We Come up for Air

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Over the last few months, the folks behind Blue Cactus Press (including myself, the publisher, our authors, intern and new conspirators) have kept our heads down and our hands deep in the weeds of publishing work. Today we’re coming up for air, and we’ve got big news to share with you, our much-loved community:

We broke-up with Amazon

Over the last two and a half years, we’ve learned a lot about the publishing industry, what we can do to conduct business ethically, and how best to support other businesses in the publishing chain. We’re still learning, but one thing we’ve known for a while is that when we utilize Amazon’s services – as a print-on-demand and sales platform – we aren’t serving anyone well. Sure, Amazon is cheap and fast, but every time we utilize it for publishing purposes, we take business away from printers and independent bookstores, no to mention severely lower profits for authors, artists, designers, editors, and our company. So, we’ve officially pulled our titles from all Amazon platforms. Doing this will allow us to better support other small businesses in the industry, including independent bookstores, printers, artists, designers and of course, authors.

You can still purchase BCP titles online, directly from bluecactuspress.com, or from independent bookstores like King’s Books, Browsers Bookshop, Orca Books and Open Books. If you’re not in the area, you can still order our books from independent bookstores across the U.S., as we’re now utilizing industry leaders like IngramSpark for distribution. For in-house and event stock, we’re working with a highly-recommended printer – Bookmobile.

We hired a bomb-ass podcast producer

Being over-worked control freaks running on very little sleep is no fun for anyone, so we hired an AMAZING conspirator: Austin Scheen. Austin is our new podcast producer, handling everything from music production to editing to mastering. You’ll hear his cool-kid music on the upcoming podcast episode, out next week! We’re stoked to have Austin on our team, as his skills in audio production far exceed our own. He also adds a wealth of talent to the fray as an accomplished DJ (find him on SoundCloud under DJ Alkemist), artist, and producer.

 

Our intern is now our publishing assistant

If you’ve met Carlisle, or read her work (find it in The Trail or online here at BCP) you know how valuable she is as a writer, editor, and publishing assistant. As her internship came to a close this May, we decided to keep this good thing going by asking her to continue to be a part of the BCP family. She accepted. Our lives are better now. We want to surround ourselves with good people doing good work, and Carlisle is one of those people. It’s that simple.

 

We simplified our literary calendar

Starting this month, the BCP literary calendar will only include events that Blue Cactus Press or our conspirators (authors, artists, designers, editors) are involved in. Why, you might ask? Because we’re tired and we value sleep and self-care. There are very few people behind the scenes at BCP, and we’d rather consolidate our efforts to bring you beautifully crafted books and highly curated events than spend our energy updating calendars in the middle of the night. We’re consolidating, and it feels good. Plus, now that we’re less busy drafting event listings about readings, we’ll have time TO ACTUALLY GO TO READINGS AND LITERARY EVENTS. Amen to that.

We’re leaving the country

But we’re coming back, promise. For the entirety of June, I, your trusty and tired publisher, Christina, am taking a much-needed, long-awaited trip to Portugal and Spain. I’m hiking the Camino de Santiago. I’m letting my mind rest and giving my body what it desperately wants: dusty roads underfoot, long miles under the heat of the sun, a pack pressed against my back. Today, I’m two months sober. I hope to return with three months’ sobriety under my belt and a renewed appreciation for the load my body can bare. I need rest, friends, and this is how my heart, head and body get it. They beg for it: travel, physical work, solitude. And I’m listening. See you in July, friends.

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The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau

Sometimes when you pick up a book, you know you’re going to enjoy it before you even start reading. Maybe it’s something in the grit of the cover, the weight of it in your hands, or something about the title speaks to you. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s there, nonetheless: compelling you to sit your butt down and turn those pages. For me, The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau is one of those books.

And as it turns out, I was drawn to the core message, which is only hinted at in the title, that many people feel a deep-rooted need to find purpose in their lives by following a quest. This book is about the psychology behind that seemingly-unexplainable desire and the meaning in life that can be found by undertaking something bigger than ourselves. Categorically, I’d say this book is a non-fiction mash up of psychology, self-help and memoir.

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Book Review: Little Paris Bookshop

Some books, like people, will steal your heart away before you ever know what’s happening. They’ll sweep your little cappuccino-drinkin’-self right off your feet and leave you smiling for days, reason unknown. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George, did exactly that each time I sat down to read it. Originally a German novel, this fictional account focuses on a tragic, middle-aged man whom over time has closed himself off to everything except his books (and cats, admittedly). Note to self: don’t end up like that. Keep loving people, in addition to cats.

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