ADVICE TO IGNORE, from Stefan Tobler:
I started And Other Stories with no experience in publishing. Plenty of people gave me the very good advice not to start a press in my position, and they were not wrong. Publishing literary titles without a big backlist to bring in regular money (like Penguin or New Directions) is not really a sensible business idea as far as I can see. But there are always some people of questionable intelligence like me out there who won’t be told. If you are sure that’s you, read on. We at And Other Stories are happy to share whatever insights we have.
To be honest it feels like a minor miracle that the press started at all. I was not living in a centre of Anglophone publishing; my parents had no money or house to sell, let alone a fortune; I was a single parent, and so not getting out in the world all that much. And yes, I’d never worked in publishing. Thankfully, I found that people in publishing were generous with time and advice. Conversations and a couple of books showed me the way. (Big shout out to Ray Keenoy, of the Babel Guides series, Pete Ayrton, founder of Serpent’s Tail, and Sophie Lewis, who joined us from Dalkey Archive Press.)
While we’ve advised other publishers on occasion, through more structured mentorships we want to help individuals, either setting up or at existing young presses, who may not have easy access to industry professionals and their insight because of geography, class, ethnic background or another reason.
As the corporate publishing industry continues to consolidate, we feel it creates an exciting environment for publishers to spring up and present a diversity of stories from new voices. It is our hope that they and their authors flourish.
We imagine a mentorship consisting of an initial hour-long introductory phone conversation with periodic follow-ups by email or phone as questions arise, with Stefan Tobler, publisher, and perhaps other team members. If actual acquiring and hands-on editing of books is your passion, and not wider questions of the practicalities of a small press or small literary magazine, you may find an editing mentorship would be more appropriate. We are sorry that we don’t have the resources to offer that right now.
The publishing mentorship will be governed by available time within busy schedules, need, and the urgency of the questions, with the potential to continue without an end-date and into the future.
We imagine helping to answer questions relating to (but not limited to) distribution, publicity, editorial, printing, contracts, rights, translations.
If you’d like to sign up, please complete this form.
If you have additional questions about the mentorship or are a publisher who would like to be listed here as offering a similar mentorship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER PUBLISHERS’ MENTORSHIPS:
There are a number of other publishers who are running similar mentorship programs. If you feel as though their experience might prove more insightful for your specific enterprise, then please feel free to reach out to them. Anne Trubek of Belt Publishing has even written a Publishing Bible for you.
Latter day heroes of small press publishing far from the crowds. And they find time to run a bookstore. They are obviously the people who have got this game worked out.
Anne Trubek, founder of Belt Publishing, has a great newsletter about small-press publishing and has written a book about the publishing process and inner workings of the industry: So You Want to Publish a Book?
Constantly curious about what Mr Evans has up his sleeve next. Oh, taking Dalkey Archive Press under a wide Texan wing and pulling in a backlist of serious weight. Hot diggety dog.