PoetsWest Directory: Independent Authors, Publishers, Booksellers

Whether we create and publish 1, 10, 100, 1,000, 5,000 or more, books, CDs, DVDs, etc., when we have something to say, we add to the literary bank of the world. This page is a directory of independent authors, publishers, and booksellers who recognize and support the concept of self-publishing. We include the independent bookseller as a member of our team because they too are struggling to survive in this mega-corporate world and by being so listed they agree to keep an open mind when it comes to stocking self-published, print on demand books and hosting author reading events on such books. Let us support each other by networking. When we receive an announcement, review a book, provide a blurb, or have information that is appropriate and of use to others, let's forward the message to our own email lists. By mutual networking we expand the exposure for each of us to additional potential readers and buyers.

For membership information and listing, please contact:
J. Glenn Evans
606 Lilly Road NE #514
Olympia WA 98506
360.459.9288
Send us an e-mail

Click on letter corresponding to last name: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


(A)

Joseph A. Aprile
Literary and Visual Arts Unlimited

4742 42nd Ave SW #393
Seattle, WA 98116-4553
206.650.4349
Email: josephaprile@comcast.net
Website: http://lvau.com
Blogsite for poetry: http://lyricalspace.blogspot.com/
Blogsite: http://lvau.blogspot.com
Art Site: http://artwanted.com/japrile
Seattle Institute for Peace Studies (SIPS): http://sipsworld.org
Category - Independent author

Joseph A. Aprile
Resident of Seattle, Washington, was raised in the Bronx, New York, in an exceedingly diverse environment that had a profound effect on his view of the world and humanity. Writing and Art have always been an integral part of his creative life and telling stories through words and images the avenue through which he examines the dimensions of the human spirit. If there is an underlying theme in his work, it is to explore the many facets of the human experience. Aprile has published six works to date including two novels, Awakening from a Distant Dream and The Surprising Latitude of Fate; two books of poetry, Impaled on Time's Illustrious Arrow and The Illusive Quality of Existence; a collection of novellas, At the Fringes of Experience and a work of non-fiction, America and the Mythology of Greatness. He recently published a collection of short stories entitled, The Human Equation (335 pp) available at Lulu.com in both paperback and download. This can also be viewed and purchased from his site: http://lvau.com.

David Ash - Publisher of Haiku for Life® series of humorous gift books
Basho Press
10924 Mukilteo Speedway #222
Mukilteo, WA 98275
206. 200.9525
BashoPress@aol.com
www.BashoPress.com
Category: Independent Publisher/Small Press (Gift/Humor)

David Ash
The Mukilteo author and publisher has worked in offices in lots of environments: academic, media, church, and retail. He aims for the funny bone in his series of haiku books. For more information about the series, log on to www.BashoPress.com. Haiku for Catholics, Haiku for Baseball Lovers, Haiku for Poker Players, Haiku for Coffee Lovers, Haiku for Chocolate Lovers, Haiku for Dog Lovers, Haiku for Office Workers, and Haiku for Christmas. He'll add at least four more titles to the list in 2009.

(B)

David Beebe
Born July 07, 1967 in Seattle, Wa. Sprouted one hour away, due Northeast, in the fertile Tualco Valley. I didnt really ever go too far away from the Valley, as I didn’t need to. As Life in Tualco Valley seems to have always intrigued me. As I pay attention to the Valley, I do notice the slight changes every day. Throughout the 4 Seasons, within the Valleys full Spectrum, Rainbow array. When I watch, and when I pay attention, I develop many reason to have many thoughts about Life, throughout my Life's Seasons. So I think about Life, and about Natures and Plants and Animals, and Humans. And how it unfolds, within my mind, and my thoughts, and my insights. And so I write Story Poems of my Life's experiences, and of my observations. And so I go forth, to reveal my conclusions, of my slightly insane perceptions.
Sometimes, I just need to go for a bicycle ride, on my Schwinn Cruiser, around the Loop Road, Rainclouds or Sunshine. And sometimes, when Life's circumstances prevent me, I do it anyway, with Windy thoughts peddling circles in my mind. Thank You for reading my Poems .

Poetic Stories by D.M. Beebe - available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websiteshttp://mattbeebepoems.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

Brighid's Fire Books
PO Box 41
Sidney NY 13838
607-428-0521
info@brighidsfirebooks.com
http://www.brighidsfirebooks.com/
Category-Independent Publisher/Small Press (Genre and Mainstream Fiction)

Dawn Rivers Baker, editor/publisher
BRIGHID'S FIRE BOOKS

Small publisher headquartered in upstate New York, specializing in debut fiction. Conducts annual fiction manuscript content with cash prizes in order to find new voices and worthwhile new fiction for publication. Our list currently includes four titles: The Rise of The Phoenix by Dawn Rivers Baker, The Hades Project by Justin Gustainis, The Dragon's Lair by Lisa Guilfoil, and our latest release, Yesterday's Falcon by Tim Newman. Imprint editor/publisher is self-published novelist Dawn Rivers Baker.


(C)

John L. Campbell
17800A Caribou Pass
Brookfield WI 53045-2041
262.783.1516
FAX 262.790.2690
E-mail: jcampbell52@wi.rr.com.
Web site: www.writingretirement.com
Category - Independent author/publisher

John L. Campbell
Self-employed for 26 years in manufacturing sales, Campbell is a graduate of Pitt University, Class of '50. He served two years in the Army as an assistant personnel psychologist. For ten years following his retirement he freelanced for Milwaukee's Small Business Times. Educated in manufacturing technology, he continues to write assigned Shop-Talk features for Fabricator Magazine, the official publication of the National Ornamental Miscellaneous Metals Association. He has self-published four paperback books: a memoir entitled It's Hell to be Average, his wife's family history: Out of Eastern Europe, an anthology of Wisconsin's Jade Ring winners, and a book about his writing experiences, along with those of 13 other retirees, entitled Writing in Retirement. His poetry has appeared on several Internet sites as well as in regional magazines like Free Verse, The Clark Street Review, Backstreet Quarterly, and Peninsula Pulse. Campbell has preserved his poetry in three separate chapbooks: After Seventy It's Only a Misdemeanor, Just Cruising Through, and Liar, Liar. Six of his short stories appear in a chapbook called Before My Memory Goes.

(D)

(E)

J. Glenn Evans
606 Lilly Road NE #514
Olympia WA 98506
360.459.9288
Send us an e-mail
http://www.poetswest.com/
Category-Independent Author/Publisher-(Poet-Novelist-Historian)

J. Glenn Evans
Publisher name-SCW PUBLICATIONS
Former stockbroker, part Cherokee and native of Oklahoma, graduate of East Central University (OK, 1956) with a BS in General Business and minor in Speech; Seattle resident since 1960. Founder and director of PoetsWest and author of three books of poetry: Window in the Sky, Seattle Poems and Buffalo Tracks, a history of Sweden, two local biographies, and two novels: Broker Jim and Zeke's Revenge. Widely published including Mid-America Poetry Review, PoetsWest, Raven Chronicles, Poetic Voices Without Borders Anthology, Dan Rivers Anthology. Recipient of 1999 WPA Faith Beamer Cooke Award and 2003 Seattle Free Lances Award. Member of Washington Poets Association and Academy of American Poets. Listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. Produces and hosts a weekly radio show on KSER 90.7 FM or www.KSER.org.


(F)

Barclay Franklin (aka Barb Hahn)
PO Box 201
Cornville AZ 86325
928.634.9228
wordwork@wildapache.net
Fax: 928.634.1217
Category-Independent Author/Publisher

Barclay Franklin (aka Barb Hahn) is a native of western Pennsylvania. A graduate of Thiel College (Greenville PA), Hahn holds a BS degree in Medical Technology, as well as a MA degree in English/Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff AZ). Now retired from laboratory work, Hahn has written eight novels, four of which are published (A Race for Glory Run, The Bride Price, The Chording of T.O. Malone, and Up the Hill, Through the Long Grass). Hahn is a member of the Southwest Writers (Albuquerque NM) and Western Writers of America. Has had articles, short stories and poetry published in numerous magazines.


(G)

Bob Gebelein
Omdega Press
PO Box 1546
Provincetown MA 02657
508.487.2526
bobgeb@comcast.net
www.omdega.com
Category -- Independent Author/Publisher (New Civilization)

Bob Gebelein
Publisher name-Omdega Press
In 1955, Bob Gebelein saw the threat of nuclear annihilation as proof of total systems failure, so he turned his back on the culture and set out to design a new civilization. His methods were psychotherapy, withdrawal from the culture, and dream analysis. In the solitude of Cape Cod winters, he built for himself a system that works. In 1967, he discovered how "human nature" itself can be changed, to create a new civilization. He told the story of his search and the answers that he found in Re-Educating Myself: An Introduction to a New Civilization which he published himself in 1985. In 2007, he self-published The Mental Environment: (Mostly about Mind Pollution) that focuses on the lies of the present culture and how they are created. He has also self-published Uncle Bobby's Record in 1974, a record of his own songs, and a zine, Outlander, with his own miscellaneous writings, infrequently since 1994.
He graduated from Harvard in 1956 with a BA in Mathematics, and has worked about 20 years (off and on) as a computer programmer and creator of software systems, in order to earn a living. His chosen home is Provincetown, Massachusetts, that has been a family summer home for generations, but he has to go somewhere else to get a computer job. After retiring from programming in 1999, he spent eight years writing The Mental Environment in a pristine country setting in a corner of Hanover, New Hampshire.


J.P.Greene
1043 Rachele Rd
Walnut Creek CA 94597
Email: info@yesternow.net
Web site: www.yesternow.net
Category-Independent Author/Publisher-(Poet-Playwright, Storywriter, Essayist)

J.P. Greene
Publisher Name--YESTERNOW & COMPANY
By turns printer, school teacher, biz/financial/tech editor-writer, and plant location-area development consultant, more or less in that order. "Grew up" in one or another New York City suburb and lived and worked in that city during professional career. Later lived cum family, (then) wife and two (then) kids, some years in Spain; lives now in northern California. More unpublished than published, unawarded than awarded. A few featured poetry readings, including at (former) Cody's Bookstore Sunday Evening Series in Berkeley CA, and Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. Currently self-publishing The Optics of Evening, poetry cum preface considering postmodern poetry in the context of Western literary history as a whole.


(H)

Mary Holzrichter
President, Foremost Press
7067 Cedar Creek Rd.
Cedarburg WI 53012
262.377.3180
mary@foremostpress.com
http://www.foremostpress.com/
Category: Independent Publisher

Mary Holzrichter
Publisher Name--FOREMOST PRESS
Our objective is to build a fine library of books readers will enjoy. Both in hard copy and an electronic version. We are committed to great books of fiction and non-fiction. And above all else, to quality work that never lets you, the reader, down. While we prefer working with previously published authors, people who know the rules and what is expected of them, we will consider manuscripts from unpublished authors. But the work must be the equivalent of what a professional produces. By taking this position, we assure our readers quality books.


David D. Horowitz
President, ROSE ALLEY PRESS
4203 Brooklyn Ave. NE, #103A
Seattle WA 98105-5911
rosealleypress@juno.com
www.rosealleypress.com
Category--Independent Author/Publisher

David D. Horowitz
Born New York City, 1955. Boyhood in upper New York state; University City, MO; Seattle. B.A. philosophy and English, U of Washington, 1977, 1981. M.A. English Literature, Vanderbilt U., 1984. Founded Rose Alley Press, 1995, and is company president. Published five books of his poetry: Something New and Daily (1981); Poems of a Rational Man (1989); Streetlamp, Treetop, Star (1999); Resin from the Rain (2002); Wildfire, Candleflame (2005). Published two books of his prose: Strength & Sympathy: Essays & Epigrams (1996); From Notebook to Bookshelf (2000 and annually updated editions). Through Rose Alley Press, has published six books by other poets; edited Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range, Pacific NW poetry anthology, 2007. Poems published in The Lyric, Candelabrum, The New Formalist, The Wandering Hermit Review, Riverrun, ArtWord Quarterly, Plains Poetry Journal, Phase and Cycle, Pegasus, Tucumcari Literary Review, many other journals. Essays published in The Sporting News, Arcade, Cune, PMA Independent, many other journals. Winner of PoetsWest Award 2005. Led workshop on rhyme at Write on the River Writers' Conference, 2007, Wenatchee WA. Frequent performer at Pacific NW bookstores, book fairs, poetry performance venues. Seattle resident since 1971, except 1983-1987 in Nashville.


Thomas Hubbard
18940 Dogwood Circle
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703
mailto:thomas@gazoobitales.com
www.gazoobitales.com
(cellular) 425.308.7249
Category-Independent Author/Publisher-(Poet-Small Press)

Thomas Hubbard
Publisher Name-Gazoobi Tales Publishing A retired writing instructor who became active in Seattle's Slam and other venues in the early nineties, winning Seattle's Grand Slam in 1995. His work has been published in PoetsWest and various other poetry anthologies and his first chapbook, Nail and Other Hardworking Poems, was published in 1995 by Year of the Dragon Press. He has since published Children Remember Their Fathers, an anthology of mostly performance poets from across the country, and chapbooks, Junkyard Dogz,(also available as a spoken word CD) and injunz (2007). His book reviews have appeared in Square Lake and Raven Chronicles. He runs Gazoobi Tales Publishing, a small imprint currently offering titles by M. Anne Sweet, John Kulm, Dave Caserio and Tiffany Midge in addition to his own work. He is a former Vice President for Washington Poets Association board of directors.


(I)

(J)

Paul T. Jackson
TRESCOTT RESEARCH
2503 Natalie Lane
Steilacoom, WA 98388
253-217-1586
info@trescottresearch.com
trescott@umich.edu
http://www.trescottresearch.com
Category: Independent author/publisher/instructor

Paul T. Jackson
Is an Information Specialist. As bibliographer, instructor of research, contributing journal editor, musician, librarian, self-publisher, and editor of the PAWA Quarterly, he has written a wide range of articles. His experience in leadership capacities as VP of a National Association; Executive Director of a Non-profit organization; President/ Owner of small businesses and a public corporation; President of a state-wide organization, and Director of several Special Libraries brings special insight to his essay columns, Perspectives/Trescott Files. He has published reference works, Collectors' Contact Guide, Sound Search, and Pioneers in Brass, 4th edition, and written book and recording reviews for Library Journal, One Person Library, along with articles in Administrative Management, Keyboard Journal, High Call, Music Journal, COSAL Newsletter, MACUL magazine, Looking Ahead magazine, ASTA Journal, American Record Guide, Notes, ARSC Journal, and online for Making Music Magazine and others. A Michigan native, he attended Eastern Michigan University and University of Michigan earning a B.S. and M.A. respectively. He plays timpani and jazz drums with local music groups. Mr. Jackson has given many presentations and instructional workshops on a variety of topics, and was Instructor of Research for PhD candidates at a private school. He currently writes for Public Libraries Online, a blog of the American Library Association’s American Libraries magazine, and is editor of the Plateau Area Writers Association publications; PAWA Quarterly and annual themed anthology, Contrasts.


Kara & Hawk Jones, Co-Founders, KotaPress
PO Box 514
Vashon WA 98070
206-251-6706
editor@kotapress.com
www.KotaPress.com
Category-Independent Author/Publisher-(Poet-Grief & Loss-Healing Arts-Photography-Self Publisher)

Kara & Hawk Jones
Publisher name-KotaPress
We publish the Kota Loss & Compassion Journal online; books including Flash Of Life, Mrs. Duck & The Woman and more; the print zine A Different Kind of Parenting; the blog at MotherHenna.blogspot.com; design books for the Mother Henna label; and photo books for Kotagraph.com. Kara's work has been featured in collections like Grief Unseen edited by Laura Seftel of The Secret Club Project; Honored Babies edited by Paula Long; Meant To Be by Barry and Joyce Vissel; Cup of Comfort Cookbook from Adams Media and more. We also founded the peace project A Peace Of... encouraging artists online to exhibit their works in any medium: poetry, prose, visual art, video, etc. See APeaceOf.blogspot.com for detailed call to artists.


(K)

(L)

J.L. Libstaff
KEY LITERARY CONCEPTS

PO Box 925
Vaughn, WA 98394
Email: info@watermarkwriters.com
Website: http://www.watermarkwriters.com
Category - Independent Author/Publisher - (Novelist - Journalist - Publisher)

J.L. Libstaff
Former technical writer and publisher for three national corporations. Raised in Michigan. Majored in English at Oakland University, Northwest resident since 1973. Founder of Watermark Writers, a non-profit program supporting the literary arts by presenting authors and songwriters in the Key Peninsula area. Watermark Writers offers the Young Writers' Program to inspire and encourage teens in the literary arts. Founder of Key Literary Concepts. Publisher since 2007. Published Old Moon, Poetry of Debra McElroy; Self-published a novel, He Shall Appear as a Morning Star. Key Literary Concepts specializes in uniquely designed paperback and hardback books.

(M)

William Armour-Yardley Murdoch
3652 - 13th Avenue W
Seattle WA 98119-1310
206.284.7726
jazzx021@att.net
Category - Independent Author/Publisher-Historian, Poet

William Armour-Yardley Murdoch
Born in Scotland, immigrated to America in 1930, college graduate in Business Administration, attended continuing education program, Columbia University, New York, NY. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle-contract administrator; General Insurance Company (now SAFECO), Seattle-Surety Underwriting training. World War II Pacific Theater as administrative assistant to Commander (Orthopedic Surgeon) and to Executive Officer (Harvard University Pathologist). Contract administrator, Far East District Corps of Engineer, Seoul, South Korea. Administrator, H.E.W., U.S. Public Health Service, Indian Health; Neah Bay Job Corps and Employment training and job placement counselor, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Seattle. National Chairman, Indian Health Service Unit Directors. Author: Republic of South Korea Years 1957-1959, (Book 16790), Authorhouse Publishers. http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetal.aspx?bookid=16790, To Smoke or Not to Smoke, That is the Question and A Memoir and Past History Relating to Native Americans (Indians) and Alaska Natives, an autobiography, The Life of William Armour- Yardley Murdoch, The Truth is Often Stranger than Fiction. These four books published by E-book, GLB Publishers, San Francisco CA. glbpubs@comcast.net.


(N)

Neil (d.n. simmers)
11211 Huff Blvd.
North Delta BC
Canada V4E 2E9
dnsimmers@yahoo.ca
Category: Author (Poet)

Neil (d.n. simmers)
Was born with divided roots: Father born in New Hampshire: early life adult (CA) after the war: moved and have lived in BC Canada since young man: Uncle in Seattle (dead) : Mother BC Canada.
Five chapbooks: Jamie's Garden / Barbara's Life(Black Sheep Books) Brenda's World / Brian's Place: Umbra Sumas ( Ashbury Press, Portland OR) George' s Street / (Ashbury Press, Portland OR (soon to be released)


(O)

Floyd M. Orr
Austin TX
tabitha@nctv.com
http://www.e-tabitha.com
http://iuniversebookreviews.blogspot.com
Category - Author, Columnist, Interviewer, & Book Reviewer

Floyd M. Orr
Retired from a varied career in the financial industry in 2001. Received B.A. in Psychology (Minor in Sociology) from Mississippi State University, 1971. Has resided in Austin, TX, area since 1980. Compiled, edited, and republished monthly column, The Corvette Chronicles, as his first published book, Plastic Ozone Daydream, at the end of 2000. Founded his Nonfiction in a Fictional Style (e-tabitha.com) website in 2001. Second book (Ker-Splash! Recreational Power Boaters Guide) released in early 2002. Author's theory of personality he calls The Class System (created and composed in the late sixties) re-edited and released as The Last Horizon: Feminine Sexuality & The Class System in late 2002. Published three of his imaginative stories about cars in two hardcover, coffee-table books (This Old Corvette & Mustang Legends) in 2003-4. Timeline of America: Sound Bytes from the Consumer Culture released in June 2006. Book review site featuring reviews, articles, and author interviews founded July 2006.


(P)

Nancy Pagh
3903 Flynn St. #208
Bellingham WA 98229
360.676.5653
Nancy.Pagh@wwu.edu
Category: Author (Poet, literary scholarship, Regional PNW scholarship)

Nancy Pagh
Was born and raised on Fidalgo Island in Anacortes, Washington. She burst onto the literary scene at age twelve with the publication of her poem "Is a Clam Clammy, or Is It Just Wet?" in a local boating magazine. Before earning Master's degrees in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia, she worked in the scientific publications unit of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration in Seattle. She teaches English and Canadian Studies at Western Washington University and lives in Bellingham.
Nancy's first collection of poems, No Sweeter Fat, won the Autumn House Press book prize for 2006. Her poems have been thrice nominated for the elusive Pushcart literary prize, and her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry Northwest, Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Grain, Pontoon, The Bellingham Review, Room of One's Own, B.C. Studies, Stories with Grace, Rock Salt Plum, and O Magazine. At Home Afloat, her study of women's travel language at sea, was co-published in 2001 by the University of Idaho Press and the University of Calgary Press.


Charles Portolano
PO Box 17205
Fountain Hills AZ 85268
480.837.3822
cportolano@hotmail.com
Category - Poet/Publisher

Charles Portolano
Has been enjoying the last fifteen years teaching in New York and now in Arizona. A graduate with a B.S. degree from Cortland State (SUNY) and a M.S. degree from Adelphi University. Author of four collections of poetry, Inspired By Their Spirits (2000), The Nature of Darkness (2001), The Soul Decision (2003), published by Wyndham Hall Press, and All Eyes on US (2007), self-published, and a chapbook Firsts (2006), self-published. Selected for inclusion in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education and Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

(Q)

(R)

(S)

Tamara K. Sellman
9407 Capstan Dr. NE
Bainbridge Island WA 98110
206.855.1072
tamarasellman@msn.com
www.magical-realism.com
www.tamarasellman.com
www.writersrainbow.com
www.mrcentral.net
Category-Independent Author/Publisher-(Writer: fiction, nonfiction, poetry; Electronic Publisher; Independent Editor)

Tamara Kaye Sellman
Director: Writer's Rainbow Literary Services; Founder/Moderator, MRCentral.net; Editor/Publisher: Margin; Pacific Northwest native; graduate of Columbia College (IL, 1990) with a four-year degree in Journalism, Magazine Editing & Publishing specialty; Bainbridge Island resident since 1999. Internationally published author of poetry, fiction, nonfiction; most recent credits include: Cezanne's Carrot, Clackamas Literary Review, Literary Mama, Sea Stories, Susurrus, Voices in the Dark; blogs include Rhymes With Camera, MR News: The Week in Review and Where the Read Fern Grows; Pushcart nominee; co-host with Kelli Agodon for the writer's marketing group, The Hive; successfully completed NaNoWriMo 2006.


(T)

Allan Thorne
4444 S. 134th Pl.
Tukwila WA 98168
206.683.0637
vudu8ball@seanet.com
Category-Independent Author/Publisher-(Poet-Reconnoiter-Self-Publisher)

Allan Thorne
Born 1952 in Bellow's Falls, Vermont. BA in Economics University of Washington 1980. Author and POD publisher of Dating At Fifty, a collection of poems dealing with the issues involved in finding love late in life. Jewelrey designer, painter, and photographer. Owner Seattle Bagel Bakery.


(U)

(V)

(W)

Marion West
633  35th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
206.323.4169
west633@comcast.net

Marion West
Freelance journalist for newspapers and magazines. Self published book, Clearbrook about growing up on a farm in Northwest Washington during the Depression and WWII. History graduate of the University of Washington, Certificate in group social work from Shimer College of the University of Chicago. Taught in Seattle and Renton Public Schools, University of Washington, and the University of Guangzhou, China. Technical writer for the City of Seattle. "Outstanding" award from the National Scholastic Press Association for 2 year editing of high school newspaper.

(X)

(Y)

(Z)

Michael Yaeger
93 Pike (Atrium), Pike Place Market
Seattle WA 98101
206.624.9102
michael@michaelyaeger.com
www.michaelyaeger.com
Category:Publisher (Pike Place Market Calendar since 1981)

Michael Yaeger
Writer of four books, Story Editor in London for film, years of journalistic writing, etc. Filmmaker and Artist. See website for details. Honorary mayor of the Pike Place Market.

Top of page


INDEPENDENT AUTHOR/PUBLISHER/BOOKSELLER

by J. Glenn Evans

No one is more entitled to publish an author's work than the creator of that work. Many famous authors have published their own work and not only in the beginning of their writing careers. Mark Twain created a publishing company, Webster and Company, Publishers. He hired his nephew-in-law, Charles Webster, to operate the firm. In his book, Mark Twain on Writing and Publishing, he states that he established the firm mainly in order to publish and profit from his own work, but he later expanded the opportunity to publish the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. Virginia and Leonard Wolf owned a publishing company that published their works as well as that of other writers. Elbert Hubbard, the famed author and founder of Roycroft Shops, who went down with the Titanic, was another self-publisher. Walt Whitman published his early editions of Leaves of Grass and was compelled to give most of them away because he could not sell them. Zane Grey's wife financed the publication of his first book, Betty Zane. There are numerous other famed authors who have self-published, but far too many to list here.

Most certainly there are unseasoned authors who self-publish without line editing or with other errors that should have been corrected. Closer editing in many cases would have greatly improved the work. These days we also see books published by the main houses in which editorial assistance seems to be lacking and/or spelling and typographical errors occur. In other cases we see books published by the main houses in which one must ask whether the cause of Literature might have been better served if they had saved the paper. Scan the stacks of remaindered books in the aisles of bookstores in any city, and especially those of the big box stores. A book is good or bad or maybe somewhere in-between. Just as an MFA does not guarantee the quality of the writing, publication by a major publishing firm does not guarantee the quality of the writing or its success in the marketplace. Furthermore, the claim that a book published by a major firm guarantees the authenticity of its content is undermined by the claims of plagiarism made against some of their better-known authors.

Reviewers and booksellers argue that there is so much stuff out there, they do not have time to consider self-published books and POD (print on demand). This is a lame excuse. A quick sampling of a paragraph or so of any work, self-published or otherwise, can determine whether the material is worth pursuing further. Conglomerates, mainly interested in the bottom line, now own most major publishers. This creates the chase to publish a few stars and celebrities rather than good literature. The bias of many reviewers and booksellers in shunning self-published works also works against free speech. It denies the distribution of many books that often surpass the quality of books published by the main houses. Much literature of merit now depends on small presses and author/self-publishers for exposure.

One begins to wonder if well known writers too often get a free pass with publishers and reviewers, while much quality writing is spurned because it is self-published or POD. Also, in the case of best-selling celebrative writers, many of their books are ghost-written. Take a recent example, Madonna's book for children was written by Cabala Center's official ghostwriter. (Seattle PI, 12July05, page F2)

Authors who self-publish or use PODs should organize to support each other with newsletters and websites that would include book reviews and notices of new releases. This would generate interest and support for books of merit. One of our goals should be to provide greater exposure for books by our members. Self-written or commissioned reviews should be permitted, but first screened by individuals qualified to judge their merit. This would be the qualification for publication through the association's newsletters and website.

Reviewers and booksellers who give author/self-publishers and author/PODs a fair shake should be listed and supported by members of the association. They can provide networking support and patronage while encouraging their friends and other contacts to do the same.

Membership should include writers who have been published by outside presses, but who support the self-published concept. The high road of good literary and quality production should be supported by the membership. Print on Demand (POD) has to be the coming thing for authors and self-publishers as well as for the small presses. Storage costs, losses on remainders, expensive upfront printing charges make it common sense to utilize POD. Such inexpensive production creates opportunities for more original voices to be heard. Some in time may come to be recognized as giants.

Readers and booklovers all over will benefit from the creativity and variety of books offered. Cooperative efforts that utilize the Internet can increase the exposure of many fine books to a broader readership. If the big guys continue to ignore author/self-publishers and author/PODs, we should take control of our own destiny and help each other. We can work and support the remaining independents bookstores that cooperate in giving exposure to books of author-publisher/PODs. These independent bookstores find it difficult to survive the onslaught of the big boxes with big bucks. Some of these bookstores find that a combination of new and used works well for them.

One successful grass roots effort has been the New Mexico Book CO-OP. In a recent article by Paul Rhetts in the Span Connection (June/2005), a newsletter for the Small Publisher Association of North America, he relates how over 200 local author and independent publishers partnered by setting up a book store in the local Cottonwood Mall in Albuquerque to sell books by New Mexican authors during the holiday season Thanksgiving through Christmas. Sales were over $41,000 with 3,400 books sold exposing 425 local books to retail book buyers, libraries, schools and other bookstores. Many follow-on sales came later. Participants took turns running the store. This was a great way to help each other. (www.nmbookcoop.com)

There must be thousands of author/self-publishers and author/PODs who could benefit and would support such self-help projects. I'm sure many would be willing to pay a modest membership to support a website and newsletter. Perhaps a small fee of $25 or so would cover the cost of reviews or to have their own reviews screened by competent people to maintain quality. Judgment criteria could be predetermined to weed out poor production quality, errors and typos in spelling, grammar and poor literary merit.

This is an opportunity waiting to happen. I'd be happy to become one of the first members of such an association. Even though my writings have been fairly widely published in journals, I have personally chosen to self-publish several books, simply in order to maintain control and quality of production and to make the publisher's profit. I have utilized the POD route on one occasion and plan to do so again. I would create an association to promote author/self-Publishers myself, but at my age with my time running out and so many more books yet to write, I must not allow myself to fall to the temptation to take on such a project. This is a worthwhile opportunity that a young person with time and drive should tackle. If someone were already performing these services for author/self publishers and not bilking the writers, I'd love to hear about it. By working together let's build our own market following for quality author/self-published works. Let the big guys have the stars, celebrities, crooks and perverts.(NOTE: NO ONE STEPPED FORWARD TO TAKE UP THE GAUNTLET SO HERE I AM.)

Copyleft 2006 J. Glenn Evans
(Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)

Top of page