Author of Up the Hill to Home
In my last posting, I highlighted Foreword Reviews magazine and its mission to draw readers to the best of independent publishing. What is perhaps most remarkable in the world of indie publishing is the sheer number of presses operating more or less on a shoestring in an industry whose margins continue to shrink. Indie presses typically don’t make fortunes for their owners, so what makes those people keep at it?
In a word, passion. Okay, perhaps two words, the other being dedication. Both are crucial to persevering in the best-seller-driven world ruled by publishing’s Big Five, but that big-press culture certainly leaves behind underserved readers and underrepresented writing voices, which is where indie presses shine.
Passion, dedication, and perseverance all describe Richard Peabody, the force behind Gargoyle, the Washington, D.C.-based literary magazine now in its 40th year (minus a seven-year hiatus in the 90s), and its publisher, Paycock Press. Peabody is justifiably known for his tireless support of those in the D.C. writing community, and Paycock publishes many local authors.
One such author is Jeff Richards, whose debut novel of connected Civil War stories, Open Country, celebrates its one-year anniversary of publication on May 21st. Several of the stories that appear in Open Country were originally published in various journals and magazines, one of which was Gargoyle. Paycock later published the full novel.