In a day and age when self-publishing and digital print-on-demand are the options to which many authors feel they must resort, a new publishing house in Georgia holds the line on traditional publication methods. Presswork Publications of Toccoa released its first book in June of this year. Alexandra: A Williams Family Journal traces the historic journey of two Mennonite teenagers forced to run their family farm and take care of their younger siblings when their parents pass away.
Alexandra is just the first of several books already set for release by Presswork in a variety of genres. Drummer Danny, a fictional children's tale of a Southern drummer boy interspersed with educational teaching points about The War Between the States, will hit the shelves in September. Next will be Sautee Shadows, the carefully researched first novel in of the romantic Georgia Gold trilogy set in Clarkesville and Savannah during the mid-1800s, quickly followed by a modern series of children's books enlivening farm animals, written by eco-friendly Barb Bolen.
While the first two books have Christian overtones, the Georgia Gold trilogy, while inspirational, is a mainstream release, as the Bolen series will be. According to Presswork founder and publisher Jessica Handwork, the manuscript selection process is determined by niche marketing.
Handwork, who owns Aisling Bookstore in Toccoa, registered Presswork Publications as an American publisher more than two years ago. She was not sure at that time when she'd get Presswork rolling, but after Stephanie Ayers brought her the Alexandra manuscript in summer of 2009, Handwork couldn't put it out of her mind. "I decided I needed to focus on publishing," she says. "Aisling Group is our overarching company. Now I'm seeing things from two views, which a normal publisher wouldn't, because of our bookstore. I'm able to ask myself, 'what causes me to buy a book?'" That in turn leads to informed publishing and marketing decisions.
Presswork is already staffed with an acquisitions editor and a substantive/layout editor. Substantive editor Denise Weimer says of the company, "Both Jessica and I feel that while self-publishing and print-on-demand are viable options for many authors, there are sometimes drawbacks or pitfalls involved. Some publishers out there do not offer full support for their clients. We want to create a company where writers can feel confident that if their material is selected for publication, their publishing process will be respectful, traditional, and comprehensive."
Presswork offers authors book signing tours, national print and electronic publicity campaigns, and social media promotion including Facebook, LinkedIn, Scribd, and Twitter. Booksellers may purchase Presswork releases wholesale through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Books are also available on Amazon.com and at Presswork's web site at www.pressworkpublications.com.
@softnblue (music & dance)
@RimbomboAAG (books, authors +)