Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Publishers and publishing, Book industries and trade


Small publishing houses often follow lean and nimble business models, yet the financial risk inherent in publishing for niche readerships can be a barrier for such entrepreneurial practices. Exploring the dual conditions of a less expensive and more eco-friendly format of a chapbook instead of an initial hardcover illustrated book, while determining pre-order interest through a crowdfunding platform, this paper looks at a process to reduce financial risk for small publishers who can’t necessarily do accurate comparative analysis for their sales projections. Common terminology is defined, supplemented by a literature review and a detailed ethnographic approach, including a case study of the author’s crowdfunded chapbook project. The case study includes data on social media advertising and other marketing activities. This paper stands out from existing research in terms of the extent of other publishers interviewed, data collected and the analysis of the marketing information, as well as the children’s picture book and chapbook history that is explored. This case study also occurred during the 2020 pandemic, limiting all marketing activities to online.


Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing.

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