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.
Jennifer Baum is founder and publisher of Scribe Publishing Company, a traditional small press with national distribution by IPG.
Sam Van Cook is the founder and president of Button Poetry, the premiere online distributor of performance poetry media worldwide.