What is a Small Press?

Since carp(e) libris is focusing on small presses, I thought it would be helpful to give you a little overview of what a small press actually is. You can call them small presses, independent presses, indie publishers – any of these terms are correct. But one thing a small press shouldn’t be confused with is the vanity press, which is a publisher that will print and sell any book as long as the writer is willing to pay. A small press receives submissions and chooses which books they wish to represent, the same as the mainstream presses. But what I find so interesting about the small press is that they tend to publish books out of a sense of love for the subject and a devotion to the book and the author. Oftentimes profits are moved to the back seat in favor of creating a labor of love.

Because of this drive, you will find some amazing pieces of writing. First-time authors are often taken on by the small press. In the large mainstream presses, wonderful writers are often bypassed because they’ve not yet been published, or the subject matter doesn’t seem to appeal to a wide enough audience. But a small press isn’t afraid to take on a book that caters to a niche market.

This quick description reveals why I choose to cover the small presses. A true lover of books is able to feed their reading habit with fantastic fiction, nonfiction, multicultural and other genres by taking a good look at this literary goldmine.

1 comment to What is a Small Press?

  • Marie

    Thanks for the lesson. I am a wannabe author, but I never totally understood this area of the publishing business.

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