Montana's Publishing Houses: Books in the Big Sky State


When engaged in the solitary act of writing, it’s easy for an author to feel like they live on an island. But for Montana’s writers, poets, and editors, the publishing scene is a bit like the state itself: an extraordinarily large small town.


From memoirs and artfully crafted photography books to the poetry of wide-open spaces and inner landscapes, tales of cowboys and conservationists, deep-dives of historians, mantras of spiritual leaders, and a font of endless imaginative stories from fiction writers—many chapters written by Montana residents are printed around the world and right here in their home state.


Montana boasts a number of book presses, some in business for decades, printing a variety of work from local and nationally acclaimed writers. The following list of publishing houses includes a few based on self-publishing ventures that grew to include work from fellow authors.


Whether chasing a great book from a Montana author or looking for new ideas to pique a reader’s interest, a quick perusal of the list of Montana’s publishing houses will give bibliophiles new avenues to traverse in seeking literature, poetry and award-winning stories from the high plains to the ragged mountains of the state.



Bangtail Press

Bozeman

bangtailpress.com | info@bangtail.com

Founded in the late 1980s, Bangtail first published surfer Greg Noll’s memoir “Da Bull” and continued on as the book-publishing arm of the magazine Big Sky Journal. Now independently owned and operated, Bangtail notes the print house is devoted to “publishing those books that expand our sense of who we are, that simultaneously shed light on us as individuals as well as offer insight into this place that we call home.”


Works— Fiction, poetry, biography, memoir, and anthologies.

New and notable— Fired On: Targeting American Western Art” by Toby Thompson, “Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey” by Russell Rowland, and “Tom Connor’s Gift” by David Allen Cates.


Blue Creek Press

Heron

bluecreekpress.com

books@bluecreekpress.com | (208) 290-1281

Sandy Compton’s Blue Creek Press began life as Cabinet Crest Books in 1993 when Compton published her first book under the press’ name. Since 1993, Compton has gone on to help many authors self-publish books through Blue Creek Press, publishing 32 titles in all.


Works— Self-help books, memoirs, philosophical musings, biographies, adventurous non-fiction, novels, and short story collections.

New and notable“The Dog with His Head on Sideways” by Sandy Compton and “Run, Naomi, Run” by Pauline Shook.



Drumlummon Institute

Helena

execdirector@drumlummoninstitute.org

facebook.com/drumlummoninstitute


A board of directors consisting of like-minded poets and writers came together to start the Drumlummon Institute a few years ago. Its publications range from “studies of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in Montana to resurrected texts of poet and novelist Grace Stone Coates, novelist Thomas Savage, architect/designer Cass Gilbert, down to contemporary novelist/short story writer Matt Pavelich,” according to a 2016 article in the Missoulian. Drumlummon states its mission is to “promote and publish art and literatures created in Montana and the broader American West.”

Works— Poetry, non-fiction, fiction, short stories, and more.

Notable books“Moving On: The Last Poems of Ed Lahey” edited by Mark Gibbons and “Summer Lightening” by Marylor Wilson.



Educe Press

Butte

educepress.com

editor@educepress.com


Founded in Boise, Idaho, in 2014 by Matthew R. K. Haynes, Educe Press now operates out of Butte.


Euduce press publishes “writing that combines the aesthetics of literary language with the pulse of genre movements.”


Works include prose and poetry from award-winning writers based in Montana, the West and around the world.


Works—Book-length literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

New and notable“Cold Blessings: Poems” by Maximilian Werner and “Dreadful: Luminosity” by Natalie Peeterse.



FalconGuides

falcon.com | customercare@nbnbooks.com

(800) 462-6420

Falcon Publishing was founded in Helena, Montana in 1979 with one book, “Hiking Montana” by company co-founder and president Bill Schneider. From there, Falcon went on to become North America’s leading publisher of outdoor recreation books, its list growing to more than 700 titles before becoming part of the Globe Pequot family in the fall of 2000.


Although no longer directly based in Montana, the legacy and name of Falcon Publishing continues, as the company notes: “40 years and hundreds of books, tens of thousands of maps, and countless trips into the wilderness later, a FalconGuide continues to feel as much at home on a coffee table as it does dog-eared and beaten in a backpack.”




Farcountry Press

Helena

farcountrypress.com | promo@farcountrypress.com | (406) 422-1263


Farcountry Press began as an offshoot of Montana Magazine. Starting with just a few books per year, Farcountry eventually established itself as an independent press. Farcountry now publishes around 50 titles each year.


Linda Netschert first worked for Farcountry as a sales representative in 1996 and purchased the company in 2011.“Glacier National Park: The First 100 Years” was one of her first projects and she says the iconic book continues to be one of her favorites.


Sweetgrass Books, the custom publishing division of Farcountry Press, also offers self-publishing services, among many more such services in Montana.


Works— Guidebooks, cookbooks, regional history titles, biography, photography books, calendars, and children’s titles.

New and notable“San Antonio: A Photographic Journey” by Al Rendon and Gary S. Whitford, “Cony the Pika’s Warming World,” and “First Rangers” by C.W. Guthrie.


Montana Historical Society Press

Helena

mhs.mt.gov/pubs/press

diana.distefano@mt.gov | (406) 444-2694


Montana Historical Society Press (MHSP) got its start in the 1950s with the goal of producing quality historical monographs, biographies, and memoirs relevant to the history of Montana and the U.S. West. MHSP publishes Montana: The Magazine of Western History and has around 60 books in print, many of them by Montana historians, including ebooks.


Works— Historical monographs and biographies that focus on the history of Montana and the Western U.S.

New and notable“Ties, Rails, and Telegraph Wires: Railroads and Communities in Montana and the West” by Dale Martin, “Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman” by the MHS staff, “A History of Montana in 101 Objects: Artifacts and Essays from the Montana Historical Society” by Tom Ferris, and “A Black Woman’s West: The Life of Rose B. Gordon” by Michael Johnson.




Mountain Press Publishing Co.

Missoula

mountain-press.com | info@mtnpress.com

(406) 728-1900


David P. Flaccus founded Mountain Press in 1948. A Quaker from Pennsylvania and conscientious objector to World War II, Flaccus started the press as an offset printing company in Missoula, where he was ordered to serve as a smoke jumper in lieu of military service.


After years of operating as a commercial printer, Flaccus published his first book in the 1960s. Since then, the press has blossomed into a prolific nonfiction publisher and is particularly known for its field guides, geology volumes, and natural history books.

Shortly after his death in 1993, Flaccus received a Rittenhouse Award from the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association.


“We love authors who love what they do,” current Publisher John Rimel says. “Our most successful authors are practically evangelists for their work and, in turn, their books.”


Works— Nonfiction: geology, natural history, history, field guides, and western Americana.

New and notable“Falcons of North America: Second Edition” by Kate Davis, “Oregon Rocks! A Guide to 60 Amazing Geologic Sites” by Marli B. Miller, and “Accidental Ranger: Tales from Forty-three Years as a National Park Ranger” by Lyndel Meikle.



Old Butte Publishing

Butte

facebook.com/OldButte

oldbuttepublishing@yahoo.com


Works— Old Butte Publishing specializes in historical and current events about Butte, including “Bad Boys of Butte” and “2,200 Butte Nicknames.”

New and notable“The Cabbage Patch: Murder, Mystery, Fraud, Gangs and Ethnic Wars in Butte, Montana’s Forgotten Ghetto” by Jake Sorich.


Open Country Press

Helena

opencountrypress.org | (406) 546-4473

opencountrypress@gmail.com


After a decade of studying poetry at the University of Montana, Natalie Peeterse founded Open Country Press in 2016. Since then, she’s been publishing poetry chapbooks with Autumn Toennis and a small army of supporters.


“I wanted to get the work of younger and unknown poets out there, since there are so many dynamic and talented young writers in the state,” said Peeterse, who publishes one to two chapbooks per year.


One notable book from Open Country is “Chosen Companions of the Goblin” by Kathryn Smith.


“This book is fun and heartbreaking and vivid, with a flair for the real. At every turn it shares a secret for those keen on knowing,” says Peeterse.


Works— Poetry chapbooks

New and notable“Symptoms of the Forgotten” by Kay Lin, “Other Places” by Jacob Chapman, and “Bright Bones: Contemporary Montana Writing,” edited by Natalie Peeterse.


The submission period for Open Country’s annual chapbook contest runs June 1 through Oct. 1. Details: OpenCountryPress.org.




Pictorial Histories

Missoula

pictorialhistoriespublishing.com

(406) 549-8488

Getting its start in 1976, Pictorial Histories began as a publisher of affordable pictorial history books. It now boasts over 150 titles, and has grown into an international publisher.


Works— Pictorial history books covering World War II, Alaska, the Civil War, Montana, Virginia, and more.


Notable Books“Birthplace of Montana: A History of Fort Benton” by John G. Lepley, “Glacier’s Grandest: Pictorial History of the Hotels and Chalets of Glacier National Park” by Bridget Moylan, “Iron Riders: The Story of the 1890s Fort Missoula Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps” by George Niels Sorensen, and “An Alien Place: The Fort Missoula, Montana, Detention Camp 1941–1944” by Carol Van Valkenburg.




Raven Publishing

Norris

ravenpublishing.net | (406) 685-3545

info@ravenpublishing.net

Janet Muirhead Hill founded Raven Publishing in 2002 with the release of the first two novels of her “Miranda and Starlight” series. After publishing the next four books of the series in 2004, Raven Publishing began accepting the work of other authors.


The goal of the press is to “produce quality books worthy of a reader’s time and to help authors with compelling and important books see their words beautifully presented and available for the public to enjoy.”


Works— Young-adult fiction, historical novels, literary novels, memoirs, legal mysteries, short stories, and essays.

New and notable“Our Trail Ends at Pony” by Dixie Myhre, “Rascals, Ruffians, and Rebels: Profiles of Early Montana” by Gary R. Forney, “Absaroka” by Joan Bochmann, “PRISM” by Janet Muirhead Hill and Joan Bochmann, and “A Language without Words” by Michael Raattama Tripp.




Riverbend Publishing

Helena

riverbendpublishing.com | (406) 449-0200

hello@riverbendpublishing.com

Previously with Falcon Press until it was acquired by Globe Pequot, Chris Cauble started Riverbend Publishing in 2000.


Riverbend’s first book was “Silence & Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness” and the press has since gone on to publish numerous works and has reprinted several classic Montana titles, including “The War of the Copper Kings,” “Copper Camp,” and “The Story of Mary MacLane.”