In preparing the May edition of the Delmar Historical and Arts Society May Newsletter I did an interview with Elaine Patterson of Delmar, Maryland who has a book publishing business called Maryland History Press. For those who may be interested in local book publishing here is the interview;
Tell us a little about yourself and Maryland History Press.
I was born on a farm just outside of Stockton, Maryland, and completed my high school and secondary education in the region. In 1998, I retired from a job as Executive Administrative Assistant at Salisbury University. As a native of the Eastern Shore, I have long been interested in learning about our early colonists and how our culture, customs and history evolved. In 2000, I founded what is now Maryland History Press and began reprinting some of my favorite out-of-print titles. Soon, others asked me to help them publish their manuscripts.
What type of books are your specialty?
My focus is on the history of Maryland with an emphasis on Delmarva’s history, culture, and people. Memoirs and genealogy research are also important offerings at Maryland History Press.
What services do you provide to writers?
I offer services and guidance to help authors through the publication process, including consultation, ISBN, barcode, copyright and Library of Congress requirements, editing, proofreading, printing bids, marketing ideas, etc. My cost-effective author-subsidy program allows the author to be more efficient while maintaining control. I also offer editing and proofreading services for individuals, non-profits and businesses who may need marketing materials, website text and newsletters.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Aspiring writers should be passionate about their subjects and do extensive research. For fiction, authors need to make their dialogue, plot and settings believable. For non-fiction, carefully documented resources give credibility to their works. Prior to contacting a publisher, writers should have credible people proofread and give honest feedback.
What is the single, biggest mistake new authors make?
I believe the biggest mistake made by new authors is foregoing critique and guidance. Bringing a manuscript to print is often a lengthy process involving mandatory requirements, attention to detail and timelines. Patience and being willing to make changes are key to developing a quality book.
How do you see the future for the smaller and self-publishers?
Over the years, small publishers have gained greater acceptance and acclaim. With existing and future new technologies, I envision even greater opportunities for small publishers. Self-publishing has challenges that many authors find discouraging and difficult to overcome. For that reason, small publishers, such as Maryland History Press, often offer author-subsidy services.
How do you scout for new authors?
I use several avenues to reach out to potential authors. One, of course, is through my website, www.marylandhistorypress.com. Networking venues, such as book events, make people aware of my passion and services. I am especially gratified that potential clients are often referred to me by Salisbury University’s Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, as well as by my local printer and previous customers.
How can people reach you to buy your books or to use your services as a publisher?
I can be reached by calling 410-742-2682, and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers may order online via my website. To save on shipping and handling, locals may also call in orders that can be hand delivered.