Tell us a little about Evanston Publishing, Inc. and why you started your company.
I started the business because I love reading, designing, and producing books. When I started, I began with a small personal computer on a sewing machine table in a corner of my laundry room. My first project was producing a newsletter for other companies in order to raise money to publish my own books. Along the way, publishers and self-publishers began asking for my advice. Ultimately, we began to do so much work for others, we became book packagers by default.
Since Evanston Publishing, Inc. opened for business in 1986, we have helped authors publish thousands of books, including some that have won awards and become best sellers. We also have been written up in national magazines and local newspapers.
What did you do before starting your own company?
For many years I taught English. I was asked to join a large English textbook publisher as a production editor. That was before computers could typeset a book, so I not only wrote and edited grammar and composition texts, but I learned every aspect of book production.
You often talk about your company being unique in its field. Could you explain why?
We are not a vanity or subsidy publisher. We are a specialty production house and offer as many or as few services self-publishers need to publish a book. Our prices are based on the production work you need done and the number of books you have printed, not how much you plan to charge for the book. (More on vanity-subsidy publishing.)
You have self-published some books yourself, haven't you?
Yes, I have published two books about publishing and self-publishing, Selling Your Book and The Successful Self-Publisher, and one translation of a book originally written in French, called Pierre Louÿs, Aphrodite and The Songs of Bilitis: Two Erotic Tales from the Fin de Siecle. They can be purchased in bookstores or from our site's bookstore.
Why would you recommend that an author self-publish?
Self-publishing is an alternative that many writers turn to as traditional publishing houses close their doors to authors who have yet to make a name for themselves. It has an honorable tradition: Mark Twain, Zane Grey, Walt Whitman, William Blake, Robert Burns, Henry Thoreau, Herman Melville, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Carl Sandburg, among many others, were all self-publishers at one time.
Successfully self-publishing your book is an attainable goal. I can think of few greater pleasures than seeing your own words in print, being read by other people.