For 40 years, Milkweed Editions has been devoted to identifying, nurturing, and publishing transformative literature. They currently print more than 350 titles, which include Braiding Sweetgrass and the all-time bestseller Montana, 1984. Not only do they invest time into the editorial process, but they strive to build an engaged community around literature.
We sat down with Daniel Slager, Milkweed's Publisher and CEO, to learn more about Milkweed Editions and their mission.
Q. What do you think makes a good book?
A. We are looking for books that change the way readers see the world.
| Q. What do you look at when signing authors?
A. The first point of consideration is always the manuscript—its originality and level of accomplishment. We are also looking for writers who want in their publisher an active collaborative partner.Q. Describe your publishing house in one word.
|Photo by Lucy Hawthorne Photography|
A.The trade is where we are the most active, but academic marketing is huge for the strength of our backlist.Q. What’s the most unique book you’ve read from your collection?
A. A Whaler’s Dictionary, by Dan Beachy-Quick.
Q. What does the future of your publishing look like to you?
A. Relatively bright, as we have made several critical investments that position us well for growth. We launched a new web site in 2016, and we are just beginning to discover the potential it holds in terms of building a community of engaged readers around the content we are publishing.
Q. What's been your most memorable book launch?
A. Last year we acquired and rapidly published a collection of poems by a young man, Max Ritvo, who was dying of cancer. We knew we were racing against the clock in hurrying the book to press, but the fast-evolving relationship between this author and our team was a profound experience. Then, to see the book catch fire and gain traction across the nation was very heartening for all involved.
A. We seek out projects and work with writers, often over many years, to develop them. This enables us to do more than select from among what is on offer from agents and authors, and play a more active role in publishing writers we
Cover photo by Daley Farr