Idea File:
From Students for Students

June 2004
by Bill Jelen

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This year Holy Macro! Books celebrated Small Press Month by sponsoring a “Write a Book Proposal” contest at the local high school. We gave students guidelines on what should be in a book proposal and encouraged them to submit proposals for books that would interest high school students.

I appeared at the high school to explain to the students about the consolidation of the publishing industry, but then to explain the results from the Rest of Us study and how the small press is now a major force.

We offered a $100 prize for the author of the winning proposal along with a shot at a summer internship to develop and write the proposed book, with a possible publishing deal to follow.

I am simply amazed by the results. I have eight book proposals from seven high school students, and they are all excellent. We are going to narrow the group down to three and give them all summer internships to develop their proposals into books, which we will publish in spring 2005 under a new imprint.


Further, I am offering a grant to the high school marketing program to develop a plan to promote the books.

We’ll have books written by high schoolers for high schoolers, promoted by high schoolers.


Bill Jelen

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