I want you to meet Thurston Howl of Thurston Howl Press. He's an amazing construct of energy and organization. I also strongly suspect that he's a speed reader. He is not only a writer and editor and publisher, but a grad student and an educator. He's also comes across as an incredible optimist.
My work has appeared in two of his anthologies; one non-fiction and the other fiction. With any luck, there could be more soon. After all, he's obviously already demonstrated a good deal of good taste.
Thurston Howl on His Book Shelf
I always read seven books at once, one from each of the following categories: literary fiction, nonfiction, sci fi / fantasy, LGBT / furry, horror, young adult, and experimental / poetry. It usually just cycles to the next book on the shelf, which forces me to read books I've had a while. My collection is presently around 2,000 books, and these bookshelves serve as the main furniture in the house. My partner and I have decorated the shelves with foxes, wolves, dogs, pandas, and even a spyglass. We do have a few "special" books, like the first printing edition of White Fang and a signed volume of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.
On Thurston Howl Publications (THP)
How did you come to found THP? What titles and writers did you start with?
THP started when I volunteered—after self-publishing two titles—to edit and publish a charity anthology for the National Wolfwatcher Coalition in 2014. Throughout the submission process, a handful of authors expressed interest in me publishing their work, despite my limited experience. C. R. Benson, Roland Jenkins, and Justin K. Arthur was some of the first ones to request my services. As more clients came in, I realized I needed a full staff to handle the clientele.
Do you have a staff? Can you introduce us?
We indeed do have a staff! It has roughly thirty freelance people presently: editors, proofreaders, copyeditors, a cover design team, a marketing team, and an accountant. The three top names in the company are Howl, Rayah, and Tabs. Howl (myself) is the editor-in-chief and founder of the house, now working mostly on project management. Rayah is the associate editor and handles many of the editing projects and organizational issues. Tabs is the head of the cover design team and works on much of the website design for our marketing campaign, Project P.A.C.K.
As a small indie publisher, I expect your company and your home may be somewhat juxtaposed. How much of your place has been given over to publishing? Is it fairer to say that THP allows you to have a cot in the break room? Or, perhaps, there’s a clear separation between the two?
Eh, THP is largely an online publishing house. There is a shelf of our books at my home, but we still have a little less than twenty titles out now. There really isn’t a need for THP to conquer my home. My own personal library does that already.
Tell me a little about what you’ll publish and how you come to a decision about that. Do you also include marketing?
First of all, our printing is entirely print-on-demand (POD), so we do not have an in-house printer, and Amazon handles most of our printing itself. Our house offers the following services to all of its authors: editing, proofreading, copyediting, beta reading, cover design, and marketing. We do not charge our authors anything (though they might have to pay for gas to a local signing or the small ten dollar fee to set up a website using our hosting).
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