Skip to Content

WHY I LIKE MY PUBLISHER by Chris Stevenson

Here are the reasons Engage Books is a breath of fresh air in the small press industry: 
1. You have publishing experience (OJT) and a university education--all of it pertaining to, what else?  The publishing business.  That's planning savvy.
2. No one on this earth could have picked a more catchy company title than "Engage” and I think I know exactly where you got it from.
3.  You specialize in the SF genre, the smartest move for any independent or small press, because you narrow your focus and intensify.  You know/love your niche/genre, your specialty; therefore, you will find and maintain your market and eventually strengthen and expand that market through solid growth. 
4.  You're a good editor, you have a feeling for what belongs and what does not belong in a manuscript.
5.  You have the best freehand artists I've ever seen in the business.  You draw people to you who are equally dedicated and professional (like Andrew Wilmot, an excellent editor).  This can only lead to superb quality, the hallmark of a learned, prepared entrepreneur.
6.  You were wise in publishing reprints of classics.  They never go out of style and you were right in thinking that they could help fund your author publications.  Seldom do I see ANY startup independent use such forethought when launching a company.  You were prepared beforehand--you garnered capital.  Your association with your previous publisher served you well--you were watching, observant, taking notes.
7.  You have youth and energy on your side. You attend conferences, seminars, and shows, laying your book products out there for all eyes to see.  That takes shoe leather, but mostly pride in your product.
8.  You just cornered the market in

Vancouver --you are Mr. SF there.  Stay there.  Keep it.  Edge Science Fiction had better watch their market share from here on out.  At the rate you're progressing, they're going to be in trouble and better remove their blinders.  You could seriously flatten them in five to seven years.  Maybe sooner.
9.  You have a soft-spot for charities.  This is great for your public image.  Says something about you, too.

10. No fees: editing, artwork, or reading.  Nothing vanity oriented.  In fact, your publishing schedule is reserved for select titles, and there is no mentality that flags Engage as an author mill.

I think if all future small press publishers would take heed to the way you structured Engage books, there would be a lot less startup failures and dissent amongst complaining writers.  Kudos for a job well done.  May Engage make its mark in the literary world, and stay up there as a hallmark example of how right publishing can and should be today.


Chris Stevenson


Science Fiction author Chris Stevenson has written Planet Janitor: Custodian of the Stars, which will be Engage SF's first title, to be available for preorder in December 2010.


File 79File 80File 98