The Secret of Our Success: Chicago Review Press

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January 2014
by Curt Matthews

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The publishing company that my wife, Linda, and I started 40 years ago recently had an anniversary party for itself, its authors, and for the Chicago media. In its first year, 1973, Chicago Review Press published two titles. Now we publish 60 to 65 titles per year, and in the 2013 calendar year we sold about a million copies.

Of course, Linda and I had to give little speeches to the 100 or so people who attended the party, which led me to wonder how we managed to do what we’ve done. Very few book publishing ventures last 40 years, and even fewer have a record of steady growth. What was the secret of our success?

Mainly just two things: a computer, and an attitude.

 The Computer. Our publishing company bought a microcomputer in 1982, the only one at that time that was affordable and could realistically support the activities of a business. CRP must have been the first independent publishing company (the big six publishers had IBM mainframes), or at least among the very first indie publishing companies, to have a computer….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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