Monday, November 12, 2007

How To Find a Small Press

I often get questions like How Do I Find an Agent? I like getting questions and I try to answer them either here on Straight From Hel or in my newsletter, Doing It Write. Recently I heard from someone who wanted to go with a small press and preferred a local one. But she had no idea what presses were based in Texas.

I can tell you where to start your research, because it’s where I start just about all my research on any topic. Google.

If you don’t like Google, use whatever search engine you prefer. I occasionally use, but don’t get as targeted or comprehensive results as Google. So Google is where I turn first.

You can search Google with terms like “small press Texas” and you’ll get some results to start you off. Another area to search that you may not have thought of is to search Google News.

For example, this morning, I searched Google News for the term “book publishing.” I came across an article in The Courier of Montgomery County called “College to Host Publishing Festival and Book Fair.” The article lists the university and independent literary presses expected to attend. So, if you’re looking for Texas presses, you would now have a starting list: “Texas A&M Press, Texas Review Press, Arte Publico, Wings Press, Texas Tech University Press, A & M Consortium presses and Mutabolis.”

The story did not have embedded links, so you’ll then have to Google each one to find out more about them, like their location, what they publish, their submission guidelines, etc. I had never heard of “Mutabolis,” so I Googled it. Came up with nothing. Luckily, Google suggested an alternative spelling of “Mutabilis.” So I Googled that and came up with their website. They’re in Houston; they were founded in 2003; they publish poetry.

The ten presses attending the festival are not the only presses in Texas. You can do more research to find others. And you can do this same research to find presses in other states. Here’s a site to get you started on your research: SPAWN, which stands for Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network. Based in California, it’s a great site for information on writing, editing and publishing books.

I’m hoping to interview Patricia Fry, the president of SPAWN, soon. So, as part of your research, keep checking Straight From Hel. I know Patricia will have lots of valuable insight for all of us.

Of course, there are other places to search, like in the LMP, Literary MarketPlace. More than likely, though, you don't have that at home and you'll have to go to the library unless you've paid to be a registered online user. But if you want to start your search at home in your chair, start with the Internet.

Happy Researching!

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