Be The Publisher You Want to See in the World

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Readers of this blog know that my wife (Jeni Wallace) and I direct a writers’ conference, The Hands On Literary Festival, and a publishing company, Burlesque Press.

If you are curious how the magic happens, and what it takes to start your own independent press, and what pitfalls we’ve encountered as we begun publishing books, the literary blogger Eva Langston has just posted a substantial interview with Jeni.

Eva asks great questions about the technological and financial demands of running this sort of business.

Why did you decide to start Burlesque Press?

If you’re an author, people always tell you to write the book that you would love to read: I wanted to create the press that I most wanted to see in the world. I have always been about promoting community in the writing world, and after I left my former job as a low-residency study abroad program coordinator, I was feeling isolated. The writing world can be harsh, and it can be competitive. I have always sought to redirect that energy towards a more supportive, convivial, supportive atmosphere. And I needed a medium in which I could do that on a larger scale.

I saw that the world of publishing was changing, and I felt there was room for an enterprise that could work closely with talented authors to get their work out into the world, offering hands-on, careful editing and advice. As authors, that’s what we really want. Of course, writers still dream of that six-figure advance, but those advances are so, so rare these days. I would never encourage someone not to try for one: by all means — go forth and bowl the New York publishing world over! But I wanted to create an enterprise that could be nurturing, creative and be something more than just an old-fashioned publisher, for those that were ready, willing, and able to try something different.

You can read the entire interview on Eva’s site: The Garden of Eva. Take a look!

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