In an effort to get its titles into more outlets, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s nonprofit press Dalkey Archive Press has signed on with W.W. Norton, which will take over sales and distribution. “We’ve been working on some more high-profile types of projects that we felt Norton, with its great international sales force, could do a better job with than we could on our own,” Martin Riker, Dalkey’s associate director, says. “We will continue to operate as an autonomous entity in terms of editorial, marketing, publicity and anything else. Norton will be an important extension of what we already do, but it won’t have any effect on the mission of Dalkey Archive Press. As a nonprofit press, we have a mission—to make the best works of modern and contemporary literature from all over the world available to English-language readers. Norton will help with that.”
Despite the country’s current economic woes, Riker says that this decision is in anticipation of greater success. The biggest project planned right now is the anthology “Best European Fiction 2010,” edited by Chicago’s Aleksandar Hemon, which will be launched in January.
“The beauty of being a mission-driven organization is that it doesn’t matter how you accomplish your mission, only that you do so,” Riker says. “This puts us in a pretty good position to deal with change, and to thrive in change, which is good news, since the publishing world is all about change these days. The books, the literature, is what’s most important to us. We’ll continue to find the best ways to get the writing itself out there, to do our part to make sure the literary culture stays varied, lively and interesting. That’s the mission.” (Tom Lynch)