Literary Arts--- ---
www dancingchiva com---
--- Through narrative we become
more human. Truth is beauty. Exploration is infinite.
believing passionately in something that still does not exist,
we create it." Franz Kafka
Dancing Chiva's mission is to provide and encourage writing to
savor and books to save, focussing on Bajacaliforniana, esoterica,
Maximiliana, works by C.M. Mayo, and works for writers.
As a niche publisher,
we bring our books directly to our readers. In other words, don't
look for our titles in brick-and-mortar bookstores; you can find
our books on amazon.com and selected other on-line bookstores.
Founding editor and publisher is Catherine Mansell Mayo, a long-time
resident of Mexico City and, as C.M. Mayo, the author of several
widely-lauded works on Mexico, including the novel The
Last Prince of the Mexican Empire(Unbridled Books),
which was selected as a Library Journal Best Book of 2009
and published to wide acclaim in Mexico in a translation by Agustín
Cadena as El
último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano (Grijalbo
Random House Mondadori).
Why did you start
Dancing Chiva? I love
making books. I love writing them more than I like making them,
which is why,
though it occured to me many times, I did not start my own publishing
firm. (About a decade ago, I did found a literary journal, Tameme,
and from that, took some tough lessons in how much work it really
is to edit, produce, distribute, and market a publication.) So
why now? Because with the digital revolution, transaction costs
have so fallen that everything changes.
more interestingly, in researching Miraculous Air (Milkweed
Editions), my travel memoir of Baja California, and later, The
Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (Unbridled Books), a novel
about Mexico's Second
Empire, I came across several books and other shorter works that
deserve to be published / republished and yet do not, under the
old publishing modelpaper printing, distributor,
bricks-and-mortar bookstoreshave the potential to cover
their costs. Some of these are so old that copyright has expired,
so for me, the cost of publishing is little more than formatting
and uploading. Of course, I'll add an introduction, images, and
some other goodies. They will be scrumptious little books.
I sum, though traditional
bookstores and publishers are certainly not dead, they are not
playing the overshadowing role that they did. For the kind of
publishing I want to doebooks, print-on-demand paperbacks,
and very small runs of signed editions (marbled paper, etc) I don't need to pay for freight and
a warehouse. What a newfangled publisher needs is a website and
a permission mailing lista base of customers who have
provided their email because they want to receive announcements,
special offers, and more. I think you'll find it worth your while
to sign up for Dancing Chiva's newsletter.
And if not, you can opt out instantly at any time.
Have you given up on traditional publishers then? Not at all. With their expertise and scale, they can
do things I do not aim to do with Dancing Chiva. As I said, much
as I love making books, I prefer writing them; for this reason,
Dancing Chiva is intentionally small scale at the level of administration
and marketing. And I have to say, I have been very happy with
my publishers, Whereabouts Press, Unbridled Books and, in Mexico,
Grijalbo Random House Mondadori, especially. They certainly know
how to get the books in the bookstores!
Why publish limited editions? One of the great luxuries in life is a beautiful book:
the heft in the hand, how it delights the eye, and it even smellsfresh paper, leatherdivine.
Even as I build a larger library of e-books and declutter my
bookshelves of all those yellowed paperbacks, I do want to keep
certain beautiful books at handand I know I am not alone.
UPDATE: El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano
is now available in Kindle.
Why the name "Dancing
Chiva"? In the hallway into my office,
I have an antique painting of a gypsy dancing with a little white
goat. I was wondering
what to call my company when I happened to glance at the little
goatchiva (female goat in Spanish). It's a play
on Dancing Shiva, the representation of the cosmic dance of the
Hindu god (no disrespect intended), and very apt, for, to me,
making books is a kind of happy little dance.
Read more interviews with C.M. Mayo about
Dancing Chiva here.