I want to contact 404 Ink. Who should I address it to?
You can find specific information on the Meet the Team page, though ultimately we share an email and the correct person will pick it up. We can only be contacted via email or the 404 socials (though we will likely point you from there to our emails). If you seek out our personal addresses and phone numbers (has happened), it is creepy and will not yield a positive result. You will also be the horror story we tell at events for years to come. If you address your email 'Dear Sirs', then no.
How can I submit to 404 Ink?
You can find full information at 404ink.com/submissions. Given the volume of submissions we receive, we can take a while to get back, but we will always reply with the outcome of your submission. Instead of having submissions open year-round we are moving to having submission windows when our workload allows, to avoid repeating the huge backlog that was created across 2017 into 2018.
Sub-question: What font / font size should applications be? We honestly don't mind, as long as it's readable.
Sub-question: Can I take you out to a coffee? Unfortunately, no. Between running a company and our freelance roles we don't have time to do face-to-face book pitches. Stick to the submission guidelines and we will get to it, promise!
Can I do an internship at 404 Ink?
Unfortunately, as a very small team working from a small office and respective homes, we cannot offer internships. We're also uneasy about someone working for us for free, so until we have the funds to offer something in return, won't be accepting interns. If we do decide to take on interns, this will be advertised on our socials and our jobs page (404ink.com/jobs).
Can I work for 404 Ink?
We are a very small team and roles come up very occasionally - these will be advertised on our jobs page (404ink.com/jobs). We work with freelancers - at this point we have a trusted group that we use and are not seeking anyone new, however we will put calls out on our socials when we are expanding our freelance pool.
I have a question about shipping.
I would like to do a case study on 404 Ink for my university course...
Great! Thank you for thinking of us. Unfortunately, across 2017 we lost count of how many of these we were asked to do, many from students on similar courses. With us publishing more books than before, and remaining a very small team, we don't have the time to undertake these on the same scale, and also don't think it's necessarily useful to you - particularly if many are asking from the same course - to be getting the same answers from us repeatedly. With this in mind, we've taken the most commonly asked questions below and answered them. We're still happy to answer questions and be interviewed where we can - particularly for articles and dissertations - but cannot undertake the same volume of case studies.
Why did you launch 404 Ink? We were working together on the Saltire Society's virtual book festival #ScotLitFest. During this time we started talking about how we had both individually thought of launching a publisher - we realised our ideas and ethos aligned strongly and it made sense to join forces. We thought there was a snobbery around social media, it could be used better and more loudly; we thought crowdfunding wasn't being utilised in the book world like other industries we loved; we felt publisher brands could be overlooked, and that communities could be built around them. Two weeks after the festival, we effectively launched the company and jumped straight in.
What are your backgrounds? Heather studied Journalism at the University of Stirling; Laura studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. We both did the University of Stirling Publishing MLitt, but on different years. We are both freelancers. Heather comes from culture journalism, having worked for various music magazines before moving into the publishing industry with focus on marketing, digital and editorial - she was also Publishing Assistant with educational publisher Bright Red; Laura was formerly Editorial and Marketing Assistant at Saraband, and freelances across the book industry with focus on production and promotion. Heather is currently Books Editor of the Skinny; Laura is on the Board of crime writing festival Bloody Scotland.
Is social media important? Yes.
Why did you use Kickstarter? Ultimately, money and reaching people. We had the idea for Nasty Women and immediately felt we had something (though, we couldn't have anticipated quite how big it would be for us); we knew we didn't, in our then current state, have the money to do the book and our contributors justice, so we turned to crowdfunding to test all our theories at once on crowdfunding, loud marketing, and bold marketing.
Has the company grown beyond your expectations? Yes.
Key challenges along the way. Time, mental wellbeing, self-care, money. You can read our blog 'We are tired as fuck', which deals with this.
What next? We want to be sustainable, keep publishing books, get on top of the business side. It sounds dull, but as exciting as 2017 was, we are tired, and we want to last for years to come, so our focus is on how we make that happen.