Catalyst Book Press

The places, ideas, and people that change us


Starting in February 2008, you can email us at


  1. I thought it curious that you chose to use our press as a bad example, since so far we’ve published only three books. Each of these books has received high praise from prominent poets, and the company takes no money for our services. We are highly selective, and so far have published three books out of 20 manuscripts that we’ve received.

    So it’s my impression that you aren’t paying much attention. Henry Braun’s Loyalties won the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance’s 2008 Maine Writers Award for Poetry. Lee Sharkey (co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal) has in less than a year made back her production expenses. Beyond that, if you took the trouble of looking at our books, texts aside, you’d see the difference between our beautifully designed, Smythe-bound, books printed on acid-free paper differ from anything you’ll see put out by vanity presses. People come to us because they want the high quality production that we do and because they want to be in the company of authors as good as us.

    I trust that you’ll at least correct your factual errors and omissions.


    Bert Stern
    Off the Grid {Press

    Comment by Bert Stern | June 27, 2008

  2. I didn’t say you publish bad books–only wondering if what you do is different from vanity presses, when the authors pay for the printing costs. But you are making a great point that producing beautiful books, even if authors undertake the expense themselves, is very different from what AuthorHouse or others do. And I have seen your books and yes, you’re right, they are beautifully produced. I understand the culture of publishing these days is very different from the tried and true days of old–and thus, I’m exploring these questions of what it means to publish vs. what it means to self-publish. Terena of Medua’s Muse pointed out in a comment under the blog in question, in which I refer to your press, that what you were doing was book shepharding–and I like that phrase, which I think describes what you’re doing much better than “vanity” press. I’ll gladly post a blog about it and refer to your comment here….

    Comment by catalystbookpress | June 27, 2008

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    Pingback by What Exactly Is Publishing Anyway? Take II. « Catalyst Book Press | July 1, 2008

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