Sunday, October 24, 2021

Lee and Bobby Byrd, 2021 ELF Lifetime Achievement  Award Winners

They saw a Literary void and dedicated their lives to filling it

Lee and Bobby Bird with award

Insights from Lee and Bobby Byrd from an article prior to their selling Cinco Puntos Press to Lee & Low Books, one of the leading publishers of diverse books in the USA, in mid 2021.

“We are Bobby and Lee Byrd, owners and publishers of Cinco Puntos. We started Cinco Puntos Press in 1985. We are a small, very independent publishing company rooted here in El Paso, Texas, not three miles north of the U.S. Mexican Border.

“We are both writers. We started Cinco Puntos because we wanted more time to write and we found as we have moved further and further into the publishing life, that publishing, like writing, is an act of self-discovery. Every book takes us to a new place. Each book leads us into unexpected intellectual terrains. These are places we might have never experienced without the provocation of new books and the business of making and selling them.

Lee and Bobby Bird

“Publishing, like writing, is an organic process. To watch a book unfold, to watch it find its audience and its life in the hands of a reader is a stunningly miraculous business. We don’t know exactly what the book will become when we first see it in manuscript, but in the give and take between us and the author and, as it passes through our hands as editors, and through the hands of the people we work with who translate or design or illustrate the text, it becomes something new, different, and wonderful—a true collaboration.

“We come to publishing as writers. Manuscripts are really interesting to us when the writing is amazing or the voice of the author is unique or the book opens up a door into a culture or a people that hasn’t been opened before. Or when the writer is someone whose work we’ve just plain admired over a long period of time. There are so many fine publishers who understand the educational needs of children and what kids should be learning at what age, but that’s not how we approach publishing.”