Ok, what? Small press month was started in 1996 to bring attention to small press houses that publish more non-traditional writers than the major publishing houses. To be published by a major house, you usually have to have an agent to have your submission even read, and after someone decides to take a chance on your manuscript, a group at the publishing house then has to decide they like it too. It's a long drawn-out process and if you're famous, chances are you'll get published. If you're not a celebrity or proven author, you probably won't get very far in the process. There are slush-pile success stories, but you stand a far better chance to be published by a small press.
So today I'm going to highlight a few that have caught my eye for one reason or another...and if you're thinking of writing a manuscript, or have one you'd like to submit, take a look at these stellar publishers. You won't get a $25,000 advance, but you might actually get published and then you'll have your foot in the door and your words on a page!
1. My favorite small press is Elva Resa (meaning 11th journey in Swedish), the company that published my short story and made my dream of being a published author a reality. They mainly publish books for and about military families and do a lot to support military families. They have a monthly e-newsletter called Books Make a Difference (that I have had the privilege of writing for) and their books have won several awards. There's no submission call right this minute, but here's the page for future efforts. Take a look at what they publish and see if what you have is appropriate.
2. Another favorite small press is the Columbus Creative Cooperative, because I live in Ohio and a former drama geek bud of mine was published in this book. They do only publish Ohio writers, but here's the link to that info if you're a Buckeye like me.
3. Albert Whitman & Company publishes the ever-popular kid's book series, The Boxcar Children, among others. They are a small press, though, and I've met one of the editors and she was fab. As she explained, a small press pays more attention to its writers and its projects because they have a smaller ratio of authors to editors. They still accept manuscripts without an agent and here are their guidelines.
4. Abdo Press began as a small company and now has a niche publishing books for schools mostly. They have fiction and nonfiction options, as well as graphic novels. They accept manuscripts without agents as well.
5. Lark Crafts is a small press that publishes crafty type books. One of my faves is this lettering book. Their submission guidelines are here, so if you have a crafty book in you, give them a shot!
I couldn't leave without a little craft for this post about small press...tiny books! Check out Annes Papercreations blog and video for the how-to.
That's all I have for today...but chances are, if you look hard enough, you'll find some good books and great authors at small press publishers. And when you buy books from small publishers, lots of people win.
I just finished two young adult horror novels (not small press), including Frozen Charlotte, which features a bunch of little frozen Charlotte dolls that come alive! Eeek! What are you reading right now?