The UALR Department of Rhetoric and Writing has established the River Market Press, which will specialize in the publication of nonfiction works such as autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, and personal essay collections. The press is print-on-demand, where new copies of a book are not printed until an order has been received.
George Jensen, chair of the Rhetoric and Writing Department, said that the River Market Press will open the door to a variety of authors out of the mainstream.
“We plan to publish important books that might not interest traditional publishers,” Jensen said. “These publishers may feel that the market is too small for these works or the works could not be easily marketed.”
Even a small press run with a traditional publisher might cost in the range of $20,000.
“Our expenses for publishing a book relate mostly to an upload fee and some funds for promotion,” he said.
For River Market Press, the department’s teaching mission will be key. “Students will help with the editing and production of each book and receive class credit for it,” Jensen said. “They’ll receive plenty of hands-on experience.”
An editorial board comprised of Rhetoric and Writing faculty will review each submission and decide on publication.
“A faculty member will take responsibility for each project, and students will work with that faculty member as they edit the manuscript,” Jensen said. “After editing, we will format the manuscript and upload it to the printer’s website.”
River Market Press’s first publication, “Tommy Atkins Abroad,” is a memoir written by a World War I veteran.
The inspiration for the River Market Press came from Moon City Press, which is operated by the Missouri State University Department of English.
“We have been following their lead so far, but we hope that the two presses will support each other by sharing knowledge and experience,” Jensen said. Earlier this year, Moon City published Jensen’s work, “Some of the Words Are Theirs: A Memoir of an Alcoholic Family.”
Looking to the future of River Market Press, Jensen hopes to publish at least two books a year.
“As we gain more experience, we will probably develop some series on special topics.”
For more information about the River Market Press, contact Dr. Chuck Anderson in the Rhetoric and Writing Department at 501-569-3160.