Growth. It’s imperative. And that doesn’t always refer to size or numbers. In fact, unbridled growth can lead to unwanted problems in the long run, but gentle, slow growth is healthy and normal.
My current vision for PYP in 2013:
Port Yonder Press will continue to focus on 4 to 6 very good manuscripts each year. More than that and we fail to accomplish the plans we have for each. Our vision is focused and sharp, and can’t allow for distractions, even the distraction of too many books.
We function on a shoestring budget, are constantly seeking to reduce our overhead, can’t pay staff (we severely underpay the one we do pay), and are always seeking competent volunteer help. If you’re great at content editing, line editing, proofreading or design … if you love our vision, and can work with a highly motivated (though relaxed) lead – me … then I encourage you to contact us and offer your services. Given the awards we’ve won, your resume will shine all the brighter after even a year with us (the minimum we request).
“Status Quo” is a phrase that has lost its power at Port Yonder Press. We’re constantly seeking new and better ways to do what we do, and we’ve grown beyond the “small press – small accomplishments” mindset. I think we’re off to a good start with 5 First Place book awards in the past 2 years.
If you care more about us working together to put out a quality book than getting a mediocre book out the door quickly, you’re in the right place. We spend an inordinate amount of time on editing (content, line & proof), design of text and cover, and we insert those occasional rest periods for an edited manuscript to “cure” before we tackle it again. Many presses operate much much faster than we do. I will also be taking my annual writing sabbatical in December and January, and all projects will be put on hold during those 2 months, without exception.
Our goal is to produce great books that will outlast us. Somewhere along our journey I want us to produce truly classic literature. In our pursuit of such, we must reject the “agenda-ed” manuscripts submitted to us: that is, if your manuscript seems to promote a political view, a religious ideal, a sexual agenda, etc., beyond the telling of a great story, we will have to pass on it. Of course, these elements are fine within the larger story, but should only exist as subservient, complementary elements to the larger story. All political rants, graphic sexuality, religious preaching in word or tone, gratuitous strong language not in keeping with the focus, will doom a manuscript at this press.
We want to reach the most people, the widest audience, with the best books possible. Our focus is on those great “crossover” books which will accomplish that. We will also consider the occasional mainstream work that offers something substantial to the world of literature and the betterment of society. We will consider the occasional religious piece (Christian, generally, but others will be considered too, depending on how the viewpoint is presented: naturally or gratuitously), but the religious aspects must be in keeping with our vision for Great Literature First.
Having said that, we are very careful about the authors we choose to work with, steering away from the “temperamental” artist types, and the political or religious combatants who are unable to effectively deal with differences of opinion or constructive advice. Our focus must stay on those we feel we can work with in relative harmony.
With such a strong emphasis on learning and growth, from the top down, we want to continue to disperse information that will help writers better learn to do what they do. We will not be stingy with our discoveries and tips. Watch for information on this blog, on our Facebook page, and on our website, as well as at any conferences I attend and at which I present.
We commit to trying new venues of growth, including occasional short story collections, possible contests, scholarships to writers conferences, and our “award for every book” efforts.
I will be adding this post to our website as a reminder to myself, my staff, and our authors and readers – that Port Yonder Press is serious about books that leave a legacy of excellence.