Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Not New York: Book Business & Publishers in Denver, CO

DenverIn my last article I gushed about my time at the Denver Publishing Institute, the insight I gained, and the people I met there. It was a wonderful experience for me, and I hope that those of you looking for a way into the business will consider spending your summer there this year. However, I acknowledge that Denver may seem like a remote and esoteric place to host a publishing institute, especially since the University of Denver doesn’t even offer a degree in publishing. And I’m sure my article left many of you thinking, “All right, the program sounds legit. But why would anyone ever put a publishing institute in Denver? Why not just go to New York City?”

Well, reader, you’re not entirely wrong. As I’ve said before, New York is certainly the center of the American publishing industry. The Big Six and many smaller houses have their headquarters there. But publishing is not confined to New York, and it just so happens that Denver has an important place in the publishing industry of the West.

Look again and you’ll see that Denver, and indeed the West in general, offers an array of book-related opportunities that you might never know about if you stayed in the New York metro area. I’ve already mentioned the amazing Tattered Cover bookstore, which is one of the biggest independent bookstores in the country, with three locations in and around the city of Denver. It is a coveted customer for publishers’ sales reps, and its location makes it a prime venue for authors on their book tours. When I was a student at DPI, we had a field trip to Tattered Cover see Kirk Farber, who was there to promote his debut novel Postcards from a Dead Girl and to talk with us about his editorial process. Students this past summer met with David Wroblewski, author of the critically-acclaimed, New York Times-bestselling Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Attracting big names and big sales, the Tattered Cover is a Denver landmark, a national treasure, and one of the last bastions of brick-and-mortar bookselling in an age dominated by the online marketplace.

But there are bookstores, even independent bookstores, all over the country, you say. Why Denver? Well, for starters, the Tattered Cover’s owner is also the director of the Publishing Institute, so it makes perfect sense that the program would take place in Denver. But the Denver area has more to offer the budding publisher than a big (and admittedly awesome) bookstore. Denver is also home to the offices of Fulcrum Publishing, an independent publisher whose books cover a range of genres but focus largely on the environment, local history and culture.

Nearby Loveland, Colorado, is home to Interweave Press, one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts publishers. They publish industry-leading magazines and books about knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, beading, jewelry-making, painting, drawing, spinning, and weaving. Denver is also one of the hubs of PubWest, a trade association of small publishers, printers, designers, binderies, marketers, etc., in the region. And it is attracting start-ups like WaveCloud, an eBook distributor and marketer that is working to create a Goodreads-like social media experience for authors and readers.

I don’t doubt that I’ve left out many independent presses and other book-related business located in the Denver area. My point is that publishing happens everywhere, and just because you’re not in New York doesn’t mean that you can’t make meaningful strides in the publishing industry.

Do you work in publishing somewhere other than New York? How have you found the publishing community in your area?

6 Comments

  1. Hallie says:

    Now I have such nostalgia for DPI! It was my first choice for a summer program because of the focus on books. After attending, I knew that NYC wasn’t in my future, but I was able to find online internships with agents and publishers, rare as they are, and now I’m an editor for a children’s publisher–located in a completely different state. There are a growing number of smaller publishers with virtual offices, and I’m very fortunate to be able to work on the books I like best even though I live halfway across the country from my employer.

    • I LOVE hearing stories like this, Hallie–thank you for sharing yours. Not only is the publishing scene beyond NYC a real and exciting thing, but the way that “the Internet” (by which I mean all digital stuff) is expanding the geography of publishing “ecosystems” is a uniquely dynamic part of that, one I wish was more frequently explored. So happy to hear that you’ve found your place “on the map”, and thank you for reading!

    • Wendi says:

      Thank you for this post, Hallie. I am considering DPI 2013. I recently relocated to a Midwestern city, and I’ve been trying to determine if I could really get a job outside of NYC. As much as I love to read all kinds of books, working for a children’s book publisher sounds ideal. Your post made my day. Thanks.

      • Shannon Kobran Shannon Kobran says:

        Wendi,

        I hope you do end up at DPI this summer! It’s a wonderful experience and it should give you plenty of time to network and find out about opportunities all over the country. I just discovered this database, which appears to list every publisher in the country by state: http://www.lights.ca/publisher/db/state/
        I’m not sure how accurate it is, but if you are really set against NYC, then pick another state and see what your options are!
        Also, if you like it out in the Midwest, take a look at my most recent post about the book businesses of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  2. fay Ulanoff says:

    Does anyone have any info on a local publisher (Colorado) for my interesting take on children’s literature, or my my flash fiction.

  3. fay Ulanoff says:

    I need info on any children’s publishers as well as trying to find a home for my flash fiction collection. A local publisher in Colorado would be of great help.

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