Bigger isn't always better
Published: July 29, 2011
|The big traditional publishers have always had cachet, not the least because of their expert staffs, marketing power and deep pockets. The major houses have long, storied histories, and they have published many of the biggest names in writing. And so it’s not surprising that many of us dream of landing a contract with the likes of Random House, Simon & Schuster and Penguin.|
But not everyone makes it to the big leagues. Not everyone wants or needs to. For as long as there have been large publishers, there have been smaller presses that fill a vital role by showcasing literary fiction or poetry or other areas of writing that the major players often overlook. Smaller presses are frequently easier to submit to—and to work with—and their focus tends to be on quality, not quantity.
In “Canada’s interesting small presses” (page 26), contributing editor Stephanie Dickison looks at 10 unique small publishers in cities and towns across the country. Each press reflects the diversity of Canada’s lively literary scene, and while many focus on home-grown writers, others are open to non-Canadian submissions as well.
Then, in “Running on heart,” Elizabeth King Humphrey profiles Edith Pearlman and Lookout Books, the publisher of Pearlman’s short-story collection, Binocular Vision, which has won rave reviews from The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Pearlman praises the “tactful, imaginative and enormously helpful” editing her work received at Lookout, a recently established imprint of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Perhaps Lookout’s mission statement says it best: “In a publishing landscape increasingly indifferent to literary innovation, Lookout offers a haven for books that matter.” Read more on Pearlman and her publisher starting on page 28.