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Small press

Related: publishing - printing - Press

Instances: underground press


Small press is a term often used to describe publishers who typically specialize in genre fiction, or limited edition books or magazines. It contrasts with vanity press, which usually implies payment by authors to publish; in the case of a small press the publisher is much more likely to be motivated by the idea that some writing of small immediate commercial value should nonetheless be made available by a formal publication and limited circulation.

At the most basic, small press production runs to chapbooks. This role can now be taken on by desktop publishing, as the wish simply to publish can be fulfilled by a web site. This still leaves a continuum of kinds of small press publishing: specialist periodicals, short runs or print-to-order of low-demand books, through to fine art books and limited editions of collectors' items printed to high standards.

Small presses became distinguishable from jobbing printers at some time towards the end of the nineteenth century. The roots lie with the Arts and Crafts Movement, with the example of the Kelmscott Press being particularly significant. The use of small letterpress machines by amateur printers increased roughly in proportion to the mechanization of commercial printing. The advance of practical lithography then made small press publication much easier. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_press [Jan 2005]

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