Dzanc Books

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Dzanc Books
FounderSteven Gillis and Dan Wickett
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationN/A, they have no offices
DistributionPublishers Group West
Publication typesBooks
Fiction genresLiterary fiction

Dzanc Books is an American independent press book publisher. It is a non-profit 501(c)(3) private foundation. Michelle Dotter is publisher and editor-in-chief.


Dzanc Books was founded in 2006 by Steven Gillis, a lawyer turned novelist, and Dan Wickett, a prolific on-line book reviewer.[1][2] They operated from their homes, near Detroit, Michigan.[2]


Dzanc pursues literary fiction and eBooks.[3] They published their own list of independent 20 writers to watch in response to the New Yorker's list of "20 Under 40", which they felt was too establishment-oriented.[4]

Former staff[edit]

Former staff includes author Matt Bell as senior editor.[5]


Published authors include Roy Kesey, Yannick Murphy, Terese Svoboda, Allison Amend, Jeff Parker, Peter Selgin, Laura van den Berg, Anne Valente, Robert Coover, Lance Olsen, Joseph McElroy, Robert Lopez, Evan Lavender-Smith, Jen Michalski, Dawn Raffel, J. Robert Lennon, Adam Klein, Okey Ndibe, Mary Biddinger, David Galef, Aimee Parkison, Kyle Minor, Kelly Cherry.


The name "Dzanc" was formed from the initials of the names of the founders' five children.[2][3] It is pronounced as two syllables, "duh-ZAANCK"[6] or "da-zaynk".[7]

Publication cancellation[edit]

Dzanc cancelled publication of Hesh Kestin's 2019 novel The Siege of Tel Aviv following criticism on social media that termed the book "Islamophobic."[8][9][10] Publisher Steve Gillis explained that "It was never our intent to publish a novel that shows Muslims in a bad light... Our mistake was not gauging the climate and seeing how the book would be perceived in 2019."[10]


As a non-profit, Dzanc cannot "own" another company, so these are not "imprints" in the usual publishing business sense.[7]


Dzanc Books has been called "the future of publishing"[1] and "one of the great contemporary forces in independent publishing".[5]


  1. ^ a b Kirch, Claire (2007-11-30). "`The Future of Publishing?'". Publishers Weekly. 254 (48). Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  2. ^ a b c Chamberlin, Jeremiah (2010-10-19). "The Story of Dzanc Books". Poets & Writers. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  3. ^ a b Bronson, Ariel (November 2012). "Indie Groundbreaking Publisher: Dzanc Books". Independent Publisher. 30 (11). Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  4. ^ Kirch, Claire (2010-06-25). "Dzanc Books Responds to 'New Yorkers '20 Under 40'". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  5. ^ a b McMahon, Tyler (2012-09-03). "We're All Rogue Warriors: An Interview with Steven Gillis". Fiction Writers Review. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  6. ^ Trevor, Domenica (2010-09-25). "Steven Gillis, Dan Wickett make their luck with Dzanc Books". The Ann Arbor Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  7. ^ a b Frangello, Gina (2010-11-22). "The Future of Indie Publishing: Dzanc Books and the "Conceptual Conglomerate"". Necessary Fiction. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  8. ^ Dolstein, Josefin (13 May 2019). "He wrote a novel about an imagined Iranian attack on Israel. Then the publisher withdrew it". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  9. ^ Horowitz, Mark (2 May 2019). "Fighting Back Against Cancel Culture". Commentary (magazine). Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  10. ^ a b Kirsch, Claire (24 April 2019). "Dzanc Drops Novel Criticized for Islamophobic Themes". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  11. ^ Kirch, Claire (2013-01-09). "Dzanc Books Launches New Imprint". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  12. ^ "Hawthorne Books Merges with Dzanc". Retrieved 2016-08-02.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]