BY MADDIE SCHMIDT email@example.com
March is Small Press Month! What is Small Press Month, you ask? Small Press Month is a way to celebrate publishers and authors around the world. It aims to highlight small publishing houses themselves, as well as the various writers they represent.
What is unique about small presses?
Small presses often work with a diverse, unique array of writers, working to publish those literary voices that big publishers won’t. People who work at small publishing houses are passionate and driven about the work they do. They care about literature, and they care about featuring bold, exceptional writers.
These independent publishers are essential for writers; writers don’t have to compete against every other wanna-be author and rely on big publishing houses anymore. Indie presses provide so many more avenues to get your book published. Plus, small presses can take risks with what they publish, trying new things and letting creativity shape their decisions.
How was Small Press Month started?
Small Press Month was invented by two companies in 1996: New York City-based Small Press Center and California-based Publishers Marketing Association. Their intention in creating this celebratory event was to highlight small presses around the world and advocate for their work in the face of the traditional big publishing houses. They wanted to encourage small publishers to keep doing what they’re doing, fighting for their unique work to be read. According to daysoftheyear.com, “It takes courage and strength of spirit to stand up and publish in the face of the large publishers.”
How can you celebrate Small Press Month?
Local libraries and bookstores often create displays of small press books during Small Press Month. Check out or buy these books to support indie presses and their authors. You can also visit bookstores of small presses, like the Milkweed Editions bookstore located in Minneapolis, MN. You could attend this event at Dream Haven Books and Comics (Minneapolis) on March 19 to learn about how a small press runs.
Or, right from the comfort of your home or favorite coffee shop, you can check out websites of small presses and order their books online to support them. I would suggest Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press, New Rivers Press, or Grove Atlantic, just to name a few.
Small Press Distribution, New Rivers Press’s very own book distributor, is also a great way to find and acquire small press books.
Additionally, you should follow New Rivers Press on social media (@newriverspress) to see our interns’ favorite small presses and small press books, which will be featured throughout March.
Some of my favorite small press books
- Into the Sun by Deni Ellis Béchard, published by Milkweed Editions
- Deep Calls to Deep by Jane Medved, published by New Rivers Press
- The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan, published by Tyrant Books
- History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, published by Grove Atlantic
- Nighttime on the Other Side of Everything by Sarah Kobrinsky, published by New Rivers Press
*references used to write this blog post: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/small-press-month/, https://www.tckpublishing.com/complete-guide-to-small-press-publishing-for-writers/, other links included in body text