So, you’ve decided to let Sponkon Books publish your book? Welcome to the family! We promise minor changes and major royalties!
How can we make such bold promises? We have something that almost no other book publisher has today: money! Even if your book doesn’t sell, it will be a bestseller. We accept modest backing from a few select partners in order to ensure that your book has a healthy shelf life. (Don’t see your book on shelves? It’s probably not there because we bought back all of the copies ourselves! Totally normal and beneficial to all!)
Let’s get one thing straight: our priority is your art. Yes, the publishing landscape has changed. We’ve all had to make a few tiny compromises in order to keep making money doing what we love: getting great writing into readers’ hands! Here at Sponkon that means eagle-eyed editors seeing your vision, as well as the vision of a few choice backers.
We don’t want to change your book. We just want to help guide and mold it to its perfect form. Some might say, its optimized form. Here are a couple of the ways that we’re different from the old, traditional publishing houses:
We aim to maximize, in harmless ways, our advertisers’ brands. An example: the estate of a well-loved novelist recently came to us to revamp sales of his books. We did try, we really did, to woo Big Orange for the sake of this particular campaign. They were turned off by the fact that we are already backed by Big Apple and Big Grape. Nonetheless! In the end, we were able to revamp a well-loved brand in a way that made our backers very happy and, frankly, did little to change the legacy of this well-loved novelist. We think you might have heard of a little something called A Clockwork Apple?? The forthcoming adaptation of which will be available on Netflix in 2022, released in micro-installments by some of the country’s most beloved TikTok stars! (You might also have heard of a new and improved gem called The Grapes of Wrather Deliciousness — another successful reissue and a huge factor in Big Grape’s major market surge!)
We prefer to minimize any gratuitous violence and/or crime and/or sexual content. We DO receive just a bit of funding from the Parents Justice League in Defense of Childhood Innocence. Just a bit! Definitely not enough to enable them to “control” our “content.” We just like to err on the side of innocence for our children (and what could be more innocent than not vaccinating against measles and drinking good old fashioned grape juice!!).
Let’s look back at A Clockwork Apple. I think we would all agree that some of the violence is gratuitous and frankly, unnecessary. In our (very profitable bestseller lists-topping version!) we made a few small adjustments. Alex is no longer quite so gratuitously violent. He is, actually, gratuitously impolite to his parents and elders. Rude! An equally compelling premise, we think you’ll agree! I mean we are talking serious stuff — he calls an elderly woman on the street a “no good, poop-sniffing hooligan!” (Don’t try this at home, kids!) The arc of the novel remains pretty much the same, except that in the end Alex is sent to a juvenile detention outdoor wilderness program and returns very much reformed. In fact, he decides to go to trade school and starts mentoring fellow impolite youths in his free time.
We enjoy promoting good old fashioned American values. Let’s look at Severance or, as it is better known these days, Several Countries Away*. In our very slightly edited version, the deadly virus never makes it to the United States. Why? Because we think it is a more accurate depiction of the greatest healthcare system in the modern world. Or, let’s look at The Things They Carried — better known these days as The Things They Carried Away**. In our, again, slightly edited version!, the things they carried are all American-made (Budweiser! Ford! Lodge Cast Iron Cookware!) and they all get carried away from Vietnam and back home to America because everyone makes it out safe and America would never start a war it couldn’t win.
And those are just two examples!! We understand that not every book is an opportunity to reframe history, both fictional and non. Your book may just need some slight tweaking! A couple of easy changes we might make that won’t affect your narrative artistry at all: your character is ordering Chinese takeout? Now they’re ordering apple pie takeout! Your character is driving a Prius? Now they’re driving a Dodge Challenger! Your character is wishy washy and prone to bad decision-making? Now they are never wrong and absolutely resolute in their convictions.
Listen, if we need to make one thing clear, it is this: major royalties. What’s a few small edits for the chance to live out your dream of publishing a book in the greatest country on earth? What’s a few small marketing concessions for the chance to have your book featured in a national ad campaign (for grape juice!)? What’s a couple of signed clauses that you will not sue if a few unauthorized, slightly fictionalized facts make it into your final manuscript? (Science is subjective, after all!) We are here for you, and you are here for the money. That’s the Sponkon Books promise.
*Paid for by the National Service in Service of Health Care (Companies)
**Paid for by the National Freedom isn’t Free Fund