Today I am delighted to welcome Chris from Salt Publishing to my blog. I discovered this publishing house whilst I still harboured thoughts of one day writing a book (I recovered). I stumbled across their call for submissions to ‘Modern Dreams’, a series of ebook novellas which included Michael Nolan’s The Blame (you may read my interview with the author here).
More recently I have read and reviewed The Good Son, written by another Belfast born author on their list, Paul McVeigh (who I also interviewed here). I am looking forward to reviewing a number of books from their prolific backlist as well as a selection of their new releases, in the coming months. Watch this space.
Without further ado let us find out more about this independent publisher which, since the beginning of the new millennium, has published over 1,000 books.
We started Salt in Cambridge in 1999 – it was borne out of a conversation in the common room of Churchill College, Cambridge. John Kinsella and I wanted to set something up that was a fun outlet for publishing collaborative anthologies of poetry. They never saw the light of day. Within months we were publisging single collections of poetry and the journey began.
Fiction, short stories, occasionally poetry, though the list has closed now; and writers’ guides.
3. How do you go about finding and signing authors?
4. Is your experience of marketing what you expected when you started out?
5. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?
6. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?
What sells is a different set of issues, this can be driven by a very wide range of influences: the media, prizes, cultural access, festivals, bloggers and booktubers, reading groups, libraries, store promotions, booksellers, the list could go on – finding a book that sells is often about navigating these different touch points in the life of the book and mediating them. In fact publishing is a highly mediated trade. No one can guarantee what sells, but you try and stack the deck in the book’s favour.
About 88% of people want the physical book – and those that don’t initially, will often buy it later. In the world of literary publishing, eBooks haven’t had a huge impact.
8. Do you consider Salt niche or mainstream?
9. Collaborative or dictatorial?
10. Plans for the future?
Survive – one can’t be guaranteed success, and you’re only as good as your last book. Financial insecurity is a feature of all publishing and most people will face losses and bankruptcy at points in their professional lives. You need a high degree of tenacity and flexibility, there are times when in order to continue you may have to redesign your whole business and build it again. The key is to keep going. Keep pushing through. And, of course, enjoy the journey – the books make it all worth while.
Thank you Chris for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about this small press, including details of their books, on their website by clicking here: Salt Publishing
Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter: Salt (@saltpublishing)
If you are an independent publisher and would like to be included in this series, please check out my introductory post: Shout Out to Independent Publishers