Tina McElroy Ansa, author of books such as Hand I Fan With and Ugly Ways has started her own publishing house, Down South Press. It’s first release will be the sequel to Ugly Ways and is slated for a fall debut. While it will open its doors for inquiries, DSP will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Ms. Ansa isn’t the only author who has started a press to print and distribute books she believes in.
Deborah Smith, a former Little Brown author, spearheaded the creation of Belle Books in 1999, to publish books with strong southern flavor such as her own, The Crossroads Cafe. Helen Rosburg began Medallion Press in 2003 to publish her own novels and others which she perceived were not in the marketplace. Recently, Medallion Press signed a distribution deal with IPG and recieved the independent press designation because of it.
Perhaps Ms. Ansa will have success, where others have not, in getting her books shelved with general fiction, instead of the African American section in order to have broader exposure.