Indie Press Feature: The Feminist Press

The Feminist Press is an independent nonprofit literary publisher that promotes freedom of expression and social justice. FP publishes exciting authors who share an activist spirit and a belief in choice and equality. Founded in 1970, FP began by rescuing “lost” works by writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and established their publishing program with books by American writers of diverse racial and class backgrounds. Since then FP has also been bringing works from around the world to North American readers. FP seeks out innovative, often surprising books that tell a different story.

We asked old friend and Editorial Director at Feminist Press, Amy Scholder, to answer 5 questions about indie publishing. Here’s what she had to say.

1. How long have you worked in the book business?
Since 1984

2. What brought you into the publishing business?
I was living in San Francisco and wanted to work at City Lights. I got an internship with Nancy J. Peters, who was the editor and publisher at that time, and I worked in the City Lights Bookstore some evenings and weekends before becoming a full-time editor.

3. What is exciting to you about this moment in publishing?
Indie publishers like Feminist Press are working with excellent writers who develop their own readerships online.

4. What do you think is often overlooked when discussing publishing – what do you wish you were asked about more often?
I think the major difference between book publishing and much of online publishing, especially blogging, is that book publishing is a process and a collaboration. The editorial work that goes into our books at Feminist Press is extremely productive, and the design of our books is customized to each work. I think this process with our authors is a significant part of what we do, and what distinguishes books from content and information you find elsewhere.

5. Tell us about one book you are publishing this season that you want 5 sentences to promote:
Spit and Passion by Cristy C. Road is a graphic memoir about coming out and finding refuge in punk music. In the most powerful and hilarious drawings and text, Cristy conveys the exuberance and angst of pre-teen desire. Even though Cristy’s age, story, and favorite band are all different than mine, she connects me deeply with my memories of feeling different and getting out of my home town. If you’re reading the City Lights blog, you’ll love Spit and Passion!

Amy Scholder is the  Editorial Director at Feminist Press.

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