"How do you find your writers?", asked Livia.
We apply a mixed criteria to select our authors, balancing award winners (including Hugo and Nebula winners Bruce Sterling, Kristine Rusch, Mike Resnick, etc) or famous thinkers (Derrick de Kerckhove, Peter Ludlow, Tom Stafford) with a selection of young authors we believe in.
But it's more complicated than that when working in different markets. For example, we were the first to translate Jacob Appel into Italian. And in the future we hope to introduce American readers to authors they currently cannot appreciate because these authors write in other languages.
Our contracts are subject to renewal after 3 years, rather than for the duration of copyright. Our perspective is to build a partnership-in-profit with the authors. In the actual landscape, both the author's platform and the publisher's work are important. Our goal is to build a collaborative work, a system that can share opportunities. Then, if the contract period works for the author and for the publisher, we can contract again.
But you can value your publisher simply checking the quality of the backlist and the quality of the ebooks.