Publishing is seriously addictive, particularly if you make it a really creative process, and don’t aim to treat it as a business. When you look at all the things you have to do to bring a book together it’s clear that those of us who run small presses do it for love, not money. There are challenges at every stage, but they are creative challenges. And when the result arrives in these brown boxes from the printer it’s pretty exciting. As long as I produce works the authors and I can be proud of, I’m happy (and I aim to cover my costs too, of course).
With Anna’s book now available (from CWP) my next three are already lined up. Poetry chapbooks from Anne Connolly and David C Purdie are almost ready for the printer, and I should get the MS of Donald McKinney’s short stories by the end of next week. Two, maybe three, are in preparation for late Autumn, and already I’ve found myself thinking about the 2009 schedule – you have to in this business.
I said at last December’s Poetry Pamphlet Fair that I specialise in publishing the work of my friends. I prefer the “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” approach, and that only works (for me anyway)if I know the authors and their work already. What’s the motivation in publishing poems by complete strangers? I’ll leave that to others.
In the meantime, my two entries for the Callum Macdonald Award weren’t shortlisted, but I’ll be going along to the ceremony on Wednesday to see who wins. It’ll maybe give me some ideas for improving my chances next year.