As the major publishers continue to report significant declines in book sales for several years in a row, the Permanent Press, a small fiction house which published my first and third novels, reports a 58% percent increase over all.
Thirty-five years ago, The Permanent Press started publishing an average of 12 to 14 books yearly (mostly fiction). Keeping all their books in print–hence the name–has provided them with a small but steady source of income from a backlist of over 400 titles. In 2012, their print book sales increased by 37%, eBook sales increased by 94%, and subrights sales increased by 427%, resulting in a total income increase from all sources of 58%.
To the 400 or so titles published so far, over 50 literary honors have been awarded, including the American Book Award, Small Press Book Awards, New American Writing Awards, the Colorado Book Award, as well as the Washington Prize for Fiction for my novel Smoking Hopes. The Permanent Press authors have also been finalists for the National Book Award, Edgar Award, and Hammett Prize. They published Halldor Laxness, a 1955 Nobel Prize winner, and have 12 novels in print from Berry Fleming, who, in 1990, was a Nobel Prize nominee. Not bad for a small press.
Permanent Press owners and editors, Judy and Marty Shepard, attribute their success mainly to
our authors for writing intelligent and unique fiction that extends beyond genre, aimed at readers who want something more than genre, and more thoughtful fiction than the formulaic James Patterson collaborations have proved to be. And we’ve been helped by the failure of corporate publishers to appreciate the quality of largely unknown and off the beaten track novelists. More and more literary agents over the years have told me that they can’t place fine writing of this sort with corporate publishers.
They note that “the communal nature of how we publish, aided by so many friends, authors, supporters, wonderful online bloggers, literary agents” has also contributed to their success.
For further info see The Permament Press website.