It used to be gospel that if you wanted to be a published author, you had to prove that you were worthy by running a gantlet of submission, rejection and general abject humiliation before the great, all-seeing eye of Big New York Publishing would gaze down upon you with begrudging approval. Fortunately, this wasn’t gospel so much as it was a myth. Plenty of people got published (not all of them good) and lots of quite good writers languished in slush piles on the desks of editors who were looking for the Next Hot Thing.
Plenty of other authors (many of whose names you’ve heard) went another route – they got together with friends or people they respected, pooled talents and resources and went about publishing each other. It’s a tried and true technique that has launched many authors throughout history to success and kept them generally happier through the process. That’s exactly what we do here at Codorus Press, the home of the Wandering Heretics.
We chose the name specifically because one of the things we do is travel around reminding people that they are not slaves to the corporate publishing complex. As in film and music, the true breakthrough for the independent author was the ability to control the means not of production (that part is easy), but of distribution and marketing. Big publishers once held all the cards. Now, the indie publisher can – for a relatively small amount of money – produce a professional product, market and distribute it completely outside of Big Publishing. It’s a view that at one time was viewed as truly heretical – and in some circles of authors convinced they have to submit to rejection and mistreatment to get a “real” publisher – still is.
Our idea is revolutionary, and as such we’ve chosen as our trademark the image of the Codorus furnace, located along the banks of the Codorus Creek in York County, Pa., where many of the people who form Codorus Press first met. The furnace was used to concoct black powder for the Continental Army, itself fighting a larger, better funded and better armed foe.
This blog is our attempt to share with you the beauty of independent publishing – not self- or vanity publishing – but creating a truly independent collective of artists and craftspeople who come together to make and sell literature through any means necessary.