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IBPA Member Spotlight: Meerkat Press

Thursday, June 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Caitlin Walker
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IBPA Member Meerkat Press Publishes on the Dangerous Business of Journalism
Tom Epperson

In the May 25th issue of The Wall Street Journal, Tom Nolan discussed the Meerkat Press-published title Roberto to the Dark Tower Came in an article titled "News You Can Lose Your Life Over."

As the annual World Press Freedom Day took place on May 3rd, stories of the real dangers faced by journalists have been frequently featured in the news. Tom Epperson's novel, Roberto to the Dark Tower Came "follows a well-known journalist in an unnamed South American country said to be one of the most violent places on the planet."

The book's trailer (below) captures the tension and danger that permeates the text and has been featured by Shelf-Awareness and Book Riot. Epperson will celebrate the book's release at an event on June 7th at Book Soup in West Hollywood, CA. The event will feature a presentation by the author and a book signing.

Combining Professionalism with Passion

Back in 2007, Tricia Reeks started a recreational sports business. As it expanded it became primarily run by her staff. As a self-starter, Tricia realized it was time to move forward with her next professional venture, specifically one that allowed for more creativity. "I'd taken up fiction writing as a hobby, and it exposed me to the short speculative fiction market and to the business of publishing," Tricia explains. While she had no initial experience in publishing, her passion for writing and acute business sense fueled the development of the press. "I started out editing and publishing a short anthology and had so much fun that I knew it was something I wanted to get serious about," says Tricia. "And thus, Meerkat Press was born."

2017 was a whirlwind for Meerkat, as it was their first year with a full schedule of books. Their goal is to publish 4 to 6 books a year and now that the word is out the submissions are steadily flowing in.

Their continuing commitment is to publishing unique books that cross traditional genre boundaries. Their collection of titles includes Meet Me in the Strange, a dreamy, retro-futuristic YA fantasy by Leander Watts, and Keith Rosson's Smoke City, which follows two friends (one of them the reincarnation of Joan of Arc's executioner) though a landscape filled with ghostly apparitions. "I've considered narrowing the type of books we've published... but I just can't bring myself to do so," Tricia says. "So far, 90% of our acquisitions have had a speculative aspect to them, which is more indicative of our tastes in fiction than anything."

Four Questions for Meerkat Press' Tricia Reeks

IBPA: In one sentence, can you summarize the mission of your press?

TR: As a voracious reader and someone who loves creating things, my primary guiding philosophy is to find and publish books I love to read.

IBPA: What is the best advice you were given when you first started publishing?

TR: The best advice we received was to find a distributor for our books. We signed with Midpoint Trade in 2016 and it has been a major boost to our print sales.

IBPA: What is your favorite thing about being an indie publisher?

TR: Being able to work with such amazingly talented authors. It is a very rewarding experience!

IBPA: Can you give some of our new-to-publishing members some advice about one topic?

TR: Publish quality books. I like to think of Meerkat as a small press with big books. My goal is for our titles to be indistinguishable in quality from those of the big publishers. We are proud of the quality of our acquisitions, editing, covers, and book design, and out titles have gotten many great reviews from names that are trusted in the industry: NPR, Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and others.

IBPA: Thank you for sharing with us, Tricia!

Learn more about Meerkat Press here.

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