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October 27, 2021

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Bluffton resident launches Workplay Publishing

Andre Swartley

"For me writing is play. It's work to get other people to read it (my writing)," said Bluffton author and now book publisher Andre Swartley, in explaining how his new enterprise Workplay Publishing came into being.

Swartley of 137 N. Mound St., Bluffton, recently released his second novel, "Americanus Rex," which he calls the premiere title for Workplay Publishing. The story begins with a clich'e of a beauty pageant contestant wishing for world peace, and explores what might have to happen in our current global culture to make that wish to come true.

His dream of operating a book publishing company became a reality this summer as he purchased the former Bound to Excel, self-publishing company, from its owners in Indiana.

Renaming the company Workplay, Swartley seeks non-fiction and fiction works from authors.

"I hope to help people like myself who have finished manuscripts (publish their works as a book)," he said. "I love to discover new writers with new talents who have the patience to get to a professional level."

He explains that as self-publishing becomes more common and respected in the aging print industry; there are more opportunities - as well as pitfalls - for unpublished writers than there used to be.

So, Swartley designed Workplay Publishing as a professional, user-friendly and affordable resource for people looking to develop either their skills or new careers in writing.

Authors who agree to have works published through Workplay will have help polishing their work. Swartley is quick to note that he is not an agent or a book promoter. Workplay published books, however, will be listed on the Internet through Amazon and Borders. All Workplay published works will have their own ISBN, which enables the books to be sold in bookstores.

Swartley says that there are several options for book sizes and press runs for Workplay pieces.

"The smallest book could be 85 pages," said Swartley. "We can also publish works of up to 800 pages." There are several finished sizes available, ranging from 5- by 7-inch to 17- by 20-inch coffee table books.

Swartley's first novel, "The Island of Misfit Toys," became the first book to be published under the former Bound to Excel logo. It went on to be a top-three finalist for the 2005 Indiana Book Award.

Assisting Swartley with Workplay Publishing is his wife, Kate, an adjunct Spanish instructor at Bluffton University, who is a co-owner and test reader in the enterprise. In addition, Alison King of Bluffton takes care of book covers and interior designs.

Concerning his own two novels, Swartley says that his books have strong characters. "Then the plot falls into line," he said. "My stories have contemporary themes. They are about the real world." Both Swartley novels are available online at the Workplay website. He is hoping to find a Bluffton business interested in carrying the two books.

Workplay books are printed by Lightning Source; Inc. LSI is the Print on Demand division of Ingram Book Co., which is the largest wholesale book distributor in the world.

Swartley explains that print on demand means that books may be printed in runs of 100 copies at a time and shipped directly to buyers.

"The advantages are twofold, says Swartley. "First, because of the incredible printing speed and capacity of Lightning Source, you do not need to worry about shortages of your book. Second, the environmental impact will be smaller because there will be no gigantic stores of your book rotting in a warehouse, waiting to be sold. Best of all, because the initial printing is small, the initial cost of publication is also small."

Workplace's website is www.workplaypublishing.com