Self-Published Authors’ Ebook Success

More and more writers are becoming published authors. Some start with blogs, writers’ groups, and lifelong dreams. Traditional publishing can be difficult to break into, especially if you’re not already an established author. So how are new authors getting their books into the competitive market without an agent or a supportive publishing house?

Self-publishing has taken the book world by storm, and this is because self-published books are an easy way to bring attention to a new author and get their books to readers. The easiest way for authors to do this is to self-publish their works as ebooks. Steven Spatz from The Writing Cooperative says this allows the author to sell their book for a relatively low price, drawing a large readership, and permits the author to market their book the way they think is best. They can sell their ebook as a ninety-nine-cent Kindle option, provide free snippets online, and monitor their own previews. One author who did this, Andy Weir, didn’t meet expected sales with his first book. Because of this, he posted free chapters of it to his personal website in order to obtain an audience and introduce them to his work. He went on to sell his ebook original to Crown Publishing for a large sum.

In addition to getting their names out there through self-publishing, authors also benefit from lower production costs. Publishing an ebook is significantly cheaper than publishing in print. This makes ebooks more convenient for first-time authors in many ways. If their work doesn’t reach its potential the first time around, they won’t be dumped by an agent or lose profit. This gives them another opportunity to establish themselves in the market for their next book. Mike Omer is one author who took advantage of this opportunity. He was relatively unknown until his sales on Amazon’s “Prime Day” propelled his career forward. According to Steven Spatz, on this day alone he sold more books than authors like James Patterson.

The absence of an agent and editor also allows the author to build their own fan base and distribute their books as they see fit. If an author knows their niche, and if they have a knack for marketing, they can target their audience early on and cheaply promote their book. According to IngramSpark staff, in the long run (and if it is done correctly), this will benefit the author and provide them with a wide readership for future publications. Understanding their platform will allow a self-publishing author to succeed and go from blog writer to New York Times best-selling author.

Self-publishing is thriving and growing by the day. Many authors hoping to make the best-seller list would likely never have the chance for success without self-publishing, and especially without ebooks. Posting free chapters online or publishing an ebook can not only give an author name recognition but also create a success story that lasts for ages. As sales continue to rise and more and more writers break into the market via ebooks, there is sure to be a continual rise in self-published works by authors digging their way to creative fame.

OverDrive and Your Local Library

Like so much else in the world of books, libraries have an unfair reputation for being behind the times or inconvenient. The truth is, libraries are often up-to-date on the latest technology and the most efficient ways of getting knowledge into the hands of the masses. So with the ever-increasing popularity of ebooks and audiobooks, it should come as no surprise that it’s possible to borrow titles from anywhere there’s internet access.

OverDrive is a free app that allows anyone with a device that uses Android 4.0 or higher, Chrome OS41 or higher, iOS 9 or higher, or Windows 8 or 10 to rent ebooks and audiobooks directly from their local library. A desktop version of the app is also available across various operating systems. The app is connected to most public libraries in the US, including the Multnomah County Library.

Users can set up an account using a library card (or even just a phone number and a postal code) and can begin browsing their library’s available ebooks and audiobooks. Placing holds is simple, and the app uses email alerts to announce when titles are available. It’s even possible for users to suggest books they would like their library to purchase within the app. Books are returned automatically at the end of a twenty-one day period, meaning there is no way to incur late fees for titles borrowed through OverDrive. Users can read books on their phones, computers, or tablets, or send books to their Kindle (for other ereaders, the process is less streamlined). OverDrive has even produced a companion smartphone app, Libby, which is more attractive and user friendly, but currently compatible with fewer devices.

While OverDrive is getting its fair share of attention for making borrowing from the local library more convenient than ever before, there are actual quantitative measures by which this accessibility can be evaluated. In 2018, more than four million new digital library users used the OverDrive app for the first time. Some people tend to balk at the increasing relationship between books and the digital world, as evidenced by the notion of recent years that ebooks would wipe out print books for good (not to worry, print books are as popular as ever). However, the massive amount of new users recorded last year indicates that increasing readers’ access to books in the digital format draws a healthy audience.

There are also intangible ways that access to a public library’s digital catalog positively affects accessibility. For anyone who lives or works far from a library, being able to borrow books online saves significant time and transportation costs. OverDrive can also defray the cost of subscriptions to companies like Audible by providing digital audiobooks for download. Public libraries exist to provide free and easy access to information to the population they serve, and the OverDrive app has made providing and obtaining that information easier than ever.

Book Cover Design Tools for the Self-Published Author

Finally! After years hunched over your laptop tussling over which adjective perfectly captures your main character’s eyes and searching desperately for that perfect ending, your book is done and ready to be launched into the world. You already have the perfect title, but wait! You still need a cover. As a self-published author, it may be intimidating to start with all of the online outlets claiming they can make your book the next bestseller. After all, you’re a writer, not a designer. To help make the process a little less intimidating, here is a brief list of options that can give your book the beautiful face it deserves.
Hire A Professional Designer
As a self-published author, it may be beneficial to set aside some funds to hire a professional designer. The cover can be an excellent marketing tool and help communicate the subject, genre, and mood of the book in a single moment to the potential reader and having someone with experience in this realm may help increase sales. If funds allow, here are some options to explore:

  • Bookfly Design: For a fully personalized cover design experience, Bookfly Design will work with self-published authors one-on-one to create the design of their dreams. The small studio on the Oregon coast offers editing services as well. The intimate experience stands as the most expensive of these options with ebook design starting at $549.
  • BEAUTeBOOK: From cover to interior to website design, they will take care of all your design needs. Bestselling author Gregg Olsen took advantage of their services when designing Bitter Almonds, but the “bestseller look” may cost a pretty penny. Ebook cover design starts at $275.
  • Covertopia: If you are short on time, premade covers from Covertopia may be your best option. Choose from hundreds of genre-specific covers, and Covertopia will customize it with your title and author name. Premade covers start at $119.

Do It Yourself (for little or no cost)
Here in Portland, Oregon, we take pride in getting things done ourselves, and there are numerous online outlets that help guide you through the book design process with relative ease. For many self-published authors, making the cover is not the issue. Instead, the difficulty lies in making a cover that simultaneously captures the feel of the book and stands out among the sea of professionally and self-published books alike. If DIY is more your style, check out some of these online guides:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Want a professional looking cover? Invest in the applications used by professionals. InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator are excellent tools for creating both cover and interior book designs. Your subscription also includes video tutorials to help you navigate the tools and techniques available on the different applications. A single app subscription starts at $20 a month.
  • Cover Design Studio: This online resource claims anyone can make a cover on their site in under an hour. While the overall process is sure to take longer than that, this is a quick and easy option for authors short on time. Simply download a template and start customizing. Cover Design Studio offers a hundred DIY templates to choose from, starting at $19.
  • Amazon: Kindle Direct Publishing has their own cover creator, complete with a video tutorial. Simply add a personal image, choose from ten design templates, customize your font and color scheme, and submit. This tool is free when publishing through Kindle Direct.
  • CreateSpace: The entirely free cover creator from this self-publishing outlet allows you to create semi-custom designs with relative speed and ease. You can begin with a premade cover, which you can customize from color to font, and incorporate images from their free gallery.

Instant Entertainment: Ebooks at the Library

Tech-savvy bibliophiles around the globe have frequently asked for a “Netflix” for books. However, what they seem to be forgetting is that this service already exists. It’s called the library. However, as with anything publicly funded, the digital side of libraries has been slow to grow. In 2016, Publishers Weekly reported librarians’ general worry over the expense of ebooks. And a 2017 report from the Library Journal indicates that on average, libraries allocate only 9 percent of their budget to ebooks. Because of this slower growth, a couple of other subscription-based ebook services have popped up.

That being said, there are a few reasons to choose the local library for your ebook needs. First of all, it’s free! The quality of the titles is another reason. While some of the other services may boast more titles, they often pad their numbers with whatever cheap publication they can find, and these are often self-published ebooks. A library’s titles are chosen by the readers and the highly trained librarians. Libraries also support small publishers and self-published books through programs like the Library Journal self-e, which focuses on local authors.

Overdrive, the leading ebook lending service, connects to thousands of libraries around the world, and just celebrated their 1 billionth ebook rental. Overdrive has millions of digital titles, and any library can acquire any number of those titles. This is where the budget comes in. The more the digital services are utilized at a library, the more of the library’s budget can go towards ebook titles.

Overdrive is easy to sign up for and use. They’ve even instituted a digital library card program, so now you really can download the app, get a library card, and borrow dozens of ebooks all without ever leaving your home. Of course, it’s mobile too! Ebooks are great for traveling, and there are even some airport kiosks that offer temporary library cards for travelers (a service soon to be obsolete with the new digital cards).

Libraries are important. This is a sentiment most book-lovers, students, and publishers agree on. Like most services that are publicly funded, libraries must remain important in the public eye in order to retain their funding. This means that readers are important to libraries. Unfortunately, the Multnomah County Library has some alarming numbers to report: this year, only 55 percent of those polled thought it would be a great loss for a library to shut down. This number fell from 71 percent in the last ten years. While libraries may be a little slow keeping up with the fast pace of the digital world, they are working hard to do so. Now it’s up to readers and book-lovers everywhere to embrace and support their local libraries as they continue to adapt to the public’s needs.

DRM: To Prevent Piracy or Secure Loyalty?

The debate over the pros and cons of Digital Rights Management (DRM)—a layer of security that ties copyrighted works to a user in an effort to prohibit unlawful use or distribution—rambles on into 2018.

What started as a clause in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 to protect the infringement of copyrighted works such as movies, books, and music, has blossomed into a full-fledged debate on who owns, who can modify, and who can repair the products consumers purchase. These products range from cell phones and cars to children’s toys and ebooks, making it almost certain that everyone has at least one DRM-protected product in their home. The companies who place the DRM on these products control who uses, modifies, and distributes the copyrighted works and products.

A popular example of DRM in children’s toys comes with Sony’s robot dog, Aibo, which was recently re-released in Japan for $1,740 with a monthly subscription fee. Sony’s original robot dog, released in 1999, faced a boycott after the company forced a customer to remove the modifying code that made the dog dance and perform other tricks not found in Sony’s code. The company made sure to “double down” on DRM for the recent release, barring all modifications and ensuring consumer loyalty through subscriptions that allow the dog to operate only on Sony servers. And yes, the new Aibo does dance.

How does this relate to publishing? DRM is commonly used to deter unlawful distribution of an ebook purchased by a consumer. However, the debate circles around if DRMs actually prohibit piracy of an ebook or simply serve to keep the company relevant. Just as Sony uses DRM to stop modifications that enhance their code and ensure customer loyalty through subscriptions, DRMs can prohibit consumers from seeking other companies to support their digital ebooks.

For example: if a customer purchases Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders for Amazon’s Kindle, they can only read this ebook for as long as they have an Amazon Kindle account (or the free app). If another company comes out with a newer, better ebook reader, the consumer cannot simply take their lawfully purchased Lincoln in the Bardo and consume it on the new reader, as DRM prevents this file maneuver. Writer Craig Mod aptly states:

The potential power of digital is that it can take the ponderous and isolated nature of physical things and make them light and movable….This is where DRM hurts books most….It artificially imposes the heaviness and isolation of physical books on their digital counterparts, which should be loose, networked objects.

In this instance, DRM locks files not only to prevent redistribution, but to prevent customers from moving on to the next big product down the road. The Kindle user may think twice about investing in the newest ebook reader, as that may involve losing their perfectly curated collection of sci-fi novels or giving up numerous files of crime dramas.

If copyright laws (as many judges have claimed in their copyright rulings, including the Authors Guild v. Google, the lawsuit over Google Books) are in place to promote innovation, DRM should do the same. Lawmakers should turn their ears toward consumers that wish to transfer lawfully purchased files across devices owned by different companies. The law was made to protect copyrighted works, not inhibit lawful consumer access. Infant companies should be able to strive for better readers and better ways to transfer purchasable files without worrying about big players like Amazon crushing them before inception. Innovation over monopolization!

Refreshing Old Ebooks with Your Style

So you’re excited to open up your new book, freshly downloaded to an ereader. It might be the Amazon Kindle, maybe the Barnes & Noble Nook , or even a tablet using a book app. The anticipation rises, the new download opens to the title display, then after turning a few pages it opens to the first chapter. Three words in you realize you don’t like the font. Or maybe not. It’s more likely the font style and size are the furthest thing from your mind. As you read, a few hundred other people are likely reading that same novel, but are experiencing it in entirely different ways. Aside from the personal taste and perspective every reader brings to a story, there’s also the technical components of reading devices that allow people to customize their experience, and manufacturers to reach a wider audience with ebooks.

Devices such as the Nook or Kindle give you a variety of choices to make reading more comfortable. Each device features font and text size options as well as different color themes and margin sizes. Now, these features work a double function. One is to help make the reader more comfortable, the other is to make these devices more enticing to readers across all spectrums. Ebooks have their default font size, but it may be in the best interest for a particular reader to have a larger font. By making these devices cater to those who desire less eye strain with a bigger font, such as for those with vision problems, or those who desire a smaller font to fit more words per page, publishers and tablet manufacturers can effectively keep their readers happy, and perhaps, to keep them buying more ebooks. One such example is Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, which contains a special font, “Bookerly.” Its stated purpose is to keep spacing and words consistent throughout all font increases and decreases, and encourage users to stay in their story longer. Considering how much time and money can be spent on ebooks, it makes sense for companies to invest in components that are entirely devoted to the reader’s comfort. Yet, that doesn’t explain why the manufacturers added margin spacing, background color and color themes. The idea that someone can change the default for a unique look suggests that these particular options are entirely made to appeal to the reader who wants to be creative with their story, to try and make it theirs by tailoring it to themselves and having fun. In this way, old tales can be refreshed with a new look. Although these options are not heavily marketed, this move is investing in the customer’s happiness and loyalty.

It’s no wonder why ebooks have become popular. They’re easy to download, are often sold at a lower price, and many can be transported on one device without the weight or size of their physical book counterparts. By further indulging in the variables that technology allows, companies such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble are attempting to draw in new customers and find even newer ways to make existing customers happy. And in this case, it was as easy as offering an ebook with a customizable interior.

Books of the Future: eBook vs. Print

Books are all around us—in the shop, on the MAX, and even hidden among the apps in your iPhone. The pressing question is: What does the future hold for books? You may have heard your more tech-savvy friends claim to foresee the disappearance of physical bookstores and the print book along with them, while your English-nerd friends cling tightly to their hardcovers and say, “Not this day!” And as these two sides fight about the fate of books, you may find yourself wondering, which is it? What does the future hold for books and booklovers?

Since the first commercial success of an ereader (Amazon’s 2007 Kindle), many people have predicted the impending doom of the print book. In a world where multiple books could be bought and stored all in one convenient device, why would anyone continue to purchase bulky copies outside the comfort of their own home? In our very tech-oriented era, the ebook has seen increasing popularity among casual readers and book nerds alike. Perhaps one of the most alluring aspects of ereaders is that they allow you to read discreetly. Before the ereader, many people read certain books only in the privacy of their own homes. After the release of the first Harry Potter book in 1998, thousands of adults could be spotted reading hardcover books without their slips. This was the only way that adults felt they could get away with reading a children’s novel. The creation of the ereader has made it possible for adults to publicly read children’s books to their heart’s content, along with other controversial books, such as those by Bill O’Reilly or the thousands of free erotica books from the Kindle store. The more people enjoy the privacy and convenience of ereaders, the more unusual it may become to see people reading physical books on the MAX.

And yet, almost ten years after the release of the Kindle, physical bookstores continue their existence. Even Amazon has joined the fray by opening physical bookshops in places like San Diego, California, and even in our own Portland, Oregon. Any book nerd will tell you that there is something magical about holding a book—the warmth of its weight in your hands; the beauteous sound of rustling pages; and the intoxicating scent that fills the air as you open it up. Even more rewarding than enjoying a book yourself is sharing the book and discussing it later. Sharing is just something you can’t quite do with an ereader in the same way you can with print. When I was in the fourth grade, my friend shoved a particularly large book in my face and demanded I read it. I started the book that night and stayed up far later than I should have on a school night. Had my friend only recommended a book to me, I would have been less inclined to seek it out. The absolute best aspect of owning print books is that they can be signed by the author. I don’t believe Amazon has quite figured out esignatures.

So what sort of future do books have? Currently it seems that neither form of reading is entirely better than the other. Perhaps the future will create a sort of hybrid reader—people who love their ereaders and buy all their books on the device, but save a place for those special, signed print copies to be displayed on their bookshelves. What do you think the future holds?

White Paper vs. Paperwhite: Evaluating the Ebook Experience

There are certain things that you just don’t say around publishing people. One of those things you don’t say is that cats smell. I learned this one the hard way a few months ago.
JK cats don't smell

Curriculum directors take note.
And when everyone gets into a romantic discussion about the odor of the stacks in an aged library or the tingle in one’s spine as they crack a new hardback. Well . . . you better not say, “Meh.”
While many are attached to the idea of the printed word, there are plenty of other people who are enthusiastic about the progression of new entertainment technologies. Since the debut of the first generation Kindle almost ten years ago, this progression has included an unignorable emphasis on ebooks.
Setting aside loyalties to the printed page for just a minute, let’s take a measured look at some of the perks of ereading.

  1. Ebooks can go with you anywhere. Whether it is in the Kindle format, Apple iBooks, or another file type, you can bring an ebook wherever you can bring a smartphone or tablet. Some prefer using ereaders, but apps now allow you to download your books as offline content and enjoy the exploits of your favorite characters even when the train is halfway through the tunnel and unable to connect to wifi . . . or even 3G!
  2. Adjustable accessibility. Is your grandparent reading their old western novels or cozy mysteries on a digital tablet these days instead of watching Wheel of Fortune reruns? They must have a really cool grandchild who showed them how easy ereaders are to use! Most ereaders have functions that allow one to adjust type size of the type in the books they’re reading. Ereaders can provide greater accessibility than print books for people who need visual assistance or for those whose hands may not be able to hold open hundreds of tightly bound pages. Size is adjustable for ebooks’ reflowable type, and tablets lay flat, making reading a matter of simply propping up a book in the right way and enjoying.
  3. Just-cuz customizing. Does reading Georgia font remind you of a control-freak former employer that forced you to use that typeface for each memo? There’s no need for you to cringe through an entire book that elicits that uncomfortable memory. With most ebooks, you can just switch to Cambria, Times New Roman, or even a sans-serif font like Calibri or Helvetica. Did one of your characters use a scathing comeback you’d like to remember to use on that scamp in the apartment across the hall? Ereaders permit highlighting and can store your annotations for later in an easily reachable window.
  4. Private reading can now occur in public.We have video proof that people will judge your book by its cover when you read in public (caution: VIDEO IS SLIGHTLY NAUGHTY). With ebooks, however, nobody will be able to see which book you are reading unless they’re hovering over your shoulder. And if that’s the case, they’re the ones who are snooping and should be embarrassed. Right?

In a world where so many bury their faces in their phones, books provide alternatives in more ways than one. A printed book will always be available to draw total and complete focus and anchor you to the physical world through its scent and the feel of its pages. Your smartphone or tablet, however, can also deliver your self-selected content to you. So while you’re stuck in line at the post office or crammed into a rush-hour train car, you can transcend the usual social media clickbait and catch up with an old favorite or an intriguing new tome.

Manager Monday: Dissecting an eBook (Digital)

When most people think of ebooks, they imagine the ephemeral thing they download from Amazon for their Kindle, or from the Apple Store for their iPad. But what actually goes into making an ebook? What are its components? Could you make one if you wanted to?

Basically, an EPUB (the free and open standard developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum) is a zip archive that’s remarkably similar to a website, except it exists on a device and not on a web server. Both EPUBs and websites have the same fundamental parts: content files, which provide the words; media files, which provide images, sound, or video; and a stylesheet, which tells everything exactly what it’s supposed to look like. Toss in a few other required pieces (all of which are standardized and can be found online), and you’ve got yourself a reflowable document readable on most smartphones, tablets, and computers. It’ll even adapt to differently sized screens, have modifiable text sizes, feature a chapter list, and support highlighting and bookmarking on some devices.

The most time-consuming part of creating an ebook is generating the content files. Unfortunately, you can’t simply copy the text into a document and call it good. As with a website, if you want your stylesheet to actually affect the text, you have to tag it. EPUBs use a language called XML (eXtensible Markup Language), similar to the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) used in websites. XML is easy to use: you tag each paragraph with variants of <p>, depending on how you want it to look. If you don’t want the first paragraph in a every chapter to be indented or you want the first letter to be a dropcap, you would wrap the element in separate tags—<firstpara> instead of <p>—then use CSS to notate that in your stylesheet. Italicized words get a tag of their own; bolded words get another. Even images and captions get their own sets of tags.

Once you have your fully tagged document, you have to go through the repetitive but relatively simple task of creating your table of contents. You’ll also want to make sure any multimedia objects are in the right file formats and compressed enough that they don’t take up obscene amounts of room. It’s incredibly frustrating when you can’t add a file or app to your device because it’s out of space. Finally, make sure all your metadata is in place—author, date created, and hundreds of other bits of information can be added as metadata.

After all that’s complete, you have to package your EPUB correctly. This can be a challenge because the files have to be error-free. Luckily, there are many programs available to download that will both check for errors (and spit out an easy-to-read list if they exist) and package your EPUB. My personal favorite is Pagina. Once everything checks out . . . BOOM! You have an EPUB, ready to drop onto your favorite device.

40 Years of Poetry Publishing

Founded in 1972 by Sam Hamill, Tree Swenson, William O’Daly, and Jim Gautney, Copper Canyon Press started out selling hand-bound, letterpressed limited editions of poetry books out of the trunks of their cars.  Today, over forty years later, with nearly 500 poetry titles under its belt and operating out of a white clapboard house in Port Townsend, Washington, Copper Canyon is one of the country’s largest and most renowned publishers of poetry. Given poetry’s reputation of posing a challenge for even the shrewdest of sales managers, the press’s continued success seems astounding. How, one wonders, does Copper Canyon manage to continually bring poetry to readers in a marketplace marked by short-lived sensations and digital oversaturation?

The diversity of Copper Canyon’s catalog is noteworthy. It includes original collections and translations of heavyweight poets—including Nobel laureates (like Pablo Neruda and Rabindranath Tagore), Pulitzer Prize winners, and National Book Award winners, among them Ted Kooser, W. S. Merwin, and Lucille Clifton—as well as work by emerging authors like Ben Lerner, Natalie Diaz, and Kerry James Evans. Also featured is an impressive number of bilingual volumes of poetry translated from Arabic, Chinese, Belarusian, and other languages. To a considerable extent, Copper Canyon’s bestsellers—former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s Delights & Shadows, for example, sold more than 70,000 copies—allow the press to keep on publishing work by lesser-known authors, such as Lucia Perillo’s Inseminating the Elephant.

The press is also embracing digital formats, moving broadly and fearlessly into the e-book market since spring of this year. So far, more than eighty titles are available for the Nook, Kindle, and Kobo. For Copper Canyon’s marketing and sales director, Joseph Bednarik, the dialogue with readers and their (intellectual, emotional, and spiritual) experience with poetry is the main motivator. Over a glass of beer, he told me that nobody has quite figured out where the publishing industry as a whole will go, but that it is an exciting time for the business and that it would be foolish not to be open to exploring digital publishing venues.

In an effort to keep quality standards high and make submissions more manageable for its employees, Copper Canyon has moved away from an open submission system. Before switching to a fee-based submission process, over 1,500 manuscripts were sent in to the press each year, an amount that was simply unmanageable. Now, there are two-month reading sessions throughout the year, during which about 400 manuscripts are submitted. Poets pay a $35 reading fee, which entitles them to pick out two Copper Canyon titles for their own library as well as paying for a thorough reading of their manuscripts by Copper Canyon’s editorial department and their team of volunteer readers all over the country. Copper Canyon’s executive editor, Michael Wiegers (who took over from Sam Hamill in 2005), then has the final say in choosing which manuscripts will get published.

At the Wordstock 2013 poetry publishers panel, Bednarik also reported that the publishing house has tight control over books’ marketing. For example, authors will have a say in their book’s cover design, but Copper Canyon reserves the right to pass the final decision, often after presenting several versions to and consulting with their distributor, Consortium. Design and marketing here go hand in hand: it is important, for instance, how book covers look on the small scale, because readers will mainly come across them online first.

Numbers are a big part of Bednarik’s work and the day-to-day reality of the press, he conceded. With a staff of eleven, Copper Canyon—a non-profit organization, like most other poetry publishers—relies on grants and private donations for about half of its revenue. Technically, he said, every book Copper Canyon sells is underpriced; “it just doesn’t seem to work any other way.”

After over forty years of going strong, what’s next for Copper Canyon? Parallel to their printed books, they will keep expanding their e-offerings. An upcoming collection that I, personally, couldn’t be more excited about is Richard Siken’s War of the Foxes, slated for publication in spring of 2015. Siken’s debut, Crush, sold well over 20,000 copies—if this doesn’t bode well for Copper Canyon, then I don’t know what would.