Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oh, no -- more consolidation of the independent press!

Haworth Press, publisher of numerous imprints including Harrington Park Press (LGBT studies), Alice Street Editions (lesbian-specific), and Southern Tier Editions (gay fiction/erotica), as well as close to 200 journals, recently announced that they have been purchased by Taylor and Francis, a British academic publisher that also owns the prestigious Routledge. Haworth, by the way, also happens to be the publisher of two of my books (my first two anthologies), Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write About Their Clients and Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving.

It's possible the Taylor and Francis buyout could be good news for current Haworth nonfiction titles, since Taylor and Francis probably has better distribution and more high-end production methods. But it's unlikely that Taylor and Francis will continue the quirkiest of Haworth’s tastes, including many of their queer titles that would be difficult to place elsewhere. Fiction and erotica would seem particularly out of place on the Taylor and Francis list.

Haworth has been one of the few publishers consistently open to new work (especially queer work), and it seems quite likely that the Taylor and Francis purchase will make it much more difficult for emerging writers to find a venue.

(For an earlier post on independent press consolidation, click here.)


Larry-bob said...

That is bad news... likely will lead to a narrowing of focus and exclusion of non-mainstream voices.

mattilda a.k.a. matt bernstein sycamore said...

Larry-bob, I do think you are correct -- thanks for writing!

Love --