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A Sign of the Times: Independent Publisher Becomes Nonprofit

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.19.33 PMBeing an independent publisher in this day and age is hard. Here’s some proof: well-respected publisher McSweeney’s has become a nonprofit.

According to the L.A. Times, the publisher, which has been around for more than a decade and was founded by bestselling author Dave Eggers, became a nonprofit last month. Eggers explained to the Chronicle that “so many of the things that we wanted to do were nonprofit projects and were not really things you could reasonably expect to break even on.”

The hope is that McSweeney’s will continue to sustain itself. Several other nonprofit publishers have, including Red Hen Press in L.A., Beacon Press in Boston and Graywolf Press in Minneapolis.

McSweeney’s publishes adult and children novels, literary criticism and journals, a magazine, and poetry. Hopefully it’s reputation and well-known founder, Dave Eggers, will help to keep it afloat. But if it doesn’t succeed, it may be a sign of the times that either big-name publishers or self-publishing is the way to go.

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