Have you written a book or hope to? There are so many options for writers today that did not exist a few decades ago. National Small Press Month celebrates this fact by shining a light on many of the great authors around the world. It celebrates not only the authors but the publishing houses as well. It takes courage and strength of spirit to stand up and publish in the face of the large publishers.
History of National Small Press Month
National Small Press Month began in 1996 when it was created by the New York City-based Small Press Center and the Publishers Marketing Association based in California. The goal was to highlight the smaller publishing companies and to encourage them in the fight against the traditional big publishing houses. It is also a time to put a spotlight on the authors that are being represented.
Many small publishers are standing up to the status quo and working with authors that the traditional publishers have chosen to reject.
In 1999 there was a survey done by the Book Industry Study Group that surprised people with its conclusions. It stated that at that time, fifty thousand small publishers accounted for $14.3 billion that year in sales! Independent publishers have only grown since then so today the figures would be larger. It can be difficult for the small press to get their product on the shelves when they need to go up against the larger companies.
How to Celebrate National Small Press Month
Celebrating National Small Press Month is important to keep ideas and information flowing from these independent sources. Many libraries and bookstores will have displays or sections devoted to highlighting them. If there is one of the small publishing houses in your community, they may even be hosting an event to bring awareness to their authors. It is common for book fairs to spring up to support these offerings as well. If you are looking for information on what is going on in your community, you could contact a local librarian for direction. Head on over to any of these events and check out their offerings. You just may find a new favorite book!
Do you already have a favorite author who is represented by an independent publisher? Share your experience and ideas on what and who you are reading with your friends or on social media. This is a great way to help support the idea that books matter. It doesn’t matter if it is one published by one of the largest or one of the smallest companies.
There is much more to learn about National Small Press Month and if you head over to your trusty search engine, you will find many pages full of information on events in your area. Grab the kids and head to your favorite bookstore or library! The trip can be made into something special and have time to make a memory that will encourage reading later in life. There is a whole month to celebrate, so you can always make more than one trip!