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Thomaston Lilacs by Chris H. Merrill (Courtesy of the King Family)

Maine Authors Publishing & Cooperative began, like many Maine startups, in the owner’s barn—an old hay barn on the St. George River from the 1800s with only an electric plug-in for heat. The parent company, Custom Museum Publishing, founded by Jane Karker in 2005, adopted the additional Maine Authors imprint in 2009.

Maine Authors Publishing was started in response to the increased demand for a quality-controlled and vetted option to serve independent writers in Maine, offering a cooperative-style solution for getting independently published books into the hands of readers and bookstores. The concept was first discussed and launched while the parent company resided at 479 Main Street, in a second-floor office in Rockland that served as a ballroom over 100 years ago. From there, the company moved to 558 Main Street in Rockland. Once a birthing home and a funeral home, the community remembers it as the old Jewel’s Dress Shop. The building was listed as an official haunted house in the book Ghosts on the Coast of Maine by Carol Olivier Schulte. The owner and staff did experience some unusual occurrences while there.

The company is now located in the Capt. G. Dodge Healey house (on the hill near the General Knox Museum) at 12 High Street in Thomaston. The building, an 1820 Federal house, once served as a “safe house” in the Underground Railroad. Now with seven office employees and over a dozen outside editors, illustrators, book designers, and book sales reps, the company has grown to be one of the largest publishing companies in Maine and has received numerous national and statewide book awards.

Maine Authors Publishing is unique among publishers because of the shared nature of its sales and marking strategy, including two book reps, dozens of shared trade show booths and signings throughout Maine, marketing training for authors, shared advertising, presentations, and author participation. As a cooperative-style publisher, the company’s goal is to support local, independent authors throughout the publishing process with affordable services such as editing, design, printing, a trade catalog, distribution, and marketing assistance.

We are honored to have served the Maine literary community for over ten years and look forward to many more years to come.

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