Perhaps it’s that I’m as crazy as people think I am, but I’ve recently started attending local writers group meetings and admitting I own a publishing company. I make sure to bring a lot of business cards, and usually post a comment the next day about having “made it out alive” or “surviving another one”…

Survival is actually a big thing for small presses. Last time I checked, Bowker estimated that 80,000 new publishers start up each year; this is based on the number of requests for new ISBN blocks. It is also estimated that 50% of these businesses close within the first year and that 95% of all new publishers fail within 2 years. This is the reason most advice columns for authors suggest that authors wait until a publisher has proven it is going to be around for a while before submitting manuscripts to a publisher.

The reason these statistics are significant (to me, anyway) is that Divertir Publishing was incorporated on September 16th, 2009 (yes, I did open a bottle of home-made chocolate orange Port to celebrate). Thus, we have officially hit our two year mark. I think we’ve come a long way in that time:

  • In July 2010 Elizabeth Harvey became our Acquisitions Editor, and we shifted out focus from publishing only nonfiction to also publishing our short story collections and fiction in certain genres.
  • Our first short story collection came out in December 2010; our 4th collection is slated to be release in November of this year.
  • Our first novel, Hurricane by Jenna-Lynne Duncan, was published in August of this year. Our second novel, Dragon’s Teeth by Suzanne van Rooyen, will be released in October, while our third novel (Fugo by Elizabeth Young) is scheduled for release in December. We have signed contracts with six more authors and will be releasing those books within the next four to eight months.
  • We have an arrangement with a local charter school to provide all of their custom textbooks.
  • Divertir Publishing was featured in the article “Keys to Cracking 10 Top Markets” by Adria Haley which appeared in the September issue of Writer’s Digest. I have to admit this is probably the one thing I have been most proud of; for me it was validation that we’re doing some things right.

We have a lot of exciting plans for the coming year, including the launch of a free magazine (one way we plan on more actively marketing our short story collections) and a more interactive web site where readers can communicate with their favorite authors. We have started reaching out to local authors both so we can can feature more local authors in our short story collections and as a way to help local authors get their work published, even if it’s not with us (thus my “adventures” attending writers group meetings).

I want to thank all the authors who have worked with us, both on our short story collections and full-length manuscripts, for putting their faith in us. Also, without the efforts of the people who have worked with us as editors (Beth Harvey, Lisa Keele, Mel Ngai, and Elisa Nuckle), we would not be where we are today. Thank you for all of your hard work as we were starting out.

The changes which have resulted from the “digital revolution” have made this an exciting time in publishing. I’m looking forward to the next year and the exciting things it will bring.



Filed under For Authors, Publishing

3 responses to “Survival…

  1. Well, happy belated anniversary. I’m eager to see what sort of big advancements will be made on your website (which I check religiously both for short story calls and for the blogs) in the coming year.

    I’ll probably have some whiskey in you guys’ honor as soon as I can remember to get some.

  2. How exciting – 2 years and counting for Divertir. Seems as though you have all made tremendous strides in that short timespan.

    Will you be sharing more experiences from your writer’s group expeditions? I’m still contemplating the value of local writing groups.


  3. Thanks for the encouragement. I, too, am an aspiring author and am inspired by what I’ve read from Ken’s postings. I will try to soon offer my true and embellished recollection collection of my childhood in south MS in the seventies, the best decade there ever was.

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