Want to save Literature? Support small presses.

I’m not kidding around. For all the bellyaching lately about the Endless Deathknells of Literature (and Life!) as we know it (yeah, Garrison, I’m talkin’ to you), not nearly enough attention is being paid to the vigorousness and vitality abounding in the small press world. The small press world is populated by millions of profoundly brave souls who deeply care about books. They stake their futures on books and leverage their livelihood on books and sometimes even mortgage their children’s future on books. And it is this willingness to risk everything that has fueled a renaissance in literature – one that’s happening right now -  that is recharging, re-invigorating and resuscitating the Book.

It’s the small presses, the independent booksellers, the indie zines, and the micropresses who are pushing boundaries in literature. For those of us who are constantly on the lookout for books that inspire us, challenge us, books that push language and concepts and ideas into uncharted territory, we know better than to search out the old standbys on the bestseller list. Instead, we look to the vanguard – where books rethink and recreate the world.

I’m thinking about this right now, because I have a new story up on Shimmer’s website – one that you can read for free (did you say free?) for just signing up for their newsletter. Now, this is something that we should be doing anyway – because we can’t always afford to buy every book we want nor can we subscribe to every journal that we think is awesome. But, what we can do is stand up and be counted. We can say, yes! I value this! I support books and thinking and language and image. I believe that literature is a living thing, a world unto itself, one that expands and greens and fertilizes all who touch it. I believe in the power of stories and the power of great books.

Anyway, if you feel like reading the story, head over to Shimmer, and show your support. And in the meantime, here is my question for you folks: Who are the small booksellers and book makers that are currently revving your booklust currently? For me, PS Publishing, Subterranean Press, Graywolf Press, and Small Beer Press get my vote.

What are your favorites?

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3 thoughts on “Want to save Literature? Support small presses.

  1. Hi, I have landed here from tagsurfer of short-fiction at wordpress, a mutual interest. I have enjoyed reading your post and the “opinion” from Garrison Kieller, whose point of view I do not tend to ignore.

    Both of you are right and where you agree is in the “public awareness” aspect of fiction writing. When (almost) anyone can blog and have their illiterate ramblings spellchecked into acceptable language, the web is awash in works, many of utter garbage quality.

    But the internet has become THE SOURCE of information and entertainment for huge numbers of folk. How do you get ones contributions highlighted in a way that searchers can find what they desire? Be it micropress “hard copy”, ebooks such as kindle, selfpublished or traditional main stream publishing?

    I ask so many questions but have almost no answers. Perhaps all mediums will continue to exist and appeal to the different reader?

    Thanks for making me think about this subject, not for the first time either!

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