On the Dial | Small Beer Press
Small Beer Press is one of our most rebellious, zany, and frequently impressive publishers. Another mom-and-pop shop, Small Beer was founded and is run by Gavin Grant and Kelly Link, who embody the spirit of indie publishing in so many ways.
It is one of the great pleasures of publishing to get to know others in the community, and Kelly and Gavin are two generous, cool pillars of this community. Whether they're carrying an inflatable couch around Book Expo America to promote the publication of Benjamin Parzybok's novel Couch, donating 20% of their monthly book proceeds to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, or publishing stellar books—such as Julia Holmes's superb novel Meeks and Lydia Millet's YA 'Dissenters' trilogy—Small Beer is a big deal.
Small Beer's most recent publication, a collection of Ursula K. LeGuin's non-fiction, is making a big splash. Titled Words Are My Matter, the book includes "talks, essays, introductions to beloved books, and book reviews." A profile in the New Yorker credits LeGuin with "breaking down the walls of genre" and "hand[ing] new tools to twenty-first-century writers working in... the place where the fantastic enters literature." These writers, the profile asserts, include Karen Joy Fowler, Junot Díaz, Jonathan Lethem, Victor LaValle, Zadie Smith, and David Mitchell.
A speech that LeGuin gave when receiving the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters appears in the collection, where she states:
“We need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.”
Cheers to that.