As managing editor of a small independent press, one of the most satisfying moments in my work comes when I hold in my hands, for the first time, a book that began some two years prior as a pile of papers on my desk. I like to imagine it’s even more of a thrill for the author, the person who sculpted the words on the pages of that pile of papers, the words whose inception may have been a seed a decade before my first read.
Independent presses are not usually built by people desirous of financial gain. The publisher has a dream to realize, knowing that creating a book is about sharing a love of written words with the world. The writers I know write because they must – the words in their minds or their hearts need release and must be put on the page. They certainly don’t do it for the pay, because very few make a living by writing. The same is true of those of us who comprise the network of small independent presses. Our existence is not predicated on becoming wealthy, but instead is founded upon creating quality literature, hoping readers will open the doors of our books and discover the beauty between the covers.
In just a few short weeks I will have the opportunity to hold in my hands my first CavanKerry title as Managing Editor. In spite of the fact that I was not present as this book began production, I feel the beginnings of rootedness to the press through Dawn Potter’s Same Old Story. The magic of her words tugs at my deep love of mystical places.
The process of bringing this title to print was a rocky one – but only because it was my first. Through Dawn’s patience, and that of my colleagues, I took three steps forward and one step back in learning CKP’s process of production. There is a great deal of care that goes into every step of what’s needed to nurture manuscripts into becoming printed and bound works of art. It’s not just a business – it’s a passion. And the result is a book that, because of an independent press, will be read by poetry lovers around the world.