“How-To” Fight Illiteracy

For my research topic, I’ve decided to do a “How-to” guide that assesses the basic elements of initiating a small press for those who want to become publishers. My research will focus on these basic area:

1. Intention and developing business concepts, such as knowing what types of books you intend to publish and who the audience will be

2. Start-up action such as setting up business accounts, websites, licensing, and reserving tax codes

3. Sources of expense, including agreements and contracts, royalties for writers and designers, printing, shipping, warehousing, marketing, etc

4. Finding and commissioning writers: this will include accepting and reviewing manuscripts as well as the editing and completion process

5. A basic illustration of the journey a manuscript makes once it reaches a publisher until it is on a consumers bookshelf

Essentially, my paper will be a summary of my interview with Tod Davies, other available interviews with publishers, available literature on starting small businesses and presses (although there are few guides on becoming a publisher and more on how to self-publish), and online guides and classes. Think of it as a literature view targeted at people with incredibly short attention spans.

Although my paper topic seems dry compared to others is our class, it’s the beginning research before I write my own business plan and dive into the entrepreneurial market as a small publisher. The goal of my press will be to publish didactic texts in these two fields: children’s books and picture books on alternative subjects, and picture books and texts for improving adult literacy. My goals are numerous but rooted in my passion for bridging the literacy gap in this country. Two broad goals are: To improve literacy and make books give struggling adult readings books that meet their low reading level but high critical thinking level, but also to approach children’s unique postmodern understanding of the world through new ideas and concepts.

You can visit these links to get a picture of what I intend to publish:



http://www.literacyconnections.com/PictureBooksforAdultReaders.php (the recommendations for adults, as you can see, are bleak.)

Graphic novels, and the darker humor of writers like Tim Burton and Jhonen Vasquez have also had a great impact as tool for barely literate readers from the ages 15-35.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels was released by Oxford University Press in March of 2020.
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