Skip to Content

Editor Interview: Unsolicited Press

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Creative nonfiction

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: I'm in love with Wave Books. They have paper you'd want to wear.

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: That's hard. I love the work by Francis Daulerio and Mick Bennett. Then there is Corin Reyburn!

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: Our publishing model values writers and writing as art. Sure we sell books, but profits aren't what we are concerned about. We want writers to be valued. We believe that there is a lot of culty, off-shelf work big houses won't even glance at because it won't appeal to the mass market. Well, we aren't here for the mass market.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Read our guidelines. Don't submit several submissions at once. Don't copy and paste your manuscript into the email body. At least 25% of subs are dumped because of these things.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A query letter that serves as the back jacket copy of their book. If a writer can sell it to a reader, then they can sell it to our team. Beyond that, simple formatting.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: They send us the cover they've designed with their manuscript.This shows us that they have no idea what the publishing process entails. We welcome novices, but some knowledge of how it works goes a long way. An author is not a cover designer. Authors are writers.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: I am always looking for the network. Does this writer have a quirky connection...for example, if a writer wrote a memoir on women's rights, do they have connections with the associations that promote women's rights? If so, this is a big deal. It helps spread the word, and in the small press world, word-of-mouth goes further than any internet ad or advert in a magazine.
Of course, I also want to know if you like nachos or not.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: I always read the query letter and at least 20 pages.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: We use outside readers to bolster our decisions. If two readers like it, then we will bring it to the table for consideration. If I read it and two other readers read it, and one of them says no, then I will reconsider my initial standing.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: Coffee.
Chocolate bar.
Red pen.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: I think digital technology ifs the future of books. There is nothing nontraditional about POD tech....big houses use it all of the time to cover inventory gaps. What's the difference between that and doing smaller, more efficient POD print runs? Nothing. You can still print a first edition via POD.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: A lot. Obviously I expect a manuscript to be in working order, but we go through several rounds of editing to ensure that all errors and inconsistencies are handled. There are time when I will choose a manuscript that needs a major overhaul -- it's worth it if the story is there.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: Yes.