The BookSeller's Futurebook section ran a profile of WZ and an interview with Martin Baker (which you can find here) in which they discussed Wet Zebra's business model, unique challenges and ultimate ambitions (Spoiler: it includes world domination AND monogrammed bed sheets).
'The Team' is described as 'in a word, heavyweight'.
Editor Martin comments:
'We’re very happy - and slightly surprised - to be deemed 'heavyweight' by The Bookseller. We’re pleased to be getting more and more traffic on our site, more users registering and voting, and there’s some terrific work coming in as submissions.
Maybe we’ll just have to do the gracious, simple thing, and accept the compliment.'
The article summarised WZ's business model:
' '21st Century publishing with a twist' where the readers are the commissioning editors. They're mainly e-publishers, with occasional sorties into physical books, and the twist is that writers’ followers determine who gets published. One thousand votes mean they’ll take a text, edit and publish (always in e-book, sometimes in physical format).'
But Molly Flatt, who penned the article, cast doubt on the ability of voters to choose the 'right' books:
'Depending on your faith in the reading public, this could be either thrilling or a swift slide into lowest common denominator publishing.'
Martin in turn defended our system, which requires writers to obtain 1000 votes before we move to publish the work, and argued for the sense of the WZ approach in a tech-savvy world of followings, and the all-important online presence.
'The 1,000 vote publishing threshold is deliberately set quite high, as it means it’s not just friends and family, but followers and interested readers. As writers complete their texts they can build a following. In that sense, we’re a high-tech revisiting of Victorian-style instalment publishing.'
Stay tuned for more news and updates, and read the Futurebook article in full here.