I owe the blog an update on last week’s “52 Books” title (Andrew Ross’s The Celebration Chronicles) and I’ll get to it shortly…I keep finding other things to post about.
This morning, as I watched the snow fall (I only get to do that once every couple of years), I saw that Publisher’s Weekly had posted their February 28 issue online. It contains profiles of eleven fast-growing small publishers; Peace Hill Press, the small press I run along with my sister-in-law and brother, is sixth on their list. Here’s the chart (note how our employee-title/growth ratio compares to the others):
The full article, “Against All Odds, Small Presses Prosper” can be read on the PW website. Here’s the part of the story that’s about us:
Peace Hill Press, founded in 2001, is split between Virginia (editorial) and Seattle (business). The eight-person, family-run educational press has tapped an underserved group of customers: parents who are either home schooling or supplementing their child’s educationâ€”and who are doing so for academic rather than religious reasons. Vice-president Susan Wise Bauer says that increasingly, even home educators with deep religious convictions are turning away from the traditional, conservative Christian materials that have been home school standards, and are looking toward nonsectarian books aimed at home educationâ€”which Peace Hill publishes. And parents who teach one or two subjects at home after school are seeking these books out, too.
Peace Hill’s distribution through W.W. Norton (where Bauer and her mother published a book on classical home education in 1999) has been a boon to sales. Many of the publisher’s competitors sell only through specialty catalogues and Web sites, or through attendance at home school conferences, so the Norton deal gives Peace Hill increased visibility. Bauer says the home education and home tutoring markets are proving to be recession-resistant. The house’s 2008 bestsellers included four books that make up the Story of the World series, a chronological world history narrative, with each book increasing slightly in difficulty; and First Language Lessons, a beginning grammar and writing text.
I haven’t posted much here about Peace Hill Press, but I think I’ll create a new category; running the press gives me a whole new perspective on the publishing world, since I get to view it both as a Norton author and as a publisher, and I’d like to ruminate on that occasionally.
Congratulations to you and everyone at Peace Hill Press! That’s a great article. Nice company too.
So, will you continue to expand in 2009? Do you accept book proposals over the transom (on homeschooling and self-education)? What kind of books in those categories are you looking for, if any?
I always want to know more than PW tells me. 🙂 Sorry.
How exciting! I love to read positive encouraging things about the economy and small business- especially in times like this!
Our family has benefited so much from the Press Hill Press materials! I can’t wait to see the report 2 years from now! 🙂
Yes, go you!!
Isn’t it funny how home education can filter its way into all avenues of the Press, much to their dismay. Peace Hill Press is great and home educating without your guidance would be like going to battle without armor.
Thanks and pass it on to your family as well.
I like the “Christian homeschooling for academic reasons” label. That’s one I’m willing to wear.
Keep the books coming.
Well deserved recognition! Our homeschooling experience would be like night and day without Peace Hill Press! Every piece of curriculum you publish is a winner in our house. Thank-you for solid educational options for those of us who value an intelligent and inspiring way to instruct these precious years with our children!
Go you, indeed!
Many thanks from this family in Chicago!!! All of your hard work allows us the ultimate in school choice — opting out.
My kids are better for it. And we are endlessly grateful to you and your family for starting up your small biz.
May you be not only “recession-resistant,” but full-on growing and flourishing!