About Cooperative Press
CP's founder Shannon Okey had been working on the fringes of the publishing business for several years. After selling a dozen of her own books to several major national publishers, she started to do freelance acquisitions representing other authors whose work she enjoyed.
Shannon went on to edit a monthly magazine based in the UK, and continued to run a business she’d founded in 2004 that sold handcrafted items by artisans from all over the U.S. and Canada, a sort of proto-Etsy. Its fresh style and design aesthetic attracted not only a devoted clientele, but also the attentions of television producers and yet more publishers. Shannon appeared on shows such as Knitty Gritty, Uncommon Threads and Crafters Coast to Coast. Even more of the artisans from her shop soon landed their own book and TV deals (see? we know how to pick ‘em!)
But why Cooperative Press? It began with a book.
(Specifically, The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, the first book of its kind targeted toward indie knitwear designers).
Although working with traditional, large publishers can be very rewarding, there are some books that fly under their radar. They’re too avant-garde, or the marketing department doesn’t know how to sell them, or they don’t think they’ll sell 50,000 copies in a year.
5,000 or 50,000. Does the book matter to that 5,000? Then it should be published.
More than once now a publisher has come back to Shannon after dismissing a title because they suddenly realized there was a market for it after all.
We lead, we don’t follow. We also believe in sharing the proceeds of everyone's hard work. CP authors enjoy much more creative control and higher royalties than they would at any other publisher. We're more like a family, and we take care of each other. We're also fortunate to enjoy some really dedicated customers, and we love bringing them the best books we can make.
It’s precisely because you’re an indie and more of the proceeds go to the designers that I enjoy your services. You’re smallish, personal and offer so many neat projects. Got to love it!
– Allyson D., a customer
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