As part of my feature on the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses I invited publishers and authors whose books were selected for the longlist to answer a few questions or write a guest post for my blog. Today I am delighted to welcome Lisa Coen from Tramp Press, which published The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo.
An introduction – who you are and what you aim to achieve?
Tramp Press is an independent publisher based in Dublin. Officially it’s just two of us: Sarah and Lisa, but we have a growing team of people helping us out. We publish the best writing by new and established authors, and we’re working hard to nurture great talent all the time. Ireland is known for its great writers, we’d like it to also be known for its excellent independent publishing.
How have things have changed in publishing since you started?
We started Tramp in 2014, but even in that short time we’ve seen Irish fiction make incredible strides in the market. Mike McCormack talks about how hard it was for his unusual style of writing to get published, and that’s no longer a problem. The growth of independent publishers like Galley Beggar, And Other Stories and so on has seen the conservatism of the big 5 being somewhat balanced out in terms of representation on shelves. There’s still a long way to go but it’s a good start.
What is your experience of prize listings – costs and benefits, monetary or otherwise?
We put aside money to enter prizes because we think it’s a really important way of bringing an author to a reader’s attention. Critical review space is shrinking all the time, so it’s vital to have another opportunity to demonstrate that someone else has read and judged the novel to be important new work
The future – where you would like to see your small press going?
We always say it’s strange that Ireland has four Nobel laureates for fiction but no equivalent publisher to Faber & Faber or Editions Gallimard. We’re working hard to develop our distribution network in the UK and the US so we can grow and compete on a bigger stage.
Thank you Lisa for answering my questions, and congratulations on the part you and Sarah played in getting that other literary prize, The Man Booker, to accept submissions from Irish-published novels.
You may follow Tramp Press on Twitter: @TrampPress
Click on the book cover above to find out more about The Iron Age.
Keep up with all the news on The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses by following on Twitter: @PrizeRofc