Split Lip Press is a small, independent publisher of poetry and short fiction operated by J. Scott Bugher, founder of Split Lip Magazine. As a former professional musician, J. Scott sees the literary scene the same way he does the music industry but feels those in music have adapted to the new school of publishing art a lot better than writers. Musicians don’t sit on their demo tape for years while sending it to record label after record label with hopes of somebody picking it up, yet writers choose to keep playing the game, leaving their manuscripts dormant for years while seeking a publisher. Musicians outside the mega-world of pop country and R&B release their music independently in a punk rock, DIY fashion. They launch their own label, shoot their music off to a record-making facility and wind up with a product available to sell when they perform live. Writers, on the other hand, oftentimes do not have a product available when they give readings or attend literary events. They don’t have a record; they have a demo tape––8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper to read their stories or poems from. Split Lip Press wants to help change that.
J. Scott, a poet when he has the time, has a heart for promoting deserving writers. It’s his way of paying it forward. While working in music, he had quite a bit of success thanks to the word-of-mouth spread by other musicians. Without others vouching for him, he would have never had a career in the business. Split Lip Press wants to be that word-of-mouth for writers to help escalate their careers to bigger and better things.