Writing has never presented itself as the most glamorous occupation. It is more of a preoccupation that requires much more out of the writer than can be repaid in currency. Or not in dollars anyway, but maybe sense. Point is, writers tend to be self-therapists who put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in order to heal. Having other people read some of what we’ve written is another, more terrifying part of the therapy. Maybe that’s just me.
Working on my first book a half decade ago, I learned that publishing one’s own work, especially of such length and nature, was absolutely no joke. Self-publishing may give a stronger sense of determining one’s own destiny but, frankly, not everyone has the time for that. So, prior to Tried & True hitting the streets in 2011, I took steps that same year to establish a publishing company, Bookman Express. It was an enterprise intended to serve authors who would want more creative control over the products of their own efforts than traditional publishing houses typically allow, but with less concern for operational and logistical considerations. Now, in 2016, considerable experience has been added to these founding ideals.
Many lessons have been learned from producing and marketing my own works, while working simultaneously for one of the USA’s highly regarded independent bookstores until it was forced to shut down under financial strain. I have therefore been fortunate enough to observe the ecosystem of the book industry from at least three different perspectives: that of the author; that of the publisher; and that of the retailer. The result is that I presently have equal respect for the creatives who experience the joys and anxieties of their profession, the entrepreneurs who choose to peddle an art form in a volatile industry, and the booksellers who best understand trends in readership as well as the woes of keeping their doors open in this time.
Precarious it may be, yet I am genuinely excited by this challenge to firmly establish a small, family-operated publishing house as a platform for more worthy writers from a generation on the rise. Affirming this mission, we have embarked on a new phase of growth to introduce more authors in the near future and to also improve our distribution network. Budding wordsmiths, especially from within the Caribbean and African diaspora (though not exclusively), are invited to make contact with Bookman Express via our new website. We are also seeking potential outlets that might carry Bookman Express titles, as well as anyone else willing to help grow the business model we wish to develop. Give thanks!