive license to publish books under the Chandler Lake Books imprint, which I started.

Combined, the two imprints are managing a dozen book projects right now across multiple genres, from mysteries to self-help to history.

Getting to this point took some doing – deciding on a company name, getting our legal and financial houses in order, creating a logo and constructing web sites. It’s the usual stuff every new business goes through, but it’s been fun and liberating.

Now, with structure and personnel in place, we’re ready to spread the word.

So welcome to Mission Point Press. Browse our web site: www.MissionPointPress.com. Check out www.ChandlerLakeBooks.com, too. Give us a call if we can help you.

But don’t call on a Tuesday afternoon. We’ll probably be in the middle of our weekly meeting.

That’d be Tuesday afternoons … at 3.

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