Behind the Scenes of a Small Literary Press


Getting published by a big-name publishing house is an idea with allure. One that most authors dream of, and see as necessary to reach success. 

But is getting published by a big house the right choice for you? 

Independent presses have their advantages, and depending on what you want—not what you think your goals should be—a small press might be exactly what you need. 

In this week’s episode we’re joined by Aimee Dunn, the owner of the award-winning, independent literary press Palimpsest Press. She tells us all about the inside processes of getting published through a small press, and what benefits they have compared to a big publishing house. 

Listen to Learn:

  • What the publishing process really looks like
  • Dos and don’ts when submitting to a publisher
  • Some reasons for rejection (perhaps not what you think!)
  • The differences between publishing with large and small presses

The independent, small press can be an engine of writing success. Don’t write them off just because they aren’t one of the biggies.

Here’s a sneak-peek of today’s episode:

[09:45] I am often amazed at people who say, “Oh, I don't know why it's gonna take so long.” It's a long process.

[11:06] One of the great things about having a smaller press is that we get to be a little bit more collaborative with our authors.

[15:17] And once those relationships are built, they're willing to give your book a try compared to, you know, maybe something that's coming out of one of the big presses, right? 

[16:50] One of the greatest things an author can do is advocate for themselves, because your publishing house is doing everything they can.

[21:22] So, it always kind of makes me laugh, 'cause that's somebody who didn't really research the company before they sent it in.  

[28:10] The only goal of editing, is to make it the best possible book it can be.

[30:35] And of course the biggest thing I tell people—I always seem to bring it up at every event I'm at, so I guess it's my deal—is how rejection is never personal. 

Links from today’s episode:

Palimpsest Press on Instagram

Palimpsest Press on Twitter

Palimpsest Press on Facebook

The Resilient Writers Radio Show: Behind the Scenes of a Small Literary Press, with Aimée Parent Dunn -- Full Episode Transcript

Intro: Well, hey there, writer. Welcome to the Resilient Writers Radio Show. I'm your host, Rhonda Douglas, and this is the podcast for writers who want to create and sustain a writing life they love. Because—let's face it—the writing life has its ups and downs, and we wanna not just write, but also to be able to enjoy the process so that we'll spend more time with our butt-in-chair getting those words on the page. This podcast is for writers who love books, and everything that goes into the making of them. For writers who wanna learn and grow in their craft, and improve their writing skills. Writers who want to finish their books, and get them out into the world so their ideal readers can enjoy them, writers who wanna spend more time in that flow state, writers who want to connect with other writers to celebrate and be in community in this crazy roller coaster ride we call “the writing life.” We are resilient writers. We're writing for the rest of our lives, and we're having a good time doing it. So welcome, writer, I'm so glad you're here. Let's jump right into today's show. 

Rhonda: Okay. So, today I am speaking with Aimée Dunn. Aimée is the owner and publisher of Palimpsest Press, an award-winning independent literary press located in Windsor, Ontario. Aimée has a degree in English literature and language from the University of Windsor, and a graduate certificate in publishing from Toronto Metropolitan University. She has over 15 years of experience editing fiction, and she's the fiction editor at Palimpsest. She's on the board for Literary Arts Windsor, Franco-Sol Guarderie, and the planning committee for Book Fest Windsor, which is an amazing festival. She lives in Windsor with her husband and her two children, and you can follow Palimpsest Press on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You should look it up. Thanks for being here, Aimée.  

Aimée Dunn:       Oh, thanks for having me <laugh>.  

Rhonda:     So, tell us a little bit about the history of the press. So, who all was involved at the founding, and why was the press started?  

Aimée:       The press was founded in 2000 by a colleague of mine, Dawn Kresan. She started it as a journal, at first, called Kaleidoscope. And then, over the years, she started putting out poetry. So, we are primarily a poetry press. That's our roots, that's how we began. And that's where the name of the company comes in as well. As you know, a palimpsest is something that's been written on, erased, and rewritten. So, the idea was to bring some of the old into the new. That was our goal with our poetry, was to find, you know, ways of connecting with older poetry, but in newer and newer ways. Since then, I bought the company in 2014, and we've launched a fiction line, and we had a non-fiction line that mostly dealt with memoir and poetic memoirs and things of that nature. But we've kind of expanded a bit, and we're a little less scholarly, a little bit more on the memoir side of things, such as Sadiqa de Meijer’s Alfabet/Alphabet, you know, we're just looking at the way that language is used, today, and the ways that writers are changing that and really pushing language in their writing.  

Rhonda:        Okay. So, coming up, almost a quarter of a century. Like, soon it'll be—in a few years, you'll be celebrating your 25th anniversary. That's a big deal.  

Aimée:      Yes. Yeah.  

Rhonda:     That's awesome. 

Aimée:      Yeah, it's been around a long time. I've been with the company almost nine years, so, yeah. And it's taken me all those nine years to learn what I'm doing here, <laugh> I still feel like a baby in the business. But yeah, we're making some headway, finally.  

Rhonda:     You sure are, yeah. So, tell us a little bit about how a small press works. Like, what happens behind the scene from the point you receive a submission from an author?  

Aimée:     Sure. So, we have an open submission period from January to March. And then we also have a submission period for BIPOC, deaf and disabled, and the LGBTQ community that's year round. We did that in an effort to take down some obstacles for any marginalized folks to actually submit. So, the first thing that happens when we get those submissions is it takes forever to read them <laugh>, but we do get to them eventually. We usually ask for a small sample, and we just—you know, you can usually tell pretty quickly if something's gonna jive with you or not. And once we've seen the sample, if we like it, then we'll request the actual manuscript. From there, if you've made it to that stage, it could be another few months <laugh> of us, kind of making up our minds. But once we do, then we'll contact you again, and then we'll make the offer. Or, we might come back to you and say, “listen, you're almost there, this is what we'd like to see. Are you willing to put in the work to do that?” I've not found an author who has yet said, “no, I'm not willing to put in that work,” but—

Rhonda:       “No work for me, thanks.” Yeah. <laugh>

Aimée:     Yeah <laugh>, you know, it's one of those things where sometimes we get manuscripts that are brilliant, but we're just not the right editors for them. Like, we don't feel like we can work with that material. So it's, you know, I know we're gonna talk about rejection a little bit later on, but that's something so important to remember, is that the person on the other end of the submissions is an editor who has to work with your material. And it's so important that the editor be on board with what they get. Like, they don't just check— 

Rhonda:     Yeah, they've gotta love it. You want them to  love it. 

Aimée:       Ticking off boxes, it isn't gonna work, yeah. And, to be honest, I can say there's a couple, maybe, books that were taken because they checked boxes and they weren't good experiences. So, it's really, really important that the editors love the work that they're going to be editing, right? And then, from there, so the editor acquires the book, and then it comes to me, and then I send out the contract, we hammer out the details, and then we start the editing process.  

Rhonda:      Okay. So how long might it take from the point you submit something, until your book is published and available for all your friends and family and random strangers to buy?  

Aimée:     It is a minimum two-year process. Yeah <laugh>, and honestly it's a minimum two year process from the time you're signed, until the book is out. It's very rarely done faster than that. And, that's a lot of the behind the scenes that people don't realize is, first you’re editing, and usually the editing process takes about a year. Not because the author themselves is working on it for that full year, but just finding time to actually do the edits. Like, ‘cuz the editor doesn't sell the one book, right? <laugh> So, you're fit into a schedule. And then the editing process can take up to a year, usually at least a year. And then we move into design and layout. And beyond that, there's a whole series of things that we, as the publisher, are doing behind the scenes. So we're gathering the metadata for the books. Which I don't think a lot of authors realize that that has to go way, way in advance. You know, a six month minimum, at least. Most larger publishers, I believe, they do it almost a year in advance. So, we don't run that far ahead simply ‘cuz we're smaller <laugh>.  

Rhonda:      Right. And the metadata is the information about the book that would allow a bookstore or a library to order it, right?  

Aimée:     Yes. So, that's the information that goes out to all of the sites, that goes out to your Amazons, or your Chapters, your Barnes and Nobles, like, everybody who can get information, gets it from that metadata, which takes quite a lot of effort to compile, and actually also requires a lot of effort on the author's part. We need a lot of information from you to make that part happen as well. But the metadata has to go out at least eight to six months ahead of time. And then we finish up the layouts, then we have to get to the printer <laugh>. And even there, the book really should be at the printer a good three, six to three months ahead of time, just to make sure that it's actually available in the stores for that launch date. So it's, you know, I am often amazed at people who say, “oh, I don't know why it's gonna take so long.” It's a long process. It's not just a matter of slapping it into an <laugh> InDesign file and shipping it out the door. 

Rhonda:     And it's not just your book. Like, you publish several books a season, right? So, you're in with a group of books, and they're all scheduled, and you're fitting in. Yeah, yeah.  

Aimée:    Yeah. And right now, we're doing five books a season. We're just still pretty small. 

Rhonda:      No, but that's great, though.  

Aimée:      It's a lot for a small press <laugh>.  

Rhonda:    That's great. And if I come in with, you know, let's say I have these ideas, about my cover, and what I want the book to look like. Is it normal for authors to get to kind of say, “this is what the book should look like”? Or is that something that gets done on your end, and what all goes into what the book looks like?  

Aimée:    So on this, I can only speak to Palimpsest itself, because I know that it differs from publisher to publisher. I would say in general, especially the bigger publishers, authors have no say in their covers whatsoever. There's a giant marketing machine that takes care of that for them. So, one of the great things about having a smaller press, is that we get to be a little bit more collaborative with our authors. And so we take covers very seriously. I truly believe that if an author is not happy with their cover, they're not gonna get out there and sell it. They're not gonna try. So, for me it's super important that authors have a pretty big say in their cover. We have an in-house designer, her name is Ellie Hastings. She's amazing. She will work with authors until they get what they want.  

Aimée:      That being said, we still have final say over it. So, I remember when I first took over, an author came to me. She had a piece of artwork that her friend had done, and it was just not acceptable. That was one of the few times that I actually had to say, “no, no.” It just wouldn't work. So in general, most authors come to us and are kind of open to the idea of seeing options. We present you with a lot of options. It's not just like, “here's the option.” It's, “here's five or six options.” If you don't like any of these, we'll figure out why. And so, the authors are given a questionnaire to fill out, and we ask exactly those questions. 

Aimée:     “What do you want the book to say? What colours do you absolutely hate <laugh>? What colours do you love? Is there a certain image you had in mind and what can we do with that?” So, for example, recently we had… an author kept coming to me with images that just weren't suitable. And so finally, after like three rounds of covers, and just not finding anything that anybody really liked, I sat down and I said, “okay, well, these are the three things that your book covers <laugh>, like, that your book's about.” And I went looking for images, and then I found one that I felt, you know, and I brought it to her, and she went “oh, yes, that's it.” You know? So, sometimes it's a matter of being like, “well, what is this book really about? And what do we want the cover to say?”  

Aimée:     But like I said, we have a great designer. She works with the authors, and nobody complains. Like, we're pretty open and we're pretty good. But, you know, you're not gonna get that at every publishing house. 

Rhonda:      No, that sounds very special. That sounds pretty special. Even in the literary small-press world, I think that sounds pretty special. So, you've been with the company now nine years, and it's been ongoing for longer than that. What would you say has changed, if anything, in, kind of book publishing, distribution, promotion, over the course of those years?  

Aimée:      When I came into it, we were very small. The press was very small. We had a smaller distributor, we had a fairly small sales staff. And of course when I came into it, it was right when Amazon and Indigo <laugh> were stopping taking books. So that's been the biggest fight for every publisher right now, is just—you know, Indigo had kind of wiped out all the small, independent stores, but then they stopped taking our books. So then, there was that fight about how do you get those books out there. So the biggest development I've seen is this resurgence in independent bookstores coming back. And it's wonderful to see.  

Rhonda:    Isn't it great?  

Aimée:   It is! The best thing that can happen for independent presses is independent bookstores. And so we've just—I would say the majority of independent presses just focus on those relationships with those stores. And once those relationships are built, they're willing to give your book a try, compared to, you know, maybe something that's coming out of one of the big presses, right? You know, when you have small presses winning major awards or making, you know, long lists and stuff, you have to take a moment and think, like, some of the best books in Canada are coming out of independent presses, not necessarily the big houses, right? So, that's where the big change has been, I think is this resurgence of the small bookstore and, you know, you're not gonna find a lot of our stuff in your Indigos, unfortunately. Like, they don't want our stuff <laugh> as much. And, you know, for somebody who's just about to publish a book, they need to know that your book's not just gonna automatically be in Indigos across Canada. It just won't. We can fight to get it into some, but the buyers at Indigo… they don't really want the independent <laugh> publishers. 

Rhonda:      Yeah. I think you'd have to do some of that work yourself, wouldn't you? You'd have to go in and say, “I'm a local author,” you know, ‘cuz many of them have that local author shelf, so at least you could get in there, kind of thing. But it's true. And depending on your distributor, you know.  

Aimée:    Yeah. And, one of the greatest things an author can do is advocate for themselves, because your publishing house is doing everything they can. So, whatever you can do to help your book is like, that's just the cherry on top, right? Don't just sit back and expect your book to sell. Get out there, make friends in the writing community. Go to readings even if you're not the one reading, go to readings, buy books, learn who's doing what, make friends, make friends with the book sellers out there. It's the fastest and easiest way to get your book in a store <laugh>.  

Rhonda:     Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. So, it's kind of been an exciting time. Like, Palimpsest Press has been long listed, shortlisted, and won some pretty significant awards. What kind of difference does that make, for selling a book?  

Aimée:    One of the biggest things that's happened is, we’re now getting noticed by national media. We're more likely to get reviewed in the larger magazines. We're more likely to get featured on things like CBC books. CBC books has been an amazing partner to Palimpsest Press. We love them <laugh>, they're always giving our books a chance, and it's so amazing. So, that's the first thing, is that it definitely boosts sales because you're just getting that attention for your press, right? So once somebody sees one book from your company, they're like, “well, what else do you put out?” And they're more likely to look at it. And I mean, it helps get the authors into festivals and readings across Canada. When Tolu Oloruntoba won the Griffin and the Governor General, he was on every national media press. 

Rhonda:     That was The Junta of Happenstance, right?  

Aimée:    Yes. He was on everything across Canada and it was amazing, you know? And so, to get that, to get that national media really helps sales, but awards are arbitrary and some years you're the darling, in some years you're not. But we've always been fairly consistent on getting long list and short list ‘noms for our poetry, that's with the League of Canadian Poets. Our editor, Jim Johnstone, is brilliant, and he's finding us the best that's out there, and people are excited to work with him. So that in itself is great to see. It's really diversified our list, too. That's the other big thing, is that once you have a more diversified list, and you get a few of these award ‘noms, then all of a sudden you have other authors who maybe wouldn't have considered going with a small press, are like, “well, wait a minute, if I can get this with a small press, why not? Right?” 

Rhonda:     Mm-hmm <affirmative>  Yeah. Wow. So if you were advising authors, let's say somebody out there has a book of poetry, maybe a book of fiction, maybe a book of literary essays, you know, and they're looking for a publisher. What advice would you give someone looking for a publisher right now?  

Aimée:      The first thing I would advise is to get published in some journals. Get your work out there. When you come to us, you don't necessarily have to have a book published, but we need to see some evidence that you have been published. So, you know, there's so many amazing lit journals across Canada. Just submit to them, submit, submit, submit to them. And once we see that, then once you're… sorry, you were asking…  

Rhonda:    Advice for someone looking for a publisher. 

Aimée:      Okay. So yeah, that would be the first step, is absolutely focus on that. And then the second one is, really check out the different publishers. So <laugh> for example, a lot of people submit historical fiction. We don't publish historical fiction. We never have. So, it always kind of makes me laugh, cause that's somebody who didn't really research the company before they sent it in.  

Aimée:   So, that's almost an automatic no. Unless your book is amazing, it's an automatic no. Because I won't read this past the sample. I'm one of the fiction editors, and I don't edit historical fiction, it's just not in my wheelhouse. My other editor, Jamie Tennant, who is also the host of  the radio show Get Lit, he's more willing to try <laugh> historical fiction than me. But even for him, it's kind of, it's not really our deal. So, really research the publishers before—you don't have to buy all the books. Trust me, I remember back when I was in my twenties, and they would say, “buy the books.” Just go to the websites, scroll through, read what the books are about.  

Aimée:   And you'll see. Yeah, get the books from the library. I find that with our fiction in particular—we don’t always, but it seems we tend to veer towards magical realism. That's just something that I've noticed as time’s gone by. ‘Cuz our fiction is kind of brand new, and we're only in our, I don't know, seventh year of fiction or something, and we started really small with that. So it's taken a while to really figure out what links all of these books. I think that we just tend to veer towards magic realism. That's kind of where we go. You might go to another publisher, and it might be something that, you know, they tend to veer towards LGBTQ topics or, you know, for our poetry, we tend to go for poetry that reflects mental health. That's something that is really important to me and to my editor, Jim. And so it's important that we—you know, for example as well, we are mandated to publish authors with disabilities. That's part of our mandate. So it's something that we—

Rhonda:     20% of your titles, committed to authors living with disability. That's amazing.  

Aimée:    Yeah. So that's just another thing, that if you're an author—if you're an author who has something unique <laugh>, whether it's, you know, you’re LGBTQ or… there's publishers out there who tend to focus on that. Do your research, see who publishes what. And that would be the second step. And then from there… You know, I'm probably a bad publisher in this way, but query letters don't matter a lot to me.  

Rhonda:    Hmm, okay.  

Aimée:   I just want something very—I kind of skim 'em. So you don't have to put a lot of effort into mine.  

Rhonda:    Has this person published before? 

Aimée:     Have you published before? You know, a lot of people will say, “I read this book and it spoke to me,” or, “mine is similar to this other book in your thing.” Things like that'll make me take notice. And then from there, if there is something you want me to know, like for example, you are a disabled author, absolutely mention that in the query letters, just so I know. ‘Cuz that's something that, because we do that, I'm more likely to take a look at that and be like, “okay.” So, little things like that. And follow the guidelines on the website. 

Rhonda:       Follow the guidelines.  

Aimée:     Some people don't follow the guidelines and especially, you know, don't say, “Dear Sirs.” <laugh>

Rhonda:    Right. <laugh>  

Aimée:    Don't say that. This company's never been owned by men. It's never been run by men. So, when you’re addressing it, check to see if there's an editor's name. And feel free to make it as personal as you want. But query letters don't matter to me as much as the sample that you provide me. Pick your best work. The one that has the voice. Pick that one <laugh>.  

Rhonda:   Let's talk a bit about rejection. So, let's say you get something and it's not appropriate. What does your rejection look like? Do you ever do, like, you know how there's this idea of tiered rejection, that if you get a warmer, more personalized rejection, it's better than the form letter? Do you do that at all? Or is it basically, you know, “we couldn't take it, thanks very much. “ 

Aimée:    In general, I'm the form letter rejector <laugh>. My editor, Jim, I'm not sure how he does his rejections. I imagine he does them very warmly, ‘cuz he's a super nice guy. For me, in general, if I haven't asked for the manuscript, you're getting a form letter. That just means, “it just didn't jive with the editor at all.” And so you're just getting a “thanks, but no thanks.” If I've asked the manuscript, most of the time you'll just get a, “no, it doesn't work with our editor,” so just maybe a little tiny bit more of a, “no, I'm just not the right editor for this.” If you send a manuscript that I think is so close, but not quite there, I might tell you why. It's pretty rare that I do that, because I dunno if authors actually want it or not.  

Aimée:    I did that recently, and she took the advice that I gave and she actually—and I told her, I'm like, “if you were to change this, I could see us moving forward with it.” So she took it back, a month later she came back to me, and I just finished reading it the other day. And I still, I'm still not sure <laugh>. But that shows me somebody who's willing to work, who's willing to do the work. ‘Cuz the goal of editing, the only goal of editing, is to make it the best possible book it can be. Right? And you know, there's that old saying, that if you read a book and you can't tell there was an editor, there was an amazing editor behind it. Right? So like, that's our <laugh> that's our goal, right? If you think a book hasn't been edited, there is an editor back there. And you know, that's our goal, is to make it the best. And you can't edit something if your heart's not into it, right? It has to be… how do I say it? 

Rhonda:  You've gotta love it, yeah. 

Aimée:     You've gotta love it, because by the third round through, you're gonna hate it. Right? <laugh> 

Rhonda:     Right.   

Aimée:     You've read the book so many times that you start to hate it, and then usually when you start to hate it is when you know it's done. I've read this enough that I hate it, now it's done. It can move on. But yeah, you have to start out loving it.  

Rhonda:    Talking to you, what comes to mind is that children's book, Are You My Mother? Are you my editor? <laugh> Like, you're, you're looking for the editor who's gonna love the work. Who's gonna say, “this is so fabulous and I wanna work with you on it.” That's what you're looking for, not just somebody to print it.  

Aimée:     You really are. Yeah. Because it's not… I always try to do a chat with an author, if I'm not sure. Like I'll bring them on. I'll be like, “these are the things that I see needing to change for us to publish it. And if you're not willing to do that, then I'm not the right publisher for you.” Because you might go to a different publisher and editor, and they might say, “no, it's good the way it is.” And they just see it differently, right? So, if I come back to you and I say, “I think you need to make, you know, these three changes,” and you're just like, “absolutely not. I want it this way. I'm not changing it.” Then I'm not the right editor for you, right? Like, we have different visions of what we think the book is saying.  

Aimée:    And it's so important for the editor to understand the point of view of the book, right? So, if I'm at a point where I'm like, “I don't understand what your end goal is with this book,” then it's a no for me. And of course the biggest thing I tell people—I always seem to bring it up at every event I'm at, so I guess it's my deal—is how rejection is never personal. It's never because we've read your work and went, “oh my god, this is terrible. Nobody will publish it.” It's always, “hmm. This doesn't jive with me. This isn't the right thing for me to edit.” I know it can be heartbreaking to get those rejections, but it really is not personal at all.  

Aimée:    Like,  it's never a matter of, “your writing is no good.” It's a matter of, “I'm not the right editor.” And I wish more authors knew that, because I don't know that they do. I think they take it as a criticism. And it's not, it's really, really not, ‘cuz everybody has a story to tell. And even just writing styles are so different. I have a very specific kind of writing style that I'm attracted to, and it tends to be what I go with when I publish fiction. So, when I'm reading a book, I don't wanna know about the birds in the trees. Some people love that. Some editors wanna know about, you know, “tell me the color of the gravel on the road.” I don't wanna know that stuff. I wanna know the characters, I wanna know the dialogue. That's where I tend to lean. So again, you know, that's why I don't publish historical fiction. Historical fiction is all about creating that world. I don't wanna know about that stuff. <laugh>

Rhonda:     Mm. Ok.   

Aimée:     I wanna know about this. Yeah, the inner lives of the people.  

Rhonda:    Yeah. What's the numbers behind that? Like, of the submissions you get in a given year, roughly what percentage would you be saying yes to?  

Aimée:    Ooh, it's pretty small. <laugh>  

Rhonda:    It's small, right? Yeah. 

Aimée:    Yeah. Out of 40 or 60 fiction submissions, I'm saying yes to two or three a year, right?  

Rhonda:    Oh, wow. Right, right.

Aimée:   It's tiny. Yeah.  

Rhonda:   So that's— 

Aimée:    Mainly because we only do two to three fiction a year. So—for now. So poetry, it's gonna be a different one, because we do a lot more poetry. We do five to six poetry a year.  

Rhonda:    But you must get more submissions. You must get more poetry submissions, I would think.  

Aimée:   We must, yeah. I don't know, Jim handles all of that. So, I'm not entirely sure of those numbers, but a lot of rejection is simply, we can't do it. We don't have the finances to do it. We don't have the time. ‘Cuz I mean, the company is basically just me <laugh> with a couple of editors and a designer. And so, you know, there's so much behind the scenes that has to also happen, that it's not possible to do a ton of books a year yet.  

Rhonda:    Right.  

Aimée:    You know, if I had a staff of, <laugh>, you know, seven or eight, I could probably get 20 books out a year.  

Rhonda:    Yeah.  

Aimée:    We're really small, on the small press scale. <laugh>  

Rhonda:     Yeah. But that's fairly common in Canada, on the small literary press. You know, no one's huge. One question I had for you, for folks who don't know, so your poetry imprint is Anstruther books. What is an imprint in the publishing world? What's an imprint?  

Aimée:     So an imprint is when you wanna put out a list that's slightly different from the main body of work. So our only imprint is Anstruther. And it's a list that Jim Johnstone curates. And, it's because he wanted to do something slightly more adventurous, a little bit edgier, than the lyric poetry that we had been doing. But we didn't want to completely dismiss that, because we love the poetry that we put out. And so, he wanted to do that in an attempt to both diversify our list, but also to kind of separate the two types. For us, that's what the imprint does. It kind of allows us to go off in a little bit of a different direction without completely abandoning our central concept, which is basically lyrical poetry. So that allows us to do that. Beyond that, in terms of us, because we're a small press, there's not much difference. Like I still take in, but in a bigger publishing house, you would have a completely different team taking care of everything on that one imprint. So for us, it's still the same team <laugh>, it's just that it allows us to go off in a different direction.  

Rhonda:    What do you think the advantages are of working with a smaller literary press?  

Aimée:     So, the advantages would be in the actual, in my opinion, the artistic merit of the endeavor. You know, I've heard stories of what happens when you go to big houses, that the book is at the finished editing stage, and then it's kind of taken out of the author's hands and it becomes what it becomes. For a small independent press, it's way, way more collaborative. The authors definitely have more say in what happens, but it also requires a lot more of the author in terms of marketing and promotion. We don't have that big machine behind us that's gonna get you in the Globe and Mail, per se. But, you know, if what's really important to you is telling that story, and getting it right, and not having somebody come over top of you and dictate something else, you're not gonna get that. With a small press, you're gonna get the ability to actually really collaborate with your editors and with the publishing house.  

Aimée:    And I think it's a better experience. I have heard stories of, you know, people who've been published by both, and there's reasons why they come, either, back to a small press or they stay with a small press. I can think of an author who's relatively famous in CanLit, and who wrote, you know, fiction so that he could write poetry with his small press. You know what I mean? He lived off the fiction, but his love was the poetry with the small presses. So I think that that's kind of—again, I can't speak for every small press. I don't know what the experience will be like, but I'd like to think that at our small press, the authors consider us family, we consider them family. And we have a lot of returning authors. So that's, you know, we're building relationships. It's not just one and done. “We've published your book, goodbye.” It's, you know, the authors come back and go, “I have this manuscript.” I'm always like, “bring it on, give it to me” <laugh>. You know, so it's all about relationships, I think, with the small presses. You actually have a relationship to your publisher <laugh>, which is kind of unique and a little special, I think.  

Rhonda:    Thanks so much for hanging out with me today and for listening all the way to the end. I hope you enjoyed today's episode of the Resilient Writers Radio Show. While you're here, I would really appreciate it if you'd consider leaving a rating and review of the show. You can do that in whatever app you're using to listen to the show right now, and it just takes a few minutes. Your ratings and reviews tell the podcast algorithm gods that “yes, this is a great show. Definitely recommend it to other writers.” And that will help us reach new listeners who might need a boost in their writing lives today as well. So please take a moment and leave a review. I'd really appreciate it, and I promise to read every single one. Thank you so much.

Outro: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today and for listening all the way to the end. I hope you enjoyed today's episode of the Resilient Writers Radio Show. While you're here, I would really appreciate it if you'd consider leaving a rating and review of the show. You can do that in whatever app you're using to listen to the show right now, and it just takes a few minutes. Your ratings and reviews tell the podcast algorithm gods that “yes, this is a great show. Definitely recommend it to other writers.” And that will help us reach new listeners who might need a boost in their writing lives today as well. So please take a moment and leave a review. I'd really appreciate it, and I promise to read every single one. Thank you so much.


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