As this whole event is to celebrate our Kickstarter it seems really fitting to welcome 3 of Cups Press to the blog today. They have recently successfully Kickstarted for their first publication, an anthology entitled On Anxiety, featuring pieces about anxiety in all its different forms. After On Anxiety they've announced forthcoming anthologies entitled On Bodies, On Relationships and On Activism. I backed their Kickstarter and reached out to them to help spread the word about a really exciting new publisher that I can see bringing much needed voices into the spotlight.
Below we interview 3 of Cups founder Clare Bogen, and their editorial and communications director, Lizzie Huxley-Jones.
What made you decide to set up a small press? Can you tell us a bit about the 3 of Cups team and how it's all come about?
Clare: I just asked the people in my life I thought would be most interested. In terms of the team, it was my friends who were most interested in books and political activism and expressed passion for the project early on.
3 of Cups Press is a response to the publishing industry as it is. The industry is dominated by a culture of something for nothing, working for little or no pay. There is galling inequality, in which people with privilege have an advantage, and there is also very little diversity. While there have been a lot of pushes to increase diversity, we thought more can be done, and so 3 of Cups Press was born.
The subject of your first anthology, On Anxiety, is one that really speaks to us personally. It's definitely necessary, but what was it that made you decide on this subject for your first book?
Clare: I've been thinking about it as a subject for a while. I suffer, and have suffered nearly my whole life, with anxiety disorder. But it was more that it seemed to be a word that was cropping up in conversations with my friends and family more and more. I realised that it wasn't something I was suffering with alone. Especially in terms of the current political climate, anxiety doesn't seem to be going away. But the more we talk about it, the more we can investigate its causes, and hopefully get some respite.
Are you planning to fund all of your forthcoming books via crowdfunding?
Lizzie: It's hard to predict! We are hoping that we've raised enough money from On Anxiety to either forgo crowdfunding for On Bodies, and instead we will have a preorder system through our website, or to crowdfund for less. Kickstarter is such a great platform and they've supported us from the beginning so its hard not to want to keep using them every time.
We will definitely be doing a crowdfunder for On Relationships and/or On Activism, but as I say, it's hard to work out when you're such a new business.
What have been the best moments so far? And the worst or most nerve-wracking?
Lizzie: When Margaret Atwood retweeted us.
Clare: The Kickstarter has been the most nerve-wracking. I will be happy when it's over.
Lizzie: I agree. We didn't sleep for the first week because we were all refreshing our phones. The irony of anxiety around our book On Anxiety was not lost on us, or Margaret Atwood in fact.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Lizzie: I'm a writer at home, when I'm not working on 3 of Cups and a bundle of other projects. Generally my morning starts with a cup of tea and our office dog Nerys jumping on my face.
Clare: wake up quite early to try and see how much 3 of Cups stuff I can do before I start my office job. So that means, emails, some short design work, reading and editing and emailing writers I'm interested in commissioning. I work in a publishing house for my day job as well. But I'm a publicist, so at least its some variety. Luckily we live in a world with iPhones, so I can always chat with the board, contributors or the printers while doing other things.
Who or what are you most inspired by?
Clare: I'm quite inspired by other indie presses: 404, Silver Press, Dead Ink in particular. We are also equally inspired by what we don't like in the industry - privilege, sexism, lack of diversity etc.
Lizzie: I'm most inspired by the feeling I have that we're doing something wrong, like we've broken the rules by setting up our own press and going against the standard rules of publishing. It feels rebellious.
And (because we always ask when we interview people) who are some of your favourite authors and which books do you always recommend to people?
Lizzie: This is so hard because the ex bookseller in me wants to ask so many questions about what people like before I recommend! But I think I have recommended The Good Immigrant (ed by Nikesh Shukla) and My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante to pretty much everyone. Oh and Carol by Patricia Highsmith. It's hard to narrow down my favourite authors - Olivia Laing is definitely up there though for me.
Announcing another raffle prize... We have an ebook of On Anxiety to give away as part of one of the prize bundles. This will be delivered once we have it, later in November.
There is a ridiculous amount of bookish & small business goodness in each of our three prize bundles. Do not forget to get your raffle tickets!
Catch up with the Indie Extravaganza here.