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Books Fri Mar 16 2012

An Indie Publisher Embraces E-Books

If independent bookstores have gotten attention over their struggle to survive in a world with Barnes & Noble and Amazon, what about independent publishers? Academy Chicago Publishers (ACP), a small, independent publisher since 1975, has recently ventured into the land of e-books.

"We were almost pressured, this is just the direction the industry is moving in," said Mary Egan, editorial assistant at ACP. For them, branching out into e-books was a no-brainer to stay afloat and complete for a readership that is adopting e-readers at an incredible rate.

"Just like indie bookstores, we're fighting for our lives," Egan says.

ACP specializes in trade pubs, memories, mysteries, reprints of old fiction and well-crafted new novels. Thus far, they have turned six of their current best sellers into e-books, and plan to add more titles from the Charlie Chan mystery series to that roster.

ACP's e-books only just hit the market in early February, so it may be too soon to tell how well they do. "It's still early on," Egan says. "We encourage people to look into indie publishers. They fill a niche that big publishers just don't."

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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