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Publishing

It may be challenging to find a publisher willing to support your efforts as Indigenous publications are rarely commercially viable. Publishing on demand is a great way to begin creating quality resources for your language. There are also a number of Indigenous publishing houses.

 

General guides

A helpful guide (although now somewhat outdated) is Self-Publishing Indigenous Language Materials by Robert N. St. Clair, John Busch, B. Joanne Webb (in Reyhner et al (eds.) 1999).

 

Grants

The Languages Other than English Publishing Initiative provides some funding for the publication of Indigenous titles in language and Indigenous bilingual editions are also accepted.

 

Self-publishing

There are now quite a few online self-publishing resources.

CocoaBooklet lets you create a booklet out of a PDF file.

One RNLD member has used Lulu to publish several books in the Coushatta language of Louisiana, USA. Lulu lets you self-publish books, calendars, CDs, DVDs, and photo books.

Another member recommends using the ibook function in Apple's iPhoto application to publish learner's guides. The program uses a limited number of templates which you simply fill with text or photos. If you have a complex page you can do it in photoshop or Illustrator and import it into your book projects as a full page. Books can be  printed in a variety of sizes with hard or soft covers.  The last book we made was 26 pages, 6in. x 8in. spiral bound and cost about $12.00 each. There is a discount for over 50 books. The best thing about this process is the speedy delivery. You send it off to Apple and it comes back in less than a week looking absolutely beautiful.

 

Indigenous publishing houses

Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP), Canberra, Australia, is the publishing arm of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). ASP publishes up to ten new titles annually and chooses outstanding writing that promotes an understanding of Australian Indigenous cultures.

Black Ink Press, based in North Queensland, Australia, is a community-based Indigenous writing, illustrating and publishing project. It trains and mentors emerging writers and artists in order to create contemporary illustrated books especially for young Indigenous readers. Some relevant examples are William Santo's Gudjal (Qld) language books. Black Ink also offers training workshops to teach the skills needed to create books.

First Peoples is a joint collaboration of four university presses (U. Arizona, U. Minnesota, U. North Carolina, Oregon State) which seeks to publish books that exemplify contemporary scholarship and research in Indigenous studies. Funded by a collaborative grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this initiative supports the publication of 40 books over four years and will create the means for the presses to collaborate in their mission of furthering scholarly communication in the field of Indigenous studies.

IAD Press is Australia’s national Indigenous publishing house. The purpose of the Press is to publish the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and illustrators, promote the many and varied voices of Indigenous Australia, maintain and promote Indigenous languages and culture.

Kegedonce Press is committed to the development, promotion, and publication of the work of Indigenous writers nationally and internationally. Kegedonce Press is a Native owned and operated company based at Neyaashiinigmiing, on the traditional territory of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Canada.

Magabala Books publishes books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all over Australia. Established in 1987, Magabala Books is Australia's oldest independent Indigenous publishing house. An example is Yawuru Ngan-Ga, A Phrasebook of the Yawuru Language (Western Australia) by the Yawuru Language Team.

Pemmican Publications, Canada, aims to promote Canadian Metis writers and illustrators through stories that are informed by Metis experience.

Printing Asia - Australia offers small run digital printing and printing in sound. This company has begun to produce story books for Australian Aboriginal languages with embedded sound files.

Salina Bookshelf, Arizona, USA, was founded in 1994 as an independent publisher of textbooks, children's picture books, reference books, and electronic media in Navajo and English.

Theytus Books, Canada, is First Nations-owned and operated and a leading North American publisher of indigenous voices.