You Gotta Like This

I subscribe to the free lunch edition of Publishers Marketplace. I went back to an edition from late June and found this story from the Boston Globe.

The local author, Jon Papernick, has a book out by a small Canadian publisher, Exile Editions.; as of this writing, it's in pre-order status. The guy who owns the bookstore is friends with the author. The two struck a deal whereby the bookstore, Back Pages Books, will sell it exclusively until and unless Mr. Papernick's book gets an American publisher.

I know, I know. It's like David versus Goliath, to throw out a cliche. Will this be pulled off? I don't know, but I certainly hope so. As of the article date (June 24), 230 books have already been pre-ordered.

So why am I harping on this? This could be any one of us aspiring authors; we might find our first book fits in better with a small press rather than a large press. Yeah, so no Oprah, no Barnes & Noble, or whatever. What's encouraging to me is that a small, independent bookstore would go out on a limb this way for one guy (true, they're friends, but still). I mean, if the megastores are having problems, it's got to be that much harder for an independent.

So kudos to Back Pages Books for taking a chance, on Mr. Papernick for taking a chance, and on Mr. Papernick's publisher for letting him try this.

What do you think? Viable plan, or not worth the effort? And do you think they'll come anywhere near to getting those 1,000 copies sold? Here's hoping they do!

~Nancy Beck