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Charting visibility 

Orlando publisher Beating Windward Press seeks to promote up-and-coming writers in a flooded market.

click to enlarge 'A Floating World'
  • 'A Floating World'

In the same way that certain musicians came to spurn major labels, signing to a major publisher is now an out-of-print philosophy for some writers. That includes Matt Peters, founder of Orlando's Beating Windward Press, and a slew of indie publishers seeking modern ways to publicize breakout authors and connect with a more targeted audience. With his nose in a copy of Steven Blush's definitive punk history American Hardcore, Peters found the inspiration he needed to start the company last year.

"I first considered the idea of starting a press after a panel at the 2009 New Orleans Literary Festival," Peters says. "[It] discussed the current publishing market and how even new writers at the big publishing houses had to do their own marketing [and] promoting, and you might as well publish with a small press because the PR support isn't there."

He culled talent initially from colleagues he'd come across while attending the University of New Orleans and UCF's creative writing programs, leaning on his wife's graphic design skills and his own marketing experience to attract readers for BWP's debut book: Doc Voodoo: Aces & Eights, by Dale Lucas. The press currently has four titles, fiction and nonfiction; their latest release is a memoir from Melanie Neale called Boat Girl. That title and an earlier collection of short stories by Karen Best, A Floating World, unintentionally call to mind the spirit of the company, named for a sailing term that evokes the tumultuous effort required to surface in the sea of self-published titles comprising the e-book market.

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