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North by Northwest Publishing

The Oregonian’s Abby Haight spotlights various publishers operating out of the Northwest region, including the now suddenly-successful Beyond Words Publishing. Not long ago, the 12-person company traveled the West Coast selling their titles out of the back of their car. But now that they’ve used a partnership with Simon & Schuster to sign Australian Rhonda Byrne to write THE SECRET book based on her video, the company’s success has helped reveal the vibrant but often overlooked community of publishers in Oregon, ranging from one-person presses to renowned Dark Horse Comics.

“There’s this creative energy about Portland,” says Cynthia Black, who founded Beyond Words with her husband, Richard Cohn, 24 years ago. “I think it draws a certain kind of person that has an independent, creative spirit. And the literary culture that was created by Powell’s Books has drawn people who are interested in books. Those things coming together creates almost this safe haven for these works to emerge.”

Other publishers out of the seventy-odd companies working around the Northwest include Hawthorne Press (currently making a splash with Monica Drake’s CLOWN GIRL), the Ink and Paper Group, and Multnomah Publishers (bought by Random House and folded into WaterBrook Press.)

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