What was the last book about a heroin addict that made you laugh out loud? And, as the reader, the more flaws this character uncovers, the more you liked her.
This book is Problems by Jade Sharma, brought to you by Emily Books. On July 5, Brooklyn Magazine profiled the founders of Emily Books, Emily Gould and Ruth Curry, to learn about their history and artistic vision as they launch their new imprint with Coffee House Press this summer.
Coffee House Press managing director Caroline Casey said, “As a publisher, we prefer a messy and ambitious book to a cautious and extremely competent one.” These kinds of books are par for the course in Emily Books’s list.
Since they started in 2011, Emily Books has gathered titles written “by women and gay men and gender outsiders—or people who had transgressive, interesting, weird personalities,” Gould says.
Problems is the first book to come out of this new collaboration with Coffee House. Curry says, “I read [Problems] and thought, ‘I do have the vision and enthusiasm to make this stand out in a crowded marketplace.’ I got the book. I knew what she was going for, and I felt really confident I could help her get there.”
Emily Books began in 2011 with e-books only, offering a monthly subscription service and selling individual e-books. At the time, nothing like Emily Books existed.
Curry and Gould say that at the beginning, “We were thinking, ‘Well, we have nothing to lose…We started the business with nothing, and we still run the business on a total shoestring. We’ve never paid ourselves. And we can do whatever we want. So when you start from that vantage point, there are a lot of tradeoffs—but the upside is total freedom.”
One subscriber at a time, Gould and Curry built an audience for Emily Books. Their reader-base rallied around them, and they had a strong Kickstarter campaign. From this success came their partnership with Coffee House, entrance into print, and Problems.
We’ll see what else Emily Books has in story on October 4, when their second title I’ll Tell You In Person by Chloe Caldwell comes out. We hear it’s darkly humorous. We can’t wait.