When did you start PD Publishing? (And what do the initials “PD” stand for?)
PD was incorporated in 2004 and we put our first book out in 2005. PD doesn’t really stand for anything. We liked the ink splot idea of how messy it used to be to use ink and pen, like all the writers used to do before things became more technical, like typewriters. When asked, we say the PD stands for Purple Dot. Which is what we were thinking when we decided on PD, but legally, the only name we have is P.D. Publishing, Inc. There are no other ways you can find us since PD truly doesn’t mean anything worthy of including in our incorporation paperwork.
How many titles do you currently have in print?
We currently have 91 titles in print.
What were your reasons for starting your own publishing company?
The main reason that we started our own publishing company was because authors asked us to do so. Barb and I had been working with another small press and got so very tired of how that publisher was treating authors and treating workers, deciding just to quit. After we were away for a few months, we had authors writing to us saying they wanted to work with us, no matter where we were working. Many gave us the idea to start our own company. After much thought and consideration, we went and talked to an accountant and an attorney to see what it would take on our end. After more thought, we jumped in.
The reason for starting versus the reason for staying are actually not the same. There are many ways authors can get their stories in print—many ways they could self-publish and make more personal monies. But I think there will always be some folks that would rather ONLY write and not have to be involved with the business end of things. Also, there is a quality that publishers can add to a book that many cannot afford on their own.
How big’s your staff?
Barb and I, owners of P.D. Publishing, are the only folks that work full time as business owners. We are not salaried. The rest of the workers are contract pay workers. We contract them and give them work orders per job—either editing or cover art. Our contract workers all have jobs and work with PD on the side. So there is a lot of flexibility since their real-life jobs pay the bills or the insurance. Some workers have periods of times in their lives where they cannot accept new projects. So the number working with us at a specific period of time comes and goes. We currently have 10 editors and 8 artists.
Since you started the press, in what ways have you seen the landscape of LGBTG publishing change, and what steps have been necessary to adapt to that?
The first thing coming to mind is the digital technology changes—where authors have so many options to get their work into print. When we started, the doors to small publishers were just opening. The next thing that comes to mind is the death of most of the brick and mortar LGBT bookstores and other independent bookstores.
Are your titles available as e-books? If not, what are the roadblocks you’ve encountered in that process?
PD will have e-books out shortly. The readers are demanding their availability. But we’ve really worried about the security of the digital age. Piracy is so rampant. Readers think nothing about copying e-book files and giving them to their friends. What’s worse are folks “selling” e-books that they don’t have the right to. That’s even a worse form of stealing than the sharing amongst friends. There is a minor issue of the variety of file forms being used by all the differing e-book makers.
In what direction do you hope to take the press in the future?
We hope to continue to keep up with the technological changes that the readers request. There are many things that we would do if we had plenty of money and time. Really, time has been more of an issue for Barb and myself. PD is very lucky to be doing so well financially, especially considering what others we know of are going through. Barb and I are full-time post-graduate educators—that pays our bills and our health insurance. We’d be doing so many more things if we had more time. But we love the publishing business. I know that authors have other options, so we feel so thankful that authors are seeking us out to get their work into print.