Friday, June 9, 2017


Incredible as it may seem—it certainly seems so to me!—this month marks the fifth anniversary of this blog. If you had told me, in June 2012, that I would succeed in finding things to say every single week for five years, I would have wondered what mind-altering substance you had consumed. Yet here I am, five years on, occasionally frantic in my search for suitable topics for discussion but generally posting on time.

This month also marks the fifth anniversary of Five Directions Press. On June 3, 2012, we published the first version of The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel (since reissued in a smaller size with a much spiffier cover designed by Courtney J. Hall). At the time, we saw our coop press as something of an experiment—a lark, even, like those old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland films about putting on a show. We had only the vaguest idea of what we were doing, but the climate seemed right for a cooperative enterprise that lay somewhere between completely self-published and the commercial format monopolized by large corporate conglomerates. We gave it a try, not knowing what to expect, and it’s been great.

That first title has become twenty, out or due by early next year, as well as several more approaching completion but not yet ready to add to the website. (For those counting, Cover no. 20 is awaiting its big reveal next month before appearing on our Books page.) The latest went up on Amazon within the last twenty-four hours: stay tuned for that announcement next week. Our small group of three has tripled, and most of us have more than one book under our belts. Marketing is still a challenge, but we have learned lots about book production, publication, website design, newsletters and press releases, social media, even promotion. Two of us host podcasts on the New Books Network. And the topics of our books range from the dissolution of the Roman Empire to twenty-fourth-century ballet, with many highways and byways in between, and cover the globe from the secret Jewish communities of Inquisition-era Mexico to psychedelic experimentation in 1950s Switzerland.

Selected Five Directions Press Books
Image © 2017 Five Directions Press

Last but not least, June marks the ninth anniversary of the writers’ group that gave rise to Five Directions Press and produced most of its early titles. Each year at this time we go out to lunch, forget about the critiques, invite friends and fellow writers, and celebrate. That lunch is this weekend.

So a short post today to say that we’re enjoying the journey and to extend our thanks to our authors (who are also our staff), our indulgent families, and especially our readers. Let’s hope this is the first of many five-year anniversaries for Five Directions Press and its writers!

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