A locally focused and publicly owned publishing imprint.
In order to support the local writing community and promote the production of original content, the library is looking for completed manuscripts for publication through our press. Rather than provide an advance, the library will invest in the production of the finished work in exchange for permanent digital distribution to AADL cardholders via the library's website. The AADL Productions team will review submissions to determine which projects move forward. The library is looking to publish fiction, and non-fiction for children, teens or adults. All genres, audiences, and formats are considered. We want to support the work of local authors writing on any topic as well as record the culture and history of the Ann Arbor area by publishing manuscripts with a local focus. Our scope is limited to residents of Washtenaw County - unless you are writing on an Ann Arbor area topic.
The library will provide:
- Editing, proofreading, formatting/layout, format conversion, indexing, fact checking, design, illustrations, cover art, photography and any other needed assistance determined by the type of manuscript to get the book ready for publication. This includes headshots of the author and the rare opportunity to have some input in the cover design.
- A finished, polished manuscript formatted for ebook publishing and on-demand print publishing as an option at the author's expense. The press provides up to three ISBN numbers for each author.
- A launch/book release event for the author when the book is published. The author may sell their book at the event and do a signing. Every May and November the Press hosts a book release event for that class of authors. The event will be catered and held in the lobby of the Downtown Library and is open to one and all. The library will do extensive promotion in advance of the event. (COVID has prevented this from happening in 2020 & 2021).
- Resources and advice so the author can do the marketing and promoting of their book after its release. The author will retain the copyright and 100% of the profits for their work. The library is not involved in distribution beyond purchasing printed hard-copies from the author to be added to the library's collection. Decisions about distribution and platform(s) used will remain with the author.
The library's goal is to support our local writing community in all of their creativity, create content about local issues, history & people AND to provide more content to our library patrons. The ONLY thing that Fifth Avenue Press asks our published authors to provide is a digital (PDF) copy of their book that will be available for download to AADL library card holders (currently around 65,000 active users) on our website. The library will always retain hard copies of the books we provide for checkout in our collection. For further details, please see our FAQ
If you have a completed manuscript use the official submission form here.
Please be sure to read the FAQ thoroughly before submitting your manuscript. Please note that you MUST be logged in to our website in order to access the form. If you do not have an account with us please create one using this form https://aadl.org/user/register - you do NOT need an AADL library card to create an account.
We take submissions on a continuous basis and will publish the same way. Have a question? Send us a message at email@example.com.
The next class of books will be released at an event on Sunday, December 4 from 1-3PM at the Downtown Library.
In May, 2022 Fifth Avenue Press released 10 new titles. Meet the authors.
Four picture books for children
Moonberry Pie by James Barbatano with illustrations by Douglas Bosley: A friendly witch travels to the moon to search for a special fruit in order to bake a special pie. (Children)
My Daddy's Not Like Other Daddies by Ryden Allen with illustrations by Victor Martins: This warm picture book celebrates the close bond between a child and their transmasculine father - who also gave birth to them. (Children)
Grandpa Cai's Garden by Sam Ankenbauer, Alex Jiahong Lu & illustrated by Jenny Kalejs. Grandpa Cai and His Garden is the sweet picture book about a grandfather's journey, accompanied by his faithful dog, to grow vegetables in his garden and then use them in a dinner for special company - his grandchildren! Told in both English and Chinese, Grandpa Cai and His Garden emphasizes the importance of nature and family. (Children)
Maribel the Bat by Brad and Kristin Northrop: In this gorgeous picture book take a nighttime journey through the world of art as Maribel the Bat uses her imagination to explore her surroundings. Each encounter with a place or an animal is interpreted using a different art style. (Children)
One YA novel
Center-Mid by Jeff Kass: Center-Mid is the story of uncompromising young women who play field hockey as hard as they can and, whether they're dealing with family problems, relationship issues or challenges at school, won’t let anything distract them from their goals. (Teens)
Five titles for adults:
Watching by Charles Taylor: A mystery about Detroit detectives and former lovers George Eaton and Karla Bassett who have always stuck with low-risk cases until a new clients asks them to investigate a murder and suddenly, everyone from a local crime boss to the police poses a deadly threat! (Adults)
Dali/Dalai by Richard Solomon: Using surreal, monolithic poems about nine Salvador Dali paintings as guide-posts, this collection of poetry moves from the dream world through progressive inquire to the spiritual. (Adults)
Bring Your Words: A Writers' Community Anthology by J.D. Akins, Kaleb A. Brown, C.D. Gillikin, Carol May, Ivy Obuchowski, Abby O'Meara, Lila Scott, Kathryn Orwig, S. Alastor Node: Ten authors present essays, short stories and poetry. Wherever the ideas came from, penned and morphed into shape, they’ve found a home here. (Adults)
What Are You Looking At? by Erin Wakeland: This unique book details four social experiments: mending and returning red solo cups from a fraternity’s yard, hanging a banner hand-stitched with “You Have Everything You Need” in places of commerce, placing postcards in public places with a prompt to be returned to me, and en plein air painting in the Meijer Superstore. (Adults)
Accidental Engineer: A Sixty-Year Trek Through Technology and Beyond by Dean Douthat: The following are stories of an accidental engineer’s encounters with real engineers and engineering. (Adults)
In Fall, 2019 Fifth Avenue Press published nine books - meet the authors:
Four titles for adults:
The Elements: a love letter to all things everywhere: An artist's exploration of the periodic table of elements and our inseparability with everything by author and artist Hannah Burr.
All That We Encounter: A literary novel with a metaphysical and time-travel slant, that addresses the complexity of family bonds, explores self-discovery at every age, and raises the question: to truly move on from one’s past, must they first come to terms with it? By Bethany Grey.
Breaking Through: A novel about Sam, a twenty-eight year old teacher, who navigates changing friendships and her own out-of-control love life as forgotten pieces of her past begin to resurface by Johnny Thompson.
Shape Notes: Expressing both the harmonious and dissonant parts of life, Shape Notes is organized around four shapes and four themes: social justice, places, family and community. The poems attempt to create connections and discover how our connections can bring joy. By Judy Patterson Wenzel.
One title for teens:
Intersections: When a tragic car accident cuts short the life of vivacious Chloe, the lives of everyone involved are forever changed. Told from nine different perspectives, Intersections portrays a gripping moment at the crossroads of the struggle to find the light or surrender to the shadows by Shanelle Boluyt.
Four titles for children:
The Dragon Library: A charming beginning reader about a mysterious library and the three dragons who work hard to keep it going. By author James Barbatano with illustrations by Douglas Bosley.
Modern Crab Adventures: Fantastic Planet: Crab is on an outer space adventure, but when the ship breaks down on an unfamiliar planet how will Crab get back home? Find out in this delightful picture book by Douglas Bosley.
Over In Motown: An energetic picture book celebrating the musical genres and rhythms of industry that fueled Detroit in the Motown era. By author Debbie Taylor with illustrations by Keisha Morris.
The Planet We Live On: A picture book told in a lively House That Jack Built style, discover the connections among plants, animals and the resources they need to survive. How do people fit into earth's web of life? By Shanda Trent
In Spring, 2019 Fifth Avenue Press published five books - meet the authors:
Five titles for adults:
What Justice Looks Like a true crime chronicle by Samuel Damren: What Justice Looks Like tells the story of two high stakes criminal cases - the 1977 prosecution of a vicious hit man and the 2016 exoneration of an innocent defendant who pled guilty to a quadruple homicide as a teenager. It is a first-person account by the lawyer who handled both cases, separated by nearly 40 years. In the first, Samuel Damren was the prosecutor. In the second, he was lead counsel for the defense. Considered together, these cases, at opposite ends of the spectrum, illustrate what may be criminal justice's greatest challenge: trusting the system to bring 'the worst of the worst' to justice while protecting the innocent when the system's safeguards fail.
Who We Might Be by Linda Cotton Jeffries: Fans of Linda Cotton Jeffries’ debut novel, We Thought We Knew You, will find familiar characters and elements of suspense in this exciting sequel. Imagine if every piece of your life unraveled at once.Carolyn Jacobs didn’t go looking for her birth mother. But when she appeared unexpectedly, Carolyn found herself tumbling into a world of wealth that she had never imagined possible
Almost Lost: Detroit Kids Discover Holocaust Secrets and Family Survivors by Pauline Loewenhardt: The story begins in the mid-1990s when Pauline and her siblings discovered descendants of one of their father's brothers in the Netherlands, which opened the door to family secrets and mysteries around their Jewish heritage, World War II, and the Holocaust. Through the years, Pauline managed to forge relationships with these newly-discovered family members, and in the process, learned the truth about her family's past. The epic story concludes with an epilogue about the newest generation of her extended family and its continued growth. Filled with photographs, artwork, family trees and other primary references.
Corked: Tales of Advantage in Competitive Sports by Brian Love and Michael Burns: Corked is an anthology of 26 short stories linked with the notion that factors outside of player talent can affect a team’s performance. Covering a wide variety of sports it offers perspective about how fields, equipment, and other intangibles play into winning.
Dark Rhythm a sci-fi thriller by Charles Taylor: After waking in a San Francisco hospital with no memory of her identity, Cindy Carrington encounters three violent individuals searching for someone they call Terri Blackmon, and discovers a connection between herself and three locals who have gone missing. What Cindy unravels about her relationship with Terri forces her to run for her life, allied with a collection of fugitives who share an astonishing talent. Can they survive the determined forces that threaten to overwhelm them all?
In 2018 Fifth Avenue Press published five books - meet the authors :
One title for adults:
We Thought We Knew You - realistic, adult fiction by Linda Jeffries: Sometimes the path to a happy future leads through a troubled past. Marybeth Rogers has it all—a great husband, two grown sons, and a teaching job she loves. She’s about to leave it all behind. She’s on a journey to unbury a secret from her past, and is willing to risk all of her current happiness to do it. An emotionally rich story about family, the burden of the past, and the lengths we’ll go to protect those we love the most.
One title for teens:
Setting the Record Straight a Middle Grade/Teen novel by V.W. Shurtliff: When I went to sleep, my life was normal. I stood at the top of the stairs and my life fell apart. A dead man was in my living room. My parents were gone, my house was destroyed, and every police officer in the city was after me. But when I learned what was going on, that all seemed small. The world was at risk. A monster was taking over. And only I could stop him.
Three titles for children:
Paint the Night a picture book by Tracy Gallup: Have you ever been afraid of the dark? Tracy Gallup's poetry and watercolor paintings introduce us to a young boy who employs his imagination and a paintbrush to overcome his nighttime fears.
Akeina the Crocodile a picture book by Brad and Kristin Northrop: A story about an adventurous crocodile who sets off on a journey to visit her friend, Tiger. Along the way, she meets new friends and makes amazing discoveries using all of her senses. Akeina realizes that the journey can be just as important as the destination.
Snail, I Love You a picture book by Tevah Platt, Willa Thiel and Becky Grover: This book of quilt-illustrated love poems was co-written by a mother and her daughter, who contributed each 'I love you' sentence when she was 3-6 years old. These words of feeling linked to concepts she was exploring and mastering while she oriented herself in the universe. The parent-authored parts draw from the big and small worlds they joyfully investigated together. In this book about boundlessness, the authors and illustrator quietly celebrate girls as scientists and boundary breakers, and all people and animals connected by the fundamental force of love
In 2017 Fifth Avenue Press published eight books - meet the authors:
Six titles for adults:
The Book of Ann Arbor: an Extremely Serious History Book by Rich Retyi: A suicide submarine parade. Ann Arbor's top 10 astronauts. Shakey Jake, The Embassy Hotel and stories of trains crashing into buildings. The birth of Iggy Pop. Punching Nazis. The day the dictator came to town. The music mobile, the naked mile and a brief history of poop. Plus a few tales of murder, because it happens here too. These are a few of the 41 stories that make up the book of Ann Arbor.
Takedown a murder mystery by Jeff Kass: Kass’ debut novel is murder mystery and an astute commentary on the darker side of education reform wrapped in a gripping adventure. Filled with authentic characters, a strong voice, and the perfect portrait of a Midwest college town, Takedown is as sharp and crisp as a football Saturday.
Light From the Cage: 25 Years in a Prison Classroom a memoir by Judy Wenzel: For 25 years, Judy Patterson Wenzel taught high school completion classes in prison in the only program beyond GED in the federal system. In Light from the Cage, she spins out stories of and by her students about their journeys toward the treasured accomplishment of earning a high school diploma.
Tales From the Dork Side witty essays by R.J. Fox: Growing up is never easy. Growing up with bullies is even harder. And when you’re a skinny kid with no social skills, no athletic ability, and a speech impediment? You might as well be covered in bully bait. Bobby Fox was the boy eating alone in the cafeteria, playing alone at recess, and trying to stay away from the mean kids. This memoir will make you laugh, cry and prove that Bobby would be ok and use his story to write even more.
Ginger Stands Her Ground a memoir by Virginia Ford: Ginger Visel contracted polio in the winter of 1950, when she was not yet five years old. Her life would never be the same. By the time the virus was through with her, she had a withered leg, weak muscles, and hip trouble that required multiple surgeries. The University of Michigan Hospital became a second home, the March of Dimes a reliable support system, and leg braces an everyday part of her wardrobe. Both a universal coming of age story and a look at the complexities of being disabled before the ADA, "Ginger Stands Her Ground" is an inspiring story of the meaning of family, the importance of faith, and the ultimate triumph of love.
Technical Solace: Poems by Rebeca Biber: Concise, vivid poems on themes of music, family, Jewish heritage, love, loss and identity.
Two titles for children:
Michigan Moon a photo picture book by Meg Gower: Michigan Moon is a children's book based on an original lullaby by Harriet Gower written for her daughter, Meg. As an adult, Meg expanded the song into a seven verse poem, published here with beautiful composites of nature photography.
A Monster on Main Street a picture book by Emily Siwek: Strange sightings are all around in this simply sweet story inspired by Ann Arbor's beloved Violin Monster. Rendered with loose, playful illustrations, this string playing werewolf encourages readers to give scary things a second look.
Plus the comic Chad Agamemnon: a New Home in Ann Arbor by Carolyn Nowak.