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From Old to New Media: Blog Begets Publishing House

by Anne Trubek (Wired, 2007-10-24)

A small press, growing? How could it be?

Against market trends, Dzanc Books is a small publisher poised to succeed, hiring staff and expanding quickly. And that may be because it sprouted from a blog rather than a traditional printing press, and it is certainly web-savvy.

Since its launch in 2006, Dzanc Books has acquired other presses, signed numerous authors, launched an education program and started an award -- the Dzanc Prize -- to encourage writers to undertake community literacy projects.

Dzanc is growing at a time when there are few independent publishers left, and the remaining ones were hit hard by the recent bankruptcy of Advanced Marketing Services, a major distributor.

"We do not intend to fall into the potholes that sent the hubcaps of our predecessors flying," says co-founder Steve Gillis. "We are not caught in the old template of how publishing has been done."

Director Dan Wickett has gone from amateur blogger to publisher, reversing the traditional flow from old to new media.

Wickett, a quality-control manager and auto-parts supplier, wrote a book review in 2000 and sent it to some cousins, an uncle and a few friends. They liked it and asked for more. In 2005, Wickett started a literary blog, the Emerging Writers Network, which now counts 2,100 subscribers.

The rest of the story: Wired

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