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Celebrating Small Presses — The Virtual Bookfair of A SmokeLong Summer 24

May 17, 2024

This summer during our third summer-long mega-event extravaganza A SmokeLong Summer 24, we will be getting to know independent publishers a little better. As we’ve been recording interviews with these lovely people over the last few weeks, one thing has become clear: they are all so dedicated and passionate about publishing great work. I can’t wait for you to get to know them better.

We now have over 20 publishers participating in the virtual bookfair of A SmokeLong Summer 24. All of these publishers are important in the flash community. From W.W. Norton, the publisher of the seminal flash anthologies and most recently Flash Fiction America, to Rose Metal Press, the publisher of the popular field guides to writing flash, to Cornerstone Press, one of only five teaching presses in the US–and 20 more, each with their unique vision!–we are excited to celebrate all of these publishers in the fair.

Why buy books directly from the publisher? It’s a hot topic. Amazon is convenient, and of course a publisher would rather you buy the book from Amazon than not at all. While Amazon takes a huge hunk of the love, they also provide a valuable service–and for digital copies it’s excellent. In the tourism industry Booking.com takes a deep cut. Submittable is expensive for literary journals just starting out. These services are just part of how the world works these days. So why shouldn’t we use them? I suppose when it comes to buying a book published by one of the Big Five, it doesn’t matter very much where you buy the book; but small, independent presses, especially those in the virtual bookfair of A SmokeLong Summer 24, tend to take chances on innovative projects–collections, anthologies, and craft books–that probably won’t make anyone rich but will certainly enrich.

This is the reason SmokeLong is taking a couple of months this summer to send the love directly to small presses. And the publishers are knocking a bit off the price too. It’s a love/love situation. We hope you’ll join us.

One of the biggest challenges independent publishers face today is the evolving logistics of marketing. Review sites are disappearing. The price of advertising is soaring. Social media sites are one big train wreck with algorithms making it difficult to be seen and heard. Musk. But the flash community is fantastic at getting the word out. We love to celebrate one another.

On July 20, we’ll be hosting a panel discussion with four small presses. If you’re participating in A SmokeLong Summer 24, you’ll receive an invitation. We hope to see you, to write with you, and to celebrate the innovative spirit of small presses.

Christopher

 

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