The official weblog of the little-poetry-press-that-could, Plan B Press. Specializing in chapbooks, we have published of over 40 books from authors both local and international.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

not a press for hire

When the press moved to Philadelphia in 2003, Steve and I were faced with doing the nuts-and-bolts stuff that Dianne Miller had been taking care of since the press began. We learned mostly by trial and error, making fewer mistakes (thankfully) as we went along.

We learned pretty quickly about vanity presses and strove to move away from that model, although we fell into that trap early on. Vanity presses pretty much function as presses for hire. You send them what you have, they make the book and you buy the copies. In the cases of print on demand (POD) presses, the press prints books only when copies are bought, generally resulting in books that are low quality and uniform looking. They also tend to be expensive and a pain to put in stores.

Another thing that vanities tend to do is not exercise any real editorial control. They’ll print pretty much anything. Steve and I wanted to retain control of what our press printed. We didn’t want to publish work that we didn’t like or believe in. It was difficult at first to tell people no, but it really strengthened the press and made us hone in on who we wanted to be and what we were trying to achieve.

So when you visit our online store or check out our books at our store, take a moment to assess the quality of the printing, the layout and the writing. I think it reflects well on us that we did not go the vanity route.

Katy Jean May
Creative Director

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