Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing one of our very first contest winners, G.N. Boorse, on his latest project, Void Press. This small, independent press is focused on providing high-quality, personalized publishing services for authors. And while they’re not the first independent press to hit the market, they do offer a unique pricing structure and a focus on print and design that some of their competitors lack.
The concept for the press comes from the idea that we all have a void in us that we fill up with our creative expressions. As they say on their About page:
“The void is infinite; it will never overflow. But here are Void press, we fill it anyway.”
Creating your own press is a big step. Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and the inspiration behind the project?
G.N. Boorse: For me, the inspiration for Void Press came as a reaction to the self-publishing movement. I was a newly self-published author trying to promote my book—just a tiny fish in a big pond—and what I began to realize was that the only books that truly stood out were the ones that had had some sort of profession help (such as editing or cover design). The rest were shabby 99-cent editions on Kindle with cover design done in Microsoft Paint. So it was my goal from the beginning to start a press where emerging and independent authors could get the quality production they needed to get recognized in the industry.
What sets you apart from other small publishing houses? (A focus on design? The type of work you publish? Your payment structure? Or something else?)
G.N. Boorse: Our focus is mostly on the art of literature and the design of the printed book. Quality comes first in everything, both in the writing and the presentation thereof. It is our intention to be highly selective of what we publish as well as deeply focused in distributing beautiful, high-quality books that stand out from the rest of the market.
What are the benefits of choosing to publish with a small press over trying to attract the attention of one of the Big 5 publishing companies or of going the self-publishing route?
G.N. Boorse: As I see it, there are three routes. The first is to push as hard as you can to get accepted by a major press like HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster, a process that may involve up to years of wasted effort. Not to mention the fact that traditionally published authors lose the freedom to do what they want with their work once they sell out. The second way is to self-publish, but when you do that, you’re on your own. You do the legwork to polish, produce, and promote your book. There’s no support behind you whatsoever. But to go with a small press is to get the best of both worlds. Some of the work is done for you—you’re not alone—but you still have the freedom to do what you want. Not to mention the fact that small presses have more time, effort, and energy to spend on individual authors. We intend to pamper.
What advice can you give a writer who is looking to submit their work for your magazine/publishing services?
G.N. Boorse: My advice would be to remind writers that not all art is beautiful. You don’t have to write the “perfect story” just like every other story you’ve read before. Write something that’s new and fresh, crisp like a cool melon. Write something that touches us, moves us to think in new ways or go new places. Be original and artistic; don’t copy what you think will “sell.” Making it sell is our job.
Do you have any projects in the works right now that we can look forward to? (Books set to be released or the date of publication for the magazine?)
G.N. Boorse: The first issue of Void Magazine will be released at the end of September. Beyond that, we have two (semi-secret) projects in the wings as well as the republication of my first novel, Don’t Touch the Glass, as well as the release of our first anthology of classic literature. There will be more details about our projects forthcoming.
Is there anything else that you’d like our readers to know about your company and its services?
G.N. Boorse: Get involved! Follow us on Twitter or drop us a note on our website. We’d love to be in touch with anyone who’s even remotely interested in writing. The first step is to begin the dialogue; start the conversation and see what’ll happen. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be insanely interested in your Devil Wears Prada space opera.
While many authors have been unhappy with the publishing options available to them, few have set out to to try to change the way things are done. If you’d like to help them grow, check out their Kickstarter campaign to help launch the first issue of their bi-monthly magazine, Void Magazine.
They are also currently accepting submissions for both manuscripts and short works. Help fill the Void!