Almost Time for Our First Fiction Title

Waiting to be signed... our first short run from the Espresso Book Machine at Powell's as we wait for a more substantial short run to ship.

Waiting to be signed… part of our first short run from the Espresso Book Machine at Powell’s as we wait for a more substantial short run to ship.

Here’s the moment right before I go from being a writer/blogger/publisher to publisher/writer/blogger.

Well, the transition happened nine months ago, when I started accepting manuscripts, but it has mostly been behind-the-scenes work. Nothing very visible.

But now that’s changing. My small publishing company, Forest Avenue Press, releases its first fiction title, A Simplified Map of the Real World, on Sept. 12. It’s a linked short story collection by Oregon author Stevan Allred, who spent ten years writing and revising these luminous stories, rearranging them into the perfect order. We like to think of it as being in the tradition of Olive Kitteridge but with more divorce. And more pickles, too.

Scott Nadelson, who has has several story collections published through Hawthorne Books, another small press in Portland, says this about A Simplified Map of the Real World: 

“Stevan Allred’s characters are delightfully wrong-headed. They make questionable choices—sometimes terrible ones—and get themselves into all kinds of trouble. But the worse their mistakes, the more I care for them, because beyond their difficulties what Allred gives them is the essential dignity of longing. No matter how misguided, all strive toward some ideal, and no matter what mess they make of their circumstances, they end up more alive for having given themselves over to desire. To read their stories is to journey through passions that transcend the confinements of small town life—and it’s a journey that’s by turns funny, surprising, and heartbreaking.

– Scott Nadelson, The Next Scott Nadelson

We’re revealing more blurbs, week by week, leading up to the release, over at the Forest Avenue Press website.

The reason I know things are changing–that my primary public role is shifting to publisher–is that late last week, A Simplified Map of the Real World was pushed through to the book catalogs, where bookstores can order them, and also to IndieBound, which links to independent bookstores, local beloved indie powerhouse Powell’sAmazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click on the links to see about pre-orders. Powell’s is offering signed editions, and Amazon and Barnes & Noble are offering pre-order discounts. We’ll also have ebooks available by launch date in ePub, .mobi, and PDF forms.

You can also, of course, pre-order directly from the publisher–me!–and you’ll get a signed edition hand-packaged here at the Forest Avenue Press headquarters. (As Stevan likes to point out, that’s my kitchen table…) We’re using Gumroad, which takes a small percentage of the cost in exchange for the sales platform, and we’re thrilled with the experience so far.

And finally, we’re doing a Goodreads giveaway through Sept. 1, so sign up here for a chance to win.

I’ll write more about our launch and some of the exciting happenings, but my blogging focus here is still being useful to other writers and publishers in looking at the craft, doing author interviews, and continuing my still-new Finding Readers series about book promotion. I hope what I’m learning about publishing and publicity will feed into the usual content about writing and revising. I have plans to do some posts on editing Stevan’s stories too–like whether whiskey or whisky is correct.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, small press, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Almost Time for Our First Fiction Title

  1. Very excited for you Laura! I look forward to hearing about your Adventures in Publishing.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    I’m really looking forward to reading this collection. I hope it’s simply the first step of a long and successful publishing career for you!

  3. Dunx says:

    I am looking forward to reading this book – I’m not really a literary fiction reader, but Scott’s blurb makes it sound like a gentler version of a Coen brothers film.

    As to whiskey vs whisky: I’m British so I always use “whisky”, and I would argue that the shorter form is always appropriate if you’re talking about the spirit distilled in Scotland.

    Good luck with the book launch!

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