Publishers Association logo
Q&A with Comma Press

Q&A with Comma Press

Comma Press is a Manchester-based publishing house, named the Northern Publisher of the Year 2017. They specialise in publishing short story anthologies and single author collections.

What are the most important attributes and skills you need in the freelances you work with?

I would say above all reliability and reasonable rates, and speedy. We don't use many freelancers, mainly cover designers and translators. Those we do work with are all fantastic and work to our tight deadlines!

How did you get the funding to publish your first book?

Comma began with 'Manchester Stories', (published in conjunction with City Life magazine), a series of short story booklets in four cities across the North of England (distributed as free supplements with each of the cities' listings magazines).

What resources and services did you need (that you couldn't provide yourself) when you were first starting out?

It was partners: we worked with four magazines to distribute the booklets we produced (free), advertisers to cover the print and author costs, the arts council, and also Carcanet. Working with other presses always helps you get a foot in the door. Hence the NFA!

Do you have any interview tips for entry-level publishing jobs?

Try to be confident, if you don't know an answer just do your best but don't be afraid to admit you don’t know something rather than pretend or waffle, and show knowledge of the company!

Work in Publishing Week (19th-23rd November 2019) is a week long campaign to celebrate careers in publishing.