BIG NEWS! As of Aug. 1, 2017, Lauren Grosskopf will take over Pleasure Boat Studio. Lauren is a graphic artist who has worked for us for several years. We are very pleased to turn over the press to her. Of course, there will be changes. But the main philosophy seems to be one that she advocates. She is a bright and considerate woman who cares more about people than about making money. Of course, she wants to earn money from the press, but she also wants to make sure the authors are treated properly and fairly. To contact Lauren, use her email address: pleasboatpublishing@gmail.com. Lauren will also have a new website sometime soon.

Here’s our statement (NOT Lauren’s): PLEASURE BOAT STUDIO: A LITERARY PRESS has a simple and straightforward philosophy: We want to publish the best books we can find - fiction, poetry, and non-fiction - books that we love and that fit our interests. We don’t do children’s books or hard-core pornography or wild science fiction. Not likely to do one of those political or legal thrillers, either. But we really do try to keep an open mind. We like quirky books and non-traditional books and unusual books. And we really like authors who will WORK to sell their books.

Our press started in 1996 by Bill Slaughter and Jack Estes. Bill stepped aside three years later to focus his attention on Mudlark, the electronic journal of poetry and poetics that he both edits and publishes. Jack continued with the press, moving it in 2002 from its initial home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, to its current site on the Upper West Side in New York City.

In 2006, with the publication of Homicide My Own, we started a new imprint - Caravel Mystery Books - specifically for mysteries. That same year, with the publication of Speak to the Mountain: The Tommie Waites Story, we started another imprint - Aequitas Books - for non-fiction.

The following year, Mike O’Connor and some of his colleagues in Port Townsend, Washington, decided to resuscitate a dormant Empty Bowl Press, so they asked if Pleasure Boat Studio could help in some way. As a result, Empty Bowl is now considered a Division of Pleasure Boat Studio. Pleasure Boat Studio primarily handles the shipping and cataloging of the Empty Bowl Press books, but other than that, Empty Bowl is entirely independent.

This press would be in horrible shape both financially and logistically if it were not for several people who have helped with it. The main assistant is JoAnne Hughes, who handles all of our fulfillment in Port Angeles, Washington. She is a good friend who works at the Peninsula College Library, and she understands books, as well as how to ship them. Our web site was originally designed and maintained by Rick Landry, a fine photographer and graphics designer living in Montana. Zaedryn Meade took over that role for a couple years. Now, though, with his new Mac, Jack is handling the website himself.

Also helping in the past has been Jack’s sister, Irene Bourm, who also lives in Port Angeles. Irene has helped with fulfillment and has generally been a trouble-shooter for problems and issues that have come up. Along with her husband Larry, she has provided storage for all those unsold books from the many years we’ve been doing this. Others who have been very helpful include Lou Phillips, a New York author who serves as a consultant to the press, and Dave Feldman, another writer who helps with ideas and problems;

Others who regularly work with the press include Susan Ramundo of Desktop Publishing and Laura Tolkow of Flushleft, two graphic artists. Recently, Lauren Grosskopf has been doing graphic design as well. In fact, Lauren may take over the controls of the entire press in the near future. In addition, Nina Noble has designed most of the Empty Bowl books - and Diane Rigoli of RigoliCreative.com - has done most of the books by Mary Lou Sanelli.

Then there’s Betsy Kovacs, Jack’s partner and helpmeet, who has emerged as a strong and avid supporter of the books. In addition, her daughter Kati Kovacs and her daughter-in-law, Rachel Laiserin have become valuable early readers of submissions and galleys.

Thanks to all of them, and to so many more who have helped keep this press alive.

Mailing address:

201 West 89th Street

New York, NY 10024


We are extremely proud of our press. We strive to publish the best books we can find, and we feel we have done that well. In recognition of this, we have been honored with several awards through the years - for the following books:

Signatures in Stone

The End of the Sherry

The Dog Sox

The Lord God Bird

Speak to the Mountain

Dream of the Dragon Pool

If You Were with Me Everything Would Be All Right

Homicide My Own

Weinstock Among the Dying

Good Night My Darling

Shadow in the Water

The Case of Emily V.

Production Values

Pleasure Boat Studio tries to maintain high production values. Lately, in order to stay viable, we have been printing through Createspace and Lightning Source (Ingram Spark). These digital printing companies have been doing excellent work for us and have enabled us to keep our inventory low since they reprint very rapidly.