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Next Steps

Further research on the publications, authors, and printers listed here will help answer research questions such as:

  • Did black authors go about self publishing in similar or different ways from other groups? How much money could they make? Did they raise funds from others to pay for the initial printing costs or pay back the printer as they sold their books?

  • How did people of African descent born before 1851 gain access to the print marketplace? Did they go to certain patrons, printers, or networks? Did they form their own publishing houses? Did they first try working with a commercial publisher and then self-publish or was the reverse more often the case?

  • What can we glean about black authors’ motivations for self-publishing from the remaining physical evidence?

  • What genres and formats were nineteenth-century African Americans self-publishing?

  • How might a better understanding of the material details of publishing change scholarship on African American authored texts?

Below are some ideas about next steps the Black Self-Publishing project could pursue, but we look forward to hearing from you about how you use the site.