Two New Imprints Spring Up in the Midwest


By Neal Comment

spirituality-health-cover.jpgNew York may be ready to declare book publishing dead, but there’s a lot more optimism in the heartland, from whence announcements have come our way of two brand new imprints from established publishing houses. In Traverse City, Michigan, Spirituality & Health magazine is getting into the book game, believing that its base of 100,000 readers will be ready to make the transition with them. Spirituality and Health Books will start with four nonfiction titles in 2009, including Paul Sutherland‘s The Virtue of Wealth: Creating Life Success the Zenvesting Way and Bob Butz‘s Going Out Green: One Man’s Adventure Planning His Natural Burial. Sutherland is the brother-in-law of Victoria Sutherland, founder and publisher of ForeWord, a book review magazine which is based in the same building as Spirituality & Health; the editor-in-chief at ForeWord, Heather Shaw, will be the book division’s senior editor.

Meanwhile, Northern Illinois University Press has launched Switchgrass Books, an imprint dedicated to literary fiction set in or about the Midwest. They take the mission seriously: “Switchgrass authors must be from the Midwest, current residents of the region, or have significant ties to it.” And, interestingly enough, “agented manuscripts will not be considered.” Which seems like an unusual way to go about things—not, we suppose, that anybody goes to university presses for the promise of huge advances…