Small Press Points: Augury Books

In what is surely a sign of more titles to come, Augury Books (www.augurybooks.com), an independent press previously devoted exclusively to poetry, expanded into fiction earlier this year with the publication of Halina Duraj’s debut story collection, The Family Cannon. Founded in 2010, the New York City–based press is now considering submissions of poetry collections as well as more story collections and, for the first time, creative nonfiction manuscripts. Both founding editor Kate Angus and fellow editor Kimberly Steele write in multiple genres and were interested in expanding the scope of the press to better match their interests. “It felt like a natural progression to begin publishing prose,” Angus says. Along with publishing work by new and established writers, the editors seek “to reaffirm the diversity of the reading public,” as outlined in the press’s mission statement. In a guest blog post on the VIDA: Women in Literary Arts website last year, Angus pointed to her efforts supporting the work of emerging writers while striving for gender parity and diversity in the press’s catalogue. “I’d love to publish more women, more trans and genderqueer authors, and more authors from a variety of socio-economic and ethnic [and] racial backgrounds,” Angus wrote. The press has published seven books so far, by four female authors and three male authors—all with a variety of backgrounds, furthering the editors’ goal of creating dialogue among writers from disparate points along the literary spectrum. About 70 percent of the press’s operating costs are covered by book sales, but Angus notes that the editors charge a ten-dollar reading fee to help with production costs. “Ideally, as the press expands, we would like to no longer have a fee,” she says, “but right now being able to pay our authors more is higher on the list than removing the fee.” Writers can, however, submit query letters for no cost at various times throughout the year. General submissions are open through July 31 via Submittable.