Interview with Jennifer Joseph of Manic D Press

Jennifer Joseph of Manic D Press
Jennifer Joseph of Manic D Press

Manic D Press was founded by Jennifer Joseph in 1984. An award-winning literary press based in San Francisco, California publishing fiction, poetry, pop culture, music, art, narrative-oriented comix, children’s,and alternative travel books, Manic D represents a diverse group of unique writers and artists, with emphasis on those who have been shunned by the traditional publishing establishment for lacking commercial viability, regardless of their talent or future promise. Their mission has expanded to offer refuge to established writers escaping from the commercial publishing parallel universe.

How can interested readers find books published by local or special-interest small presses? 

Go to local independent bookstores! Attend local bookfairs! Visit the websites & social media of local presses and find out where their authors are presenting their works!

How do small presses publicize the titles they publish, and how would people find out about those books? 

Social media is always a great source of publicizing books and events. Popular blogs, lit journals, mainstream magazines and newspapers, as well as direct emails and bookfairs and festivals and academic conferences.
How can society and the public best support the unique role that small presses play in getting unique or special-interest books into the world? 
Buy our books and tell others about them through social media and in-person conversation. Suggest small press books to your book club, too.

Awards Granted
to Manic D Press

  • 2000 American Library Association Stonewall Award for Literature
  • 1997 Firecracker Alternative Book Award for Art
  • 2002 and 2000 Firecracker Alternative Book Awards for Fiction
  • 1998 American Institute of Graphic Arts juried traveling exhibition 50 Books, 50 Covers
  • Sept/Oct 2003 + March/April 2004 Booksense 76 lists
  • SF Bay Guardian‘s 2004 Best of the Bay: ‘Best Quintessentially San Franciscan Publisher’
  • Publishing Triangle’s 2007 Thom Gunn Award for Poetry + 2008 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
  • SF Weekly’s “Best of San Francisco 2008”
  • 2009 and 2010 Lambda Literary Transgender Awards
  • 2014 Kathy Acker Award.

What do you see as the future of small press publishing, or publishing in general, in the age of technology, Amazon and self-publishing? 

It’s gotten harder to get readers to focus because the news cycle moves so quickly. There are fewer major media sources and more books being published. The distribution system is almost broken, thanks to Amazon. Anyone can print a book but getting it into stores and finding a readership for it has always been a challenge. Technology-wise, the availability of books in various formats (print, ebooks, and audio) is a good thing because it expands the potential audience for a writer’s work. Also, as printing technology has advanced, it’s possible to have cost-effective short print runs, which is also a good thing. On the downside, it’s easier than ever for books to be pirated and put up on the internet for free download, which sucks. 

Ask Jennifer Joseph your own Questions this Sunday at our Small Press Editors Panel

Out of respect for the coming health crisis we are experimenting with live streaming this for our members. Check the Facebook event page for updates on how to access the live stream. If you attend in person we will all work together to take care to stay hygienic, but we hope you will pop into the live stream if you would prefer to stay at home.

March small press editors event

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