(by Christina Anne Taylor)
It’s a no-brainer to me that a publisher publishes books, but I was once accused of not being a publisher by a “real publisher” who told me that “real publishers” are very busy – too busy to promote, too busy to do anything but publish; also that they turn people away (as though this were a virtue). Yet I have indeed been hand-wringingly busy at times, and I have indeed had the displeasure of turning people away due to anthology “quality control” or simply because a poet’s choice of content isn’t what I publish.
I sense that the “real publishers” who were publishing before a new wave of publishers stepped in to assist with the demand might not be happy with being less busy because (according to the “real publisher” definition that I received) having time for coffee would bring their “real publisher” status into question. They also might not be happy with sharing opportunities to know the joy of publishing. Naturally in business we would prefer to be one of several rather than one of countless and counting… I understand that. It’s about power, prestige, greed, envy, all parts of the dark underbelly of humanity.
But let’s consider that there are countless (and counting…) poets out there with words to share who need not stand in line forever to be turned away, to be told that their words are “not ready.” I have come to believe that ALL words are worth printing, worth solidifying if the writer has a desire to share them (though editing might be necessary). It takes a certain open-mindedness and maturity to accept this, or perhaps rather an open heart that derives joy in making others happy. Is it selfish? Maybe a tiny bit, but when dealing with a “real publisher” with an open heart, everyone moves merrily along their life path and that’s what really matters.
Middle Island Press is proud to be a Real Publisher.