City of Light Publishing celebrates growth from college press to international reach


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – If you’re still looking for the perfect holiday gift for someone, City of Light Publishing has you covered.

With a retail space in the Queen City Pop-Up inside the historic Market Arcade, City of Light Publishing offers books in just about every genre covering a wide range of topics.

“There just is no better gift for someone than a book, and you can key the content to who that person is, so it personalizes the gift in a very, very special way,” said City of Light Publishing president and co-founder Marti Gorman. “And we really do have something for everyone.”

Of course, in Western New York, Buffalo-themed books are particularly hot sellers this time of year.

B is for Buffalo: An Aerial Alphabet” and the children’s book “Buffalo From A to Z, Come Take a Tour with Me” are in especially high demand.

That’s fitting with the company’s roots as a small academic press that published books solely about Buffalo history.

“It was going to fold when I happened back to my home town after 32 years away. And I was so impressed with the books that Canisius College Press was publishing that I said, ‘We can’t let it fold. We have to save it,'” Gorman recalled.

That’s just what Gorman and her partner did in 2006, moving Canisius College Press off campus and turning it into Buffalo Heritage Press.

Then, Gorman says, her press outgrew its regional model of publishing only books about local topics for a local audience.

It recently got a new name and a new global market.

“We’re now City of Light publishing and our distributor will market all of the books that we publish into all the libraries, and all the book stores, and some gift shops in the entire US, all of Canada, and the United Kingdom including Australia and New Zealand. It’s so exciting!” Gorman said.

City of Light Publishing, which usually operates out of its offices in the Tri-Main building, opened its first retail space in the Queen City Pop-Up back in November, and will stay there until the end of December.

But the small-scale retail operation is a very small part of the company’s big picture.

“We’re the ones that orchestrate the entire process from concept through the readers hands,” Gorman explained, “and the distribution is kind of the most important part, because you can produce as many books as you want, but if they don’t reach readers through book stores, through libraries, through gift shops, and the internet, of course, Amazon, then what’s the point?”

Gorman says securing international distribution capabilities allowed her company to overcome a huge hurdle and take a major step forward.

“We can guarantee our authors that their book will reach the English-speaking world,” she said, “and we can guarantee our readers that they’re getting the best possible book.”

To learn more about City of Light Publishing, click here.

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