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Dapper Press Offers Services For Self-Publishing Writers

By Jaclyn Bauer in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 22, 2014 9:50PM

2014_09_dapper_press_logo.jpg Everyone can write, so writing a book is easy, right? Everyone can self-publish, so self-publishing is easy, right?

Wrong. Clayton Smith, professor at Columbia College and co-founder of a new publishing services company, Dapper Press claims that just because something is simple, doesn't mean it’s easy. I had a chance to talk with Smith about self-publishing, book selling and the struggles of being a writer.

Dapper Press, projected to launch on Dec. 1, is a publishing house with a host of offerings aimed at helping writers self-publish quality books. From editing to design, including formatting and marketing consultations, Smith and his Phoenix-based co-founder Steven Luna have collaborated with professional editors, artists and graphic designers in order to create a fully comprehensive menu of offerings.

After navigating the difficulties of the self-publishing realm on their own, Smith and Luna decided it was high time someone came around to help authors with this daunting task. The stigma surrounding self-publishing is slowly deteriorating, and Smith and Luna are working to encourage this shifting ideology. Smith pointed out that a dearth in quality is one of the prime pitfalls of self-publishing: it's hard work to manage all of the aspects of publishing on top of writing a piece of work. Smith and Luna hope to “change the landscape of self-publishing” by offering professional services that will enhance the value of self-published books.

Smith cautioned that “when you start getting into self-publishing…it seems like it’s going to be really easy, but the more you get into it, the more difficult it is.” That’s where he and Luna come in: they hope to not only provide services to authors, but a community and network of support as well. “It’s a hard process,” Smith noted, “but we want to make that a little simpler for people.”

When writers first send sample work to Dapper Press, it will be evaluated by Smith and Luna, and then the writer will be given feedback on next steps for her manuscript. When a writer is ready to publish, he or she can chose to purchase services al a carte or in bundles. Though official pricing has not yet been released to the public, Smith stressed that he and Luna intend on making Dapper Press accessible to people of varying economic levels.

The press will initially launch in Chicago and Phoenix, though Smith and Luna will work with writers all over the world via phone, email and Skype. They have high hopes of expanding the press in the future both spatially and in terms of offerings. The pair intend to focus on hosting seminars and events for additional revenue as well as to encourage networking opportunities and community enrichment. Smith emphasized that Dapper Press will be about building relationships with writers and looking out for their best interests. It will be “author-centric more than anything else.”

Though the website has not yet launched, you can still check out the Dapper Press Blog which has some great articles about how to sell your book to bookshops, adverbial usage in writing, and more. You can also hear Smith speak about his own experiences with self-publishing at the Chicago’s Writers Conference on Sunday, Oct. 25.