This is the forty-ninth in Entropy’s small press interview series, where we ask editors about their origins, their mission, and what it’s like to run a press. Find the other interviews from this series in our Small Press Database here and under the Resources tab at the top of the page.
Interview with Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity
How did Queen’s Ferry Press start?
Queen’s Ferry was started from a desire to start a press synonymous with quality literature. The name is inspired by Founding Editor Erin McKnight’s Scottish place of birth, and so the press will always be seen as a deeply personal endeavor for her.
Tell us a bit about Queen’s Ferry Press. What are your influences, your aesthetic, your mission?
Our aesthetic is very eclectic, but all of the books we publish are indicative of the same original mission: quality writing and caliber of authors. We seek out bold, mature writing that showcases craft and inspires feeling. The press as a whole is inspired entirely by its authors; many of the books we’ve published are the result of authors submitting solely to Queen’s Ferry Press, because they believed so strongly that their work belonged with us.
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?
George McCormick’s Inland Empire is now available, and Helen McClory’s On the Edges of Vision will be later this summer. Inland Empire is one of several novels that we are branching into, as we initially published only fiction collections. Finally, this fall, the first edition of The Best Small Fictions, guest edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler, will be made available. The list of winners is no longer available to the public.
What about small/independent press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?
Small press publishing makes up a massive part of the industry, and a great deal of it is top-notch. The competition is fierce, sure, but it only provides motivation to put out the best we possibly can. It also goes to show that there’s no shortage of incredible literature. We’re living in a golden age.
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 Queen’s Ferry Press?
We work for our authors. There are no qualms on our end about doing all we can in order to get a book the attention we feel it deserves, costs included. We have our limits, as does anyone else, and we try to make up for them by pricing our own books fairly and consistently. What others in the industry do to offset their own costs is their prerogative, and its the prerogative of writers to choose where their work appears with those costs in mind.
What about firthFORTH Books? What makes your fiction chapbook imprint different from the press as a whole?
The mission remains very much the same, but the the narratives that appear in firthFORTH books feel incredibly different. They immerse the reader in a chokepoint moment of the story, and can result in an incredibly moving experience from a single, brief crux. firthFORTH and Queen’s Ferry work together aesthetically, meaning if a collection doesn’t quite meet the word length limits or demands of one, Erin is very likely to suggest consideration under the other’s guidelines. But the actual publishing process for each is independent.