Sunday

"All The Dark We Will Not See" - Is it Okay to Search For a New Publisher?

ALL THE DARK WE WILL NOT SEE, published by the distinguished Serving House Books, first appeared as "Year of The Rhinoceros," published by a popular and respected literary press in LA known as Red Hen Press. The initial birth of this story, fallen to earth as a big cracked egg, never possessed the proper edits or even a suitable cover. Not only that, but the lamination peeled easily, type was smudged in quarter-sized spots throughout the book, and the presence of it was generally rendered odd by "burn victim" artwork I was forced to swallow in order to prevent an even worse cover from potentially manifesting itself. But my intention here isn't to bitch about the staff of chickens at Red Hen, it's to make sense out of the emergence of a new edition of the novel now entitled ALL THE DARK WE WILL NOT SEE.

As time passed, I became more and more determined to get my rights back and land a new publisher, and I was eventually successful. The new edition now possesses everything I wanted for the first, and more, including an author preface, new cover, substantive edits, and text sans scores of typographical errors.

I have to confess that I'm lucky. Most authors don't get a chance to do it over, but I did. My new press, Serving House Books, is both brilliant and led by a fantastic editor, Walt Cummins. I can't thank or praise the press enough. I am surrounded by great writers, poets and authors, and in a company I respect.

So what's the bottom line here? I encourage all serious writers to strongly consider quality independent presses like Serving House. The literary history of the world is written by presses such as these, and by presses like Algonquin Books and Copper Canyon, among many others.

Larger publishing houses in New York have their place (especially when it comes to big genre books), and their advantages, but the quality independents will more likely treat you with respect and make a home for you in a way that many overworked, underpaid New York publishing house staff cannot even imagine much less engineer (usually through no fault of their own).