After 20 years as publisher of Pedlar Press, Beth Follett says she plans to retire from the business and is looking to sell the publishing house she founded in 1996.
“I am selling full ownership of the publishing house and all its inventory… The new owner or owners will direct everything, from editorial vision to management schema‚” Follett says. “I want to keep Pedlar alive and vital in Canadian publishing‚ and continuing to support authors who are taking risks with style and voice and story. Where the press continues matters less than why and how.”
With a focus on contemporary poetry and fiction, with a touch of literary non-fiction‚ the St. John’s, Nfld.–based press has published such titles as Camilla Gibb’s debut novel, Mouthing the Words, Kate Cayley’s Trillium Book Award–winning How You Were Born‚ Soraya Peerbaye’s Griffin-shortlisted and Trillim-winning Tell: poems for a girlhood, and Souvankham Thammavongsa’s Trillium Award winner, Light.
Follett says she’s taking her time to finding the right owner – she’s been trying to sell the press privately for about a year already – and that means setting her sights beyond just Newfoundland buyers as she prepares to take a step back from what she spent years building. (Pedlar was headquartered in Toronto for most of its years.)
She says she’s encouraged by the interest so far, and is confident that the new owner will continue Pedlar’s steadfast reputation for “gutsy excellence” among by its loyal readership. “I’m excited by the number of people in their 30s who have come forward with serious interest. It could be someone’s wonderful life, as it has been mine‚” she says. “Pedlar has been an ethical business dedicated to building community, to collaboration. I wish to see that dedication continue.”
Follett hopes to spend more time with family and working on her own writing. Her debut novel‚ Tell it Slant‚ was published by Coach House Books in 2001.