Richard Eoin Nash writes about his time at Soft Skull Press:
The real work is in the day-to-day writing and connecting with people. So you're continuously putting out the poem, the short story, you're doing a reading in a series, you go to your writing group, you show up at a writers conference, you study with someone you admire, you go to workshop, you're blogging, you're critiquing, you're putting your ideas out there, that's the true work of writing. There's something profoundly wrong about the model of sitting in a room for three years writing a novel all by yourself. Successes that happened with that model happened in despite of the process, not because of it. That whole writer in the garret cliché came out the Industrial Revolution, and it created an absolutely alienated producer, the writer. I'm not saying all you should do is sit around and shmooze and not write your book. Not at all. I'm saying engage with others who are doing similar things, and if you do it right these people will advocate and be your ally in making better art that means something to you and your friends. And in fact, agents and publishers are more likely to find you if you are actively participating in your culture. If you do it for your own sake, it will make you a happier and more fulfilled writer.Amen!
Mr Nash talks about what he was looking for in both writing and writers when he was at the helm of Soft Skull Pres, so if you're thinking of submitting your work to a traditional publisher--and even if you're not!--it's worth a gander.
Read the interview here: How to Get Love From Independent Publishers and the Future of Books: Richard Nash & the Book Doctors
Here is Mr. Nash's impressive biography:
Richard Nash is an independent publishing entrepreneur -- VP of Community and Content of Small Demons, founder of Cursor, and Publisher of Red Lemonade. He ran the iconic indie Soft Skull Press and was awarded the AAP Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing. Books he edited and published landed on bestseller lists from the Boston Globe to the Singapore Straits-Times; the last book he edited there, Lydia Millet's Love in Infant Monkeys, was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist. The Utne Reader named him one of Fifty Visionaries Changing Your World and Mashable.com picked him as the #1 Twitter User Changing the Shape of Publishing. Twitter: @R_Nash Website: http://www.rnash.com/
Photo credit: Tatooology