Community

Click to Read the Thread Post

Lately I see a lot of consulting-type content that breaks down sales and marketing—the sales funnel, qualifying your customer, customer journeys, things like that. How there’s a small percentage of people who know they need a product, and others I must engage with to reveal this need to them, and make them superfans, etc. And I’m always like, yes, this sounds awesome, how do I do it, let me in.

But then my dark angels are like—wait, no one NEEDS this book of poetry or whatever (even if ppl die everyday for lack of what’s found there), and if I reach outside *the indie lit bubble* to pull in some sucker to buy a PG book, there’s a good chance they won’t even like it. They’re probably right for not wanting it, and it would be wrong for me to try to make these books *desirable* for them.

(I realize I’m drawing a hard line here—and I was distracted just now by an email announcing an order that came in from my uncle for two books, which I know he’s buying based on a mass email I sent yesterday. I hope he likes them! Mostly I appreciate that he’s supporting me bc he likes me. Which is not a business model.)

But then I think, well the books I publish aren’t the thing I’m selling at PG. (This here is the hard part to say/think/get right.) The books are what gets the barcode, but they just exist as part of an overall publishing ecosystem, which is actually the thing that people want and need. That community is what I’m trying to create and sell. The ability to work on ideas and share that work with others.

When I think about those thought leaders sharing their branding insights, I should remember that this amazing community is what I’m trying to reach people with. And then I should figure out how each book from Publishing Genius represents/participates in that actual solution.

Click to Read the TL;DR

The gist of the screenshot from Threads is that bringing books into the world is just part of what Publishing Genius is all about. We also want to participate in the larger creative community, to share what we’re thinking about and hear about what others are doing.

What Kind of Community Activities?

The first thing we’re working on is Lunch with an Editor, 30-minute conversations with editors and movers-and-shakers in the small press world. Be sure to follow @pubgen on Instagram for announcements.

Next up is craft courses, design how-tos, and accountability groups to finish your manuscript—things like that.

We are also at work on in-person retreat in the Adirondacks, not to mention a reading series at Snowfort—our bookstore and co-learning space in Westport, NY.

Lunch with an Editor

“Lunch with an Editor” is a virtual brown-bag session for those interested in what’s behind the scenes of writing and publishing. During the IG Live, PG founder Adam Robinson converse with other movers and shakers from the writing community about everything from practical publishing stuff (with a lens to how it helps writers), and back stories that would even be interesting to people who aren’t trying to go deep “inside baseball” about the lit world. 

Wednesday

May 8

1:30pm Eastern

Instagram Live

007. Laura Paul from Asterism

This little book went to market.

Small Press Distribution shocked the small press world when they abruptly announced they were going out of business. Distributors, of course, are an important step of getting books to bookstores and ultimately to buyers. Thankfully for many small presses, Asterism has been building up their business over the last year or so, and are picking up a lot of the slack SPD left in the publishing process. Laura Paul is the Marketing Director at Asterism and will be on hand to talk about what they’re doing.

Monday

Apr. 29

12pm Eastern

Instagram Live

006. Adam Robinson from Publishing Genius

Hostile takeover!

In this episode, Param Anand Singh will take the interviewers role and turn the tables on Adam Robinson. We’ll talk about how Publishing Genius just accepted Param’s book about writing poetry, and what that means. What will the process for publishing look like? How does it work?

Tuesday

Mar. 12

12pm Eastern

Instagram Live

005. Katie Angermeier Haab from Protagonist

Reporting live from a McDonald’s parking lot.

In the two days that I’ve been using the new app PROTAGONIST, I’ve read more great writing from lit journals than I have in years! It really seems that way!

So this month on Lunch with an Editor I speak to Katie Angermeier Haab (rhymes with “stab”) about co-founding her brand new app. PROTAGONIST is a discovery engine that features journals and small presses in a really immediate and beautiful way. I’m enthusiastic about this project, if you can’t tell. I want to say something like, “If you enjoy looking at your phone, you’re going to love poetry,” which is a kinda new way for me to think and feel.

Check it out and let me know if you agree.

Tuesday

Feb. 13

12pm Eastern

Instagram Live

004. Robert Vaughan from Bending Genres

Reporting live from the cabin.

In this Lunch with an Editor, Robert Vaughan, head honcho at Bending Genres, and I meet on the day before Valentine’s Day to talk about his love for the literary community and what compels him to do he does what he does. Also on this day, BG launches their 37th issue (!) and Robert shared some background about the costs related to the project, from spreading the word (at events like AWP) to just the day-to-day costs, like updates and hosting. Lastly we talked about the enviable success of his writing retreats.

Tuesday

Jan. 9

12pm Eastern

Instagram Live

003. LK Shaw from Shabby Doll House

Reporting live from HQ.

“Lunch with an Editor” is a virtual brown-bag session for those interested in what’s behind the scenes of writing and publishing. During the IG Live, PG founder Adam Robinson converse with other movers and shakers from the writing community about everything from practical publishing stuff (with a lens to how it helps writers), and back stories that would even be interesting to people who aren’t trying to go deep “inside baseball” about the lit world. 

Wednesday

Dec. 6

1:30pm Eastern

Instagram Live

002. Chelsea Hodson from Rose Books

Reporting live from HQ.

Such a great conversation with the brilliant @rosebooks.co (Chelsea speaks about the craft of publishing like a savvy CEO). We talked about the difference between traditional publishing and small presses when it comes to paper and mailing books and Bookscan and print methods and more. We could have gone on and on! But break time’s over everyone, back to work.

Tuesday

Nov. 7

1:30pm Eastern

Instagram Live

001. Kevin Sampsell from Future Tense Books

Reporting live from the hot tub.

Just had an invigorating lunch with editor Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Books. I feel like we only scratched the surface and there is so much more I want to know. Thanks to Kevin for being generous with his time… and even more for being so exceedingly generous with his philosophy toward art making and publishing. I was most amazed by his list of ISBNs, which is old enough to drink. Buy Future Tense books!

Kevin Sampsell stands as a pivotal figure in the literary landscape, recognized both for his own writings and his foundational role at Future Tense Books. Through Future Tense, he has brought out important books by a myriad of emerging voices, including notable writers like Chelsea Martin, Wendy C. Ortiz, and Shane Allison. Beyond his publishing pursuits, which have been active for three decades, Sampsell is a longtime employee at Powell’s, the iconic bookstore in Portland. And his own books include A Common Pornography and This Is Between Us.

Help wanted!

Publishing Genius needs help as we step up the game for 2024 and beyond. If you’d like to work (in a rewarding but) unpaid volunteer position with an increasingly active literary publisher, please email me.

Then I won’t have to use AI generated photos like << that one.

Do we have a space? Yes!

We just bought a building! Publishing Genius is opening an indie lit-focused bookstore in the Adirondacks. We’re still working on the space and getting all the legal stuff in order, but soon we hope to be selling books and hosting events. Follow us at SnowfortBooks.com.