July 13, 2016

Boston bookstore supports writers with new anthology



Papercuts J.P. owner Kate Layte with Melville House authors Catie Disabato (The Ghost Network) and Josh Cook (An Exaggerated Murder). Image via 333Sound.

As Amazon encroaches ever further into the book business with their own publishing arm and, now, a slew of brick-and-mortar stores, there’s nothing more heartening than watching independent bookstores thinking outside the box, even in the smallest ways.

Which is what the team behind Papercuts J.P., a still-new bookstore in Jamaica Plain, Boston, is up to, with help from the startup publishing platform Inkshares. As Publishers Weekly’s Judith Rosen reports, Papercuts’ owner Kate Layte and media and events coordinator Katie Eelman have collaborated with Inkshares, based in San Francisco, to publish an anthology of writing by authors who’ve appeared at the store since it opened two years ago.

According to a description on the store’s site, The Papercuts Anthology: What Happened Here gathers “new and collected works by the authors who visited the store in its first year.” These include work by a range of fiction and nonfiction writers and poets, including Melville House’s own Josh Cook and Catie Disabato. Layte and Eelman edited the volume, and proceeds will be shared by the store and the writers.

The project “comes one year after [Inkshares] began actively courting independent booksellers,” originally with an offer to launch individual bookseller imprints, according to Rosen. Inkshares’ model combines crowdfunding with traditional publishing services, and it was able to offer Papercuts a “light publishing” option, whereby the anthology will be printed on demand, with a low pre-order requirement of 250 copies.

In an interview with Dan McCarthy at DigBoston, Eelman described being inspired by the authors who’ve read at the store, many of whom “responded enthusiastically” when they were asked to contribute work. And while it’s hard to know how successful the anthology will be, it’s interesting to see Papercuts taking such a sophisticated approach to branding, while also doing what indies have traditionally always been so good at: supporting authors.

The Papercuts Anthology went on sale yesterday.


Kait Howard was a publicist at Melville House.