Interview with Erika Goldman, Publisher and Editorial Director
How did Bellevue Literary Press start?
It started over a lunch table conversation with Jerry Lowenstein, physician and esteemed faculty member at the New York University School of Medicine. I was consulting an editor on his first novel.
Tell us a bit about BLP. What are your influences, your aesthetic, your mission?
Our mission is to publish literary fiction and nonfiction at the intersection of the arts and sciences because we believe that science and the humanities are natural companions for understanding the human experience. Our aesthetic is revealed through our books, and our influences are the totality of our experience as students and passionate readers of literary writing.
Can you give us a preview of what’s current and/or forthcoming from your catalog, as well as what you’re hoping to publish in the future?
We hope to continue to publish books that challenge and inspire readers; please see our site for a full list and forthcoming titles.
We used to ask, “What about small/independent press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?” We’re still interested in the answer to that, but we’re even more interested to know what you think needs to change.
The energy, the courage, the imagination, the iconoclasm, and the communitarian spirit are what I find exciting in the small/indie press publishing world. What needs to change is that we need more sources of funding that understand the value of nonprofit publishing to world culture.
How do you cope? There’s been a lot of conversation lately about charging reading fees, printing costs, rising book costs, who should pay for what, etc. Do you have any opinions on this, and would you be willing to share any insights about the numbers at Bellevue Literary Press?
It’s a constant struggle—we’re all overworked and under-resourced. We cope because we have to, and we love and believe in the cultural value of what we do. The numbers? Suffice it to say that we’re nonprofit for a reason. The economies of scale of small press publishing simply don’t work, even as small miracles are produced by our field all the time.