The Spirit of the Indie: Ig Publishing Founder Robert Lasner Pushes Limits

igpublishingIg Publishing was launched in 2002 with the release of Editor-in-Chief Robert Lasner’s own book, For Fucks Sake. Joining Lasner as co-founder was his wife, Elizabeth, who already had publishing experience through her work at a literary agency. The two were far from inexperienced, but it wasn’t until 2007 that Ig Publishing truly hit its stride. The Lasners refined the focus of their productions, deciding to publish primarily literary fiction, political nonfiction, and classic reprints. Since then, Ig publishing titles have garnered numerous awards, and on January 16, Entropymag.org sat down with Lasner to discuss his publishing journey.

Rather than selecting missile-231x3461books to publish based on genre or author renown, Lasner chooses books that he likes and feels proud of sending out into the world. Lasner doesn’t shy away from difficult topicsIg’s next novel, Missile Paradise by Ron Tanner, out April 2016, confronts systemic racism and the impact of climate change on the Marshall Islands.

Lasner chooses authors who excite him, whose work is fresh and challenging and also might have been passed up by the “Big Five.”

“Sometimes I think about how many of our authors would never have been published if it wasn’t for us,” Lasner said. “It makes you realize how important indie presses are, and what a vital role they play in the publishing ecosystem.”

Ig Publishing is also launching a new series called Bookmarked, in which authors write about books which have had a crucial influence on their lives and their careers. Lasner 9781632460103developed this series to pay tribute to the “primal love of literature” that lives in anyone who writes or works in publishing. Curt Smith wrote the first title of the series, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five: Bookmarked, and Kirby Gann (the series’ editor) wrote John Knowles’ A Separate Peace: Bookmarked.

A penchant for classic literature and reprints doesn’t mean that Lasner and Ig Publishing are caught up in the past. The publisher has adopted e-books (though Lasner admits that he’ll always have a soft spot for print books), and is already looking forward to the next trend.

“It’s all about change,” Lasner said about the industry. “As an independent publisher, you either change and adapt, or die.”

And adapt Ig Publishing has. We can’t wait to see what they do next!

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