Dancing Chiva's mission is to provide and encourage writing to
savor and books to save, focusing 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 in selected on-line bookstores.
Founding editor and publisher is C.M. Mayo, a member of the Texas
Institute of Letters and he 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). Her other works include Sky Over
El Nido (University of Georgia Press), which won the Flannery
O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.
An avid translator,
C.M. Mayo has also founded and edited the bilingual literary
and Tameme chapbook series,
as well as a collection of 24 contemporary Mexican literary works,
Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion. (Whereabouts Press). She is also the
translator of the secret book by Francisco I. Madero, the leader
of Mexico's 1910 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 the Indie
Excellence for History Award-winning Metaphysical
Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and
His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual.
more about C.M. Mayo's travel writing, fiction, and literary
translation at www.cmmayo.com
A with C.M. Mayo
more interviews here
Why did you start
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 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 modelpaper 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. And 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 smellsfresh 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?
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
UPDATE: El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano
is now available in Kindle.
Why the name "Dancing
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.