While small presses (see p.16) will get your book out there and make sure it's well cared for, university presses are known for being a way to kickstart careers; and IU Press is taking an extra interest in books with a Midwest tie. Only 10 precent or less of the books coming out of the main press were Indiana authors, so IU decided to start the Breakaway Press — which would only highlight the regional connection — bringing that sector up to 25-30 percent. We spoke with David Hulsey, associate director at IU Press, about how Hoosier publishing measures up nationally.
NUVO: What is the largest benefit to having a strong publishing industry here in Indiana?
The benefit is it helps us be seen as forward thinkers and also contributing to the arts. I kind of laugh, we are always seen as the fly-over state when you talk to people on the East Coast and West Coast here when you are able to get the works of our authors out gives Indiana a chance to show the culture that we have, the type of authors that we have, our life, our history.
NUVO: Why was IU Breakaway Books developed?
We noticed that there was a missing area in publishing for the Midwest, and that was fiction and novels. There was a lot of publishing going on in that we also wanted to focus on books about the Midwest or authors from the Midwest, so that especially authors from Indiana could get their stories out.
NUVO: What is the publishing climate like in Indiana?
Overall our business has been great. I think it is very stable in comparison to other parts of the country in publishing. I think we have a great plan here. I think we have some great publishers in Indiana. (He noted that Indiana is not strong in the bookstore market.) ... [But] I think there is a lot of talent.
NUVO: How does publishing here stand out from the rest of the country?
We are focusing on the Midwest, the topics in the Midwest area. That is unique to most publishing. We are looking at how to expand and how to reach authors in the Midwest and how to reach the readers in the midwest and how to entertain them with our stories. When you compare us to a national publisher, like a Random House or some of the other larger ones, they are continuously focusing on a bigger market, they are going to focus on a world market. New authors are going to have much more of a challenge. This can be a stepping stone for some of those authors — to be published by a press like Indiana, to be discovered. It would be great if we kept all of our authors, but some authors move on and that's what's important ... I think that it's important that they have the chance to be published, to be heard, to tell their story, also to entertain.