Hub City Bookship & Press featured in “Book publishers go hyper-local”
At least half a dozen book publishers operating in South Carolina are succeeding, even as larger publishers are struggling with growing demand for Web-based products and electronic books. They are flourishing even though powerful retailers and distributors like Amazon and Ingram demand discounts and high fees.
What’s the secret? Specialization, South Carolina publishers said. And a strong emphasis on local topics and people. Oh, and coffee table books.
Betsy Teter runs Hub City Press and the Hub City Bookshop. The store is the epitome of hyper-local, small and independent. It’s located on the main square downtown. Teter raised $300,000 from the community five or six years ago to renovate the abandoned Masonic Temple. Now Spartanburg residents lounge, read, sip coffee and eat pastries, chat and listen to readings in the space.
Hub City Press got its start in 1995.
“There are a lot of writers in Spartanburg, because we have a lot of colleges,” Teter said. “This was a way that writers came together to figure out how to publish each other.”
In the beginning, Hub City forged a partnership with the S.C. Arts Commission to publish fiction and poetry, concentrating on emerging North Carolina and South Carolina writers, as well as a few authors who’ve made it, such as Ron Rash and George Singleton. The two organizations introduced the South Carolina First Novel Prize in 2009.
Hub City, a nonprofit, had its best year ever in 2011, Teter said. The book store did especially well.
“It’s all about events,” she said. “Authors do a lot of events. People still want to meet authors. People still want to get signed books.”
Hub City also organizes writers’ workshops that match aspiring authors with established mentors, and it pursues other programming that generates incremental revenue so the organization isn’t only depending on book and coffee sales.
Via: Charleston Post and Courier