Samizdat Creative, Conundrum Press, and Burnside Books: An Independent Publishing Force


If you have a bottle of Russian Standard vodka close by, pour yourself a shot and raise the glass because it’s time to celebrate the completed birth of a new independent publishing company! Samizdat Creative Services is now a division of Samizdat Group and shall from this moment forward be known as Samizdat Creative. There are two more divisions of Samizdat Group. First, Conundrum Press, publishing literature from the Rocky Mountain region, was acquired just over a month ago and has already released a new collection of short stories by Sherwood Anderson and Pushcart Prize winner Robert Garner McBrearty called Let the Birds Drink in Peace. And just last week, Samizdat Group rounded out its publishing effort by landing a deal with Burnside Writers Collective to publish literature of a more progressive persuasion under their brand.

New movements require a considerable amount of talent, brains, and muscle–our division leaders possess all three in copious amounts. Mike DeVries, a veteran writer, is the Director of Creative Services for Samizdat Creative. Sonya Unrein, a veteran publisher with many book awards under her belt, is the editorial director of Conundrum Press. And Jordan Green, the indomitable force behind the Burnside Writers Collective, joins us as the editorial director of Burnside Books. And finally, the rug that brings the whole room together, veteran book publicist Kathleen Campbell has just joined our ranks as well.

Taken as a whole, Samizdat Group is positioned to take the lead in the new wave of publishing. We are living through a time when the old publishing guard is entrenching themselves in the old model rather than taking risks and forging ahead (witness HarperCollins recent acquisition of Thomas Nelson, the last of the Christian publishing giants). They continue to chase an increasingly elusive group of book consumers and they expect authors to work much more for much less in return for the elusive “notoriety” of a publishing contract.

But Samizdat is creating a new model, one that combines the best of traditional publishing with the best of self-publishing.  It brings together the excellence of content and design, with the power of marketing, and the “creative integrity” of the creative process laying with the author, not what the publishing company sees as “profitable.” Every contract is tailor-made and almost* no one is turned away. As a nimble independent publishing group, we have the muscle to support A-list authors like Mike Thaler, and we can venture into uncharted territory with the scrappy bunch of new authors like Ian Gold and Compassion International.

There’s no one out there like us. And we are proud to blaze a new trail.

caleb j seeling


*We turn away creeps and dictators. Have to draw the line somewhere.


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