Publisher and writer Mary B. Banks
Let me be transparent for a moment. One of the reasons why I started my publishing house, La Muse Press, is because I wanted to read literature about and from Black women. Being a Black woman writer, I feel that our stories are often marginalized. Yes, there are the breakout stars such as Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, which has been adapted into a Hollywood film, but what about the young woman down the street who has a powerful story to tell but doesn’t have the name recognition?
I am not here to beat up publishing houses. I love publishing and pray that La Muse Press has longevity. I am so committed to publishing that I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Studies in Publishing at George Washington University. From my courses, I learned that marketing is not cheap. Therefore, many publishing houses are looking for writers who already have a significant social media following. However, here, at La Muse Press, we are committed to featuring the works of new writers, writers of color, and women.
With that being said, I have always gravitated towards Black women writers’ work. It’s something about reading a book that reflects you, the sensuality—all the things that make you a Black woman. Our goal at La Muse Press is to be a change agent. We want to publish literature that tells our narratives. We are often neglected and made to feel less than. Not anymore. Together, we can become the change that we want to see. We believe through sharing our stories we create a unified community.
If you haven’t already, please check out my writing. I hail from Baltimore City and I strongly believe that writing has transformative powers. It has healing powers. Writing and sharing our stories affirm that we are not alone. Read my short story collection, Street Magic Stories and Tales. If you are interested in receiving an autographed copy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would make a great book club read. I am available for book signings, readings, and lectures. My latest published short story “The Midnight Knock” can be found here. Peace, love, and blessings.