Thanks to advances in technology, writers nowadays can more easily find ways to print and distribute their books outside traditional publishing channels. The advent especially of digital and print-on-demand resources has powered a surge in self-publishing activity and given many more authors access to readers around the world.

Politics and Prose started offering self-publishing services six years ago and even leased an in-house book-printing machine, which we nicknamed Opus, to facilitate production. More recently, we found that using an outside printing company is more efficient and economical, so we gave up the in-house machine but have enhanced our self-publishing options for customers.

Through the Opus program, local writers now have more choice in how their books might be produced and bound. Since our switch to an offsite printing firm, P&P can provide such previously unavailable options as hardcover (not just paperback) editions and full-color inside pages, all at competitive rates.

Additionally, we’ve revised and expanded the various self-publishing packages from which customers can choose. This being Washington, the choices begin with an Intern Package, which is limited to the basics and aimed at authors already proficient at doing their own design work. More features and services are included in our Staffer, Congressional, and Presidential packages. A P&P staff member dedicated solely to the self-publishing program, Haley Chung, works with writers every step of the way, and once a book is printed, it can be made available for sale at P&P or marketed outside the store.

Whether yours is a novel, a collection of poetry, a staff directory, an instruction manual, a family memoir, or a special occasion book, P&P is ready to assist in getting it printed. If you’re interested in discussing your project, please contact Haley by emailing opus@politics-prose.com or calling (202) 349-1182. More information about the program also can be found online at www.politics-prose.com/self-publishing.

To celebrate the extraordinarily diverse range of writers in our community who have already published with Opus, please join us April 23 at 3 p.m. for an Opus Open Mic of readings. Among the featured works, all purchasable through P&P, will be:

Where Heaven and the Bronx Met by Cooper Kalin. Co-authored by a husband and wife team of teachers—Ken Cooper and Jacalyn Kalin—this novel features a teacher at a Bronx Catholic high school who, after a horrific car accident, is enlisted by God to become an angel on earth and confronts evil and a struggle for souls.

Harriet: A Community Conversation by Diana Y. This one-woman historical play about the life of Harriet Tubman is the work of Diana Thompson, the founding president and chair of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Board of Directors.

Gong and Momo: Sociolinguist's Life with Two Mexican Siamese Cats by Virgina LoCastro. The author, a sociolinguist researcher, recounts her experiences in Mexico and the United States over a decade-and-a-half with two cats who became members of her household.

Live Networking Alive! by Debbie L. Parker, JD, CFP. Written by a networking specialist and business strategist in Chevy Chase, this guide is aimed at small business professionals and offers practical tips on connecting with others and strengthening relationships.

--Brad and Lissa

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