As many of you know, I’ve been working on a tight deadline to finish Brave on the Page, a collection of Oregon author interviews and essays, so it can be available at Wordstock, the Portland literary fest coming up in mid-October.
I’m pleased to announce Forest Avenue Press is publishing the collection. It’s my small press, based right here in Portland, and although the name is very Pacific Northwest-sounding, I named it after my childhood street on the East Coast. (New Jersey, to be exact…)
I filled out my DBA, my “doing business as” form, for the city, registering as a business, and then I opened a business bank account. I ordered The Square, a tiny free device that allows you to run credit and debit cards using a smartphone or an iPad. It’s my own personal cash register (coupled with a box of singles and fives in case people bring cash…).
I also had my dear friend Gigi Little design a beautiful logo for Forest Avenue Press. Isn’t it great? The avenue theme also matches my website. You’ll have to wait until next Monday’s launch to see the incredible cover she put together, but in the meantime, go check out Gigi’s website and pop her a note if you’re looking for a cover designer or a logo creator. Gigi also wrote an amazing essay, “Mentor,” for this collection.
I started my own business for a number of reasons:
- I decided if I was really going to ask people to write essays, and if I was really, really going to publish a book of other people’s work, I needed to do it right.
- Doing it right, to me, meant splurging for an ISBN, and since you can buy ten for the price of two ($250) from Bowker, that made more sense than buying one for $125.
- Obviously I would need to publish more than one book to justify buying ten ISBNs.
- More than one book? I have about thirty interviews on my blog, and I’d love to shape another group of them into a collection. And I have plenty of other ideas.
- I have a professional background in journalism and copy editing, and I am a freelance manuscript editor, and I love to lay out pages, and I love to promote other authors, and I know a little about marketing, so…
- Why not do all those things as an editor of a small press?
I plan to publish other people’s novels and memoirs as Forest Avenue Press gets rolling. That part of the plan will have to wait until Brave on the Page is out in the world. As a step in that direction, I’ve launched a blog for Forest Avenue Press. I’ll still post big news, launch excitement and upcoming events here, especially as the October 8 release arrives, but this way I’ll keep this space focused on writing, reading and community.
If you have self-published, did you create your own press? Did you invest in an ISBN? Why or why not?