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"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it." —Franz Kafka


Dancing Chiva's mission is to provide and encourage writing to savor and books to save, focussing on Bajacaliforniana, esoterica, Maximiliana, works by C.M. Mayo, and works for writers.

As a niche publisher, we bring our books directly to our readers. In other words, don't look for our titles in brick-and-mortar bookstores; you can find our books on amazon.com and selected other on-line bookstores.

Founding editor and publisher is Catherine Mansell Mayo, a long-time resident of Mexico City and, as C.M. Mayo, the author of several widely-lauded works on Mexico, including the novel The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (Unbridled Books), which was selected as a Library Journal Best Book of 2009 and published to wide acclaim in Mexico in a translation by Agustín Cadena as El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano (Grijalbo Random House Mondadori).

An avid translator, she has also edited the bilingual literary journal Tameme and Tameme chapbook series, as well as a collection of 24 contemporary Mexican literary works,
Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion. She is also the translator of the secret book by Francisco I. Madero, leader of the Mexican Revolution, Spiritist Manual, which Dancing Chiva published in 2011, on its centennial and brought again with an all-new book-length introduction in 2014 as Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual.

Read more about C.M. Mayo's travel writing, fiction, literary translation, and many awards at www.cmmayo.com


Q & A with C.M. Mayo
Read more interviews here

Why did you start Dancing Chiva?
I love making books. I love writing them more than I like making them, which is why, though it occured to me many times, I did not start my own publishing firm. (About a decade ago, I did found a literary journal, Tameme, and from that, took some tough lessons in how much work it really is to edit, produce, distribute, and market a publication.) So why now? Because with the digital revolution, transaction costs have so fallen that everything changes.

I own the ebook rights to not all but several of my own books, and I want to embark on the adventure of formatting / designing them myself. [More about that in "At Play in the Fields of Keynote: a note on the covers from C.M. Mayo.]


But more interestingly, in researching Miraculous Air (Milkweed Editions), my travel memoir of Baja California, and later, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (Unbridled Books), a novel about Mexico's Second Empire, I came across several books and other shorter works that deserve to be published / republished and yet do not, under the old publishing model
paper printing, distributor, bricks-and-mortar bookstoreshave the potential to cover their costs. Some of these are so old that copyright has expired, so for me, the cost of publishing is little more than formatting and uploading. Of course, I'll add an introduction, images, and some other goodies. They will be scrumptious little books.

I sum, though traditional bookstores and publishers are certainly not dead, they are not playing the overshadowing role that they did. For the kind of publishing I want to doebooks, print-on-demand paperbacks, and very small runs of signed editions (marbled paper, etc) I don't need to pay for freight and a warehouse. What a newfangled publisher needs is a website and a permission mailing lista base of customers who have provided their email because they want to receive announcements, special offers, and more. I think you'll find it worth your while to sign up for Dancing Chiva's newsletter. And if not, you can opt out instantly at any time.

Have you given up on traditional publishers then?
Not at all. With their expertise and scale, they can do things I do not aim to do with Dancing Chiva. As I said, much as I love making books, I prefer writing them; for this reason, Dancing Chiva is intentionally small scale at the level of administration and marketing. And I have to say, I have been very happy with my publishers, Whereabouts Press, Unbridled Books and, in Mexico, Grijalbo Random House Mondadori, especially. They certainly know how to get the books in the bookstores!

Why publish limited editions?
One of the great luxuries in life is a beautiful book: the heft in the hand, how it delights the eye, and it even smells
fresh paper, leatherdivine. Even as I build a larger library of e-books and declutter my bookshelves of all those yellowed paperbacks, I do want to keep certain beautiful books at handand I know I am not alone.

Will you publish works in Spanish?
Yes, the first Dancing Chiva ebook in Spanish is El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano, the translation of my novel The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. I'm thrilled to say it's a superb translation, by Mexican novelist Agustín Cadena.

UPDATE: El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano is now available in Kindle.


Why the name "Dancing Chiva"?
In the hallway into my office, I have an antique painting of a gypsy dancing with a little white goat. I was wondering what to call my company when I happened to glance at the little goatchiva (female goat in Spanish). It's a play on Dancing Shiva, the representation of the cosmic dance of the Hindu god (no disrespect intended), and very apt, for, to me, making books is a kind of happy little dance.

Read more interviews with C.M. Mayo about Dancing Chiva here.

And more interviews on other works here.



























We also offer a wide range of services tailored to the individual requirements
of literary artists and literary arts institutions.
(At this time, clients are accepted by referral only.)