Once Again, In Praise of Small Presses

Let me just say, as a fan of small presses and as one whose work has been published by small presses, I think it’s so wonderful that Paul Harding’s Tinkers won the Pulitzer Prize. This novel was published by Bellevue Literary Press, a teeny tiny press out of the NYU School of Medicine that just started publishing fiction a couple of years ago, and only publishes a couple of novels every year.

I recently heard an editor from a major publisher say that if a book at that house sells less than 5,000 copies a year, it goes out of print. Small publishers like Bellevue typically print 3,000 copies or less in the first run, and pay three or four figure advances. This year’s award reminds us that just because a book didn’t get a huge print run or a giant advance, it doesn’t mean it’s minor or bad. It’s also a reminder that some of the best books are published by some of the smallest presses.

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5 thoughts on “Once Again, In Praise of Small Presses

  1. Hello!

    I just finished reading your entire blog and I am very glad to read it, because I will be facing some of the same challenges in the future. I plan to move to Japan with my boyfriend from the countryside of Niigata and get married. Fortunately, we will be moving more to a more urban area because he wants a job using English and I cannot speak Japanese yet. I have to study very hard I know. How and when did you start studying Japanese? I am just curious.

    • Hi, Tracey. Thanks for reading! In answer to your question, I basically started studying Japanese when I got over here. I took a couple of community ed classes, but mostly I studied on my own and picked up Japanese from having to speak it every day. If I had to go buy stamps, for example, I would look up the phrase in a book and use it.

      • Ok. Thanks. you have been a big help to me. I have enjoyed hearing about your life to try to figure out how my life might be like in the future.

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