Catalyst Book Press

The places, ideas, and people that change us

Announcing Catalyst Book Press

A year ago, when I asked my friend and ex-boss Bobby Byrd (publisher at Cinco Puntos Press) what he would tell somebody who was thinking about starting a small press, he replied, “Don’t do it.”champagne-glass.gif

 Well, Bobby, welcome 2008 and welcome to the launching of Catalyst Book Press. I’m going against your sage advice and I’m starting this small independent press, focusing on non-fiction. (I do have a mission statement and a focus within non-fiction but more information on that will come later. )

Part of what convinced me to go ahead and do this anyway was a combination of things: 1) I’ve been planning to start a press for a few years so this was going to happen inevitably sooner or later; 2) I read Aaron Shepard’s book Aiming at Amazon and realized that there has to be middle way between his method (more on that later, much much more) and the traditional publishing model, which would not starve me of time and money and might allow me to still focus mostly on my own writing career that is definitely and solidly within the traditional publishing model!; 3) I keep writing little odds and ends, interviews and articles, for New Pages. Casey, Denise, and I have been talking for years about this and I finally decided I should go ahead and write the damn book about independent publishing culture that we’ve been talking about  for years and, well, I’d better be an independent book publisher if I’m going to write about that with integrity; and 4) (most important) I got tired of reading so much scholarly stuff for graduate school. There, I said it. If I’m going to read this much, I decided, I might as well sometimes read things I really, really want to read–things I’m going to write about, things I’m going to publish, and things for the sheer pleasure of reading. I’m tired of reading nothing but these academic tomes.

 This blog is going to be a combination of things. It will shamelessly promote Catalyst Book Press’s books, of course, and will contain news and updates as necessary. It will also be an exploration of independent publishing culture as I work out the kinks of this upcoming book. And it will probably evolve from there.

 So hallelujah, open the champagne bottles and let’s toast the beginnings of yet another indie book press.

January 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Hey Jess,
    All the best with your new venture. I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

    Comment by Fernanda | January 20, 2008

  2. I’ve read your mission statement and will pass the site along to those women I know working in birthing. I am curious why you will only publish nonfiction in this regard. A lot of women writers have excerpts from novels and poetry focused on the birthing process, much of it quite good. Is this necessary? What does it imply?
    And by the way, good luck with your new venture!


    Comment by destiny kinal | March 7, 2008

  3. Thanks, Destiny–and I hope you’ll check out the regular website, too ( I may publish fiction in the future, but nonfiction is easier to sell and publishing ventures are notoriously risky. So to begin with, I’m focusing on nonfiction.

    I actually WILL be accepting poetry for the ezine, which will be launching in June. And I’ve been considering a poetry collection of birth poems, a really short book, a collection of maybe 30 poems by different poets.

    Comment by catalystbookpress | March 7, 2008

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: