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In 2009, Stitchgrrl LLC (a limited liability company owned by Shannon Okey) completed its acquisition of the publisher formerly known as anezka media, and changed its name to Cooperative Press to reflect the relationships we have developed with authors working on books. We work together to put out the best quality books we can, and share in the proceeds accordingly. Stitchgrrl LLC also owns Knitgrrl Studio, an educational facility and online store in Lakewood, Ohio that shares space with Cooperative Press’ publishing operations.
It began with a book… (as so many things do)
Our founder, Shannon Okey, a voracious reader, writer and sometime editor, had been working on the fringes of the publishing business for several years. After selling her own books to several major national publishers (among them Knitgrrl, Knitgrrl 2, Spin To Knit, Alt Fiber, and other fiber arts/crafts titles), she started to do freelance acquisitions representing other authors whose work she enjoyed.
Shannon went on to edit a monthly magazine based in the UK, and continued to run a business she’d founded in 2004 that sold handcrafted items by artisans from all over the U.S. and Canada, a sort of proto-Etsy.com. Its fresh style and design aesthetic attracted not only a devoted clientele, but also the attentions of television producers and yet more publishers. Shannon appeared on shows such as Knitty Gritty, Uncommon Threads and Crafters Coast to Coast. Even more of these artisans from her shop soon landed their own book and TV deals (see? we know how to pick ‘em!)
But why Cooperative Press? It began with a book. Although working with traditional, large publishers can be very rewarding, there are some books that fly under their radar. They’re too avant-garde, or the marketing department doesn’t know how to sell them, or they don’t think they’ll sell 50,000 copies in a year.
5,000 or 50,000. Does the book matter to that 5,000? Then it should be published.
More than once, a publisher has come back to Shannon after dismissing a title because they suddenly realized there was a market for it after all.
We lead, we don’t follow. That’s what we’re all about, and we welcome you to contact us with further questions or comments.
It’s precisely because you’re an indie and more of the proceeds go to the designers that I enjoy your services. You’re smallish, personal and offer so many neat projects. Got to love it!
– Allyson D., a customer