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January Webinar: Hard Work and a Dream: Publisher Startup Success
January 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, it shook up every industry—and publishing was no exception. Now, many publishing professionals are looking for new opportunities in their careers, leading some to consider starting their own companies. But how is this done? And what does it take to be successful?
In our moderated panel, Hard Work and a Dream: Publisher Startup Success, we’ll look at three midwestern, independent publishers—Strive Publishing, Scribe Publishing, and Button Poetry—and learn from the professionals who built them. We’ll cover the ups and downs and discover what it really takes to be a successful startup publisher.
Mary Taris, M. Ed., she/her/hers, is the founder of Strive Publishing, a social enterprise that centers, values, and empowers Black narratives in literature for equity and social justice. Mary’s lived experiences and background in education influence her perspective on the power of books to bridge cultures and help shape society. She maintains connections to writing, literacy, publishing, and librarian organizations from across Minnesota, and she has served on numerous panels and boards as a voice for Black literature and literary equity.
Jennifer Baum is founder and publisher of Scribe Publishing Company, a traditional small press with national distribution by IPG. She has held various roles in publishing for over twenty years, from university literary magazines to community newspapers and magazines to traditional book publishing. She founded Scribe Publishing Company in 2011.
Jennifer has held leadership roles within the Midwest Independent Publishers Association since 2015, and in 2020 was named executive director. Through MiPA, she also administers the Midwest Book Awards program, one of the longest-running literary recognition programs in the country.
Sam Van Cook is the founder and president of Button Poetry, the premiere online distributor of performance poetry media worldwide. Sam is a TEDx fellow, a National Poetry Slam Champion, a recipient of the Verve Grant and a mental health visibility advocate.
Sam has worked with students nationwide as a poetry instructor and performance poetry coach. He helped found and establish spoken word poetry programs in colleges across Minnesota, including Carleton, the U of M, Hamline, MCTC and Macalester. Most notably, Sam spent four years as an instructor for Macalester College, coaching and coordinating their championship Poetry Slam program.