Childhood love of books leads to a career in publishing

 

 

Louis Force Torres, who grew up in Solvang, opened Polyverse Publications and helps local authors

Louis Force Torres has had a love affair with books since childhood. It's no surprise then that he opened Polyverse Publications in January 2021. His aim is to help authors get their books published and on retail shelves.

"I grew up in Solvang, which is a storybook town on its own," said Torres. "My family encouraged me to read at a very young age and that interest was furthered by the many teachers I've had in the Santa Ynez Valley."

Torres attended Solvang School and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School and graduated from Cogswell College with a degree in digital art and design.

"I've spent many hours in the Solvang Library and between the shelves at the Book Loft," he said. "Then after college, I managed several companies before I began a career as the Director of Global Publishing at the Adizes Institute. Those five years were an education in the world of international publishing. That's when I became involved with the Independent Book Publishers Association, attending conferences and working directly with overseas publishers."

It was after that Torres opted to set out on his own. "After my time spent primarily on business books, I realized I wanted to be more creative and work with other genres," said Torres. "I left the Adizes Institute to start my own publishing company, Polyverse Publications, to do just that."

Torres is presently a consultant for several publishing companies while also running Polyverse Publications. He is very active in the book community, attending writer's events, industry seminars, and has been a judge for the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Awards for three years.

"Polyverse is what is known as a hybrid publisher with a heavy focus on consulting," explained Torres. "As a hybrid publisher, I take the benefits from traditional publishing houses, small publishers, and vanity presses and combine them in a way that is accessible to authors. "Many authors have a book that they have written but they don't know how to get it onto shelves in the retail market. Polyverse Publications offers editing, design, and publicity. We help people envision their project as a completed work, and offer the right services to get it there."

Torres has also helped many local authors to get their books completed and published. Recently, his former third-grade teacher, Barbara Johnson, came to him with her children's book titled "Amad the Moroccan Tree Goat."

He's also worked with local philanthropist Teri Harmon, The Sacrificial Deal, and Brooks Firestone, The Valley Animals Series, Evensong.

Coming in 2022 is the mystery/suspense novel, Nothing But Words, by Buellton resident Dustin Hoiseth, and a children's Christmas book, The Story Tree, authored by retired Santa Ynez Valley Union High School teachers Chip and Julene Fenenga.

"My goal with Polyverse Publications is to allow for more stories to be told while helping those stories gain recognition," said Torres.

In the future, Torres wants to found "BookChurch," a non-profit organization focused on providing books to the underprivileged and help young authors get published.

"I want everyone who wants to read to be able to do so and I want to help those who want to write to get published," said Torres. "The idea came to me when I had a young author, very driven, but who couldn't afford the costs that come with book creation. I want everyone to have the opportunity to lay down on the floor with a  good book, and travel to another time and place, which is something I still love to do."

Polyverse books are featured locally at the Book Loft, Heritage Goods & Supply, Gavin's Books in Santa Maria, and Chaucer's Books, Tecolote, and the Mesa Bookstore in Santa Barbara.

By Pamela Dozois
news@santaynezvalleystar.com
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