While we had started this blog in the hope of offering great wisdom and good advice, paying back with useful tips all those who had helped us--we soon discovered there are an awful lot of good writers already doing that. Many of them saying what we wanted to say--only better.
During our first year, we’ve struggled with what to call our particular kind of publishing. Independent? Partnership? Hybrid? Labels only matter if you ever really are stuck in an elevator with someone who’s actually interested in hearing what you do but only has two minutes. This hasn’t happened. What has happened is authors writing to ask how Bacon Press Books works. We explain it well, we think, only to find out some people are confused.
That’s why it was exciting to read “Partnership Publishing: The Continuing (and Controversial) Revolution” by Brooke Warner in the Independent magazine put out by IBPA. Warner, co-founder of She Writes Press, writes about overcoming the limits of current definitions to describe what it is they do. How partnership publishing, falling outside the standard models of traditional and self-publishing, is something new and necessary.
She goes on to say, “If partnership publishing is to fill current needs in the world of publishing, we need to start with an honest conversation about the fact that the sole determiner of a book’s merit or legitimacy is not whether the author has paid for any part or parts of the publication process. And reviewers need to be part of that conversation.”
Then, equally exciting, is an article by Ben Dunne in Mick Rooney's the independent publishing magazine “Is self-publishing creating a hierarchical community for its authors?”
Questioning whether all this emphasis on writers being self-publishers, meaning creating their own companies and handling all the work themselves, isn’t creating a two-tiered system where those writers who work through small publishers are somehow less serious than those who do it all.
Wish we’d written that one, too.
We’re cynical enough to think that people who say they want to encourage a full debate often mean they want everyone to keep talking until they come around to a certain point of view. Okay, we’re guilty. We’d like everyone to read these two excellent articles so we don’t have to keep explaining that small partnership/hybrid/independent presses that vet submissions and work with a team of professionals to produce beautiful books have an important place in the publishing world. And that shunning writers who choose to go this route is worse than recreating those awful cliques that made high school so miserable for so many writers.
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