Better Business Bureau Ethics Award Bestowed on Anchorage Publisher
Evan and Lois Swenson, owners of Publication Consultants in Anchorage.
A longtime and prolific Anchorage book publisher in October received one of the most prestigious awards handed out by the Better Business Bureau: The Torch Award for Ethics.
A Heart for Good, Wholesome Stories
Evan Swensen and his wife, Lois Swenson, have run Publication Consultants in Anchorage since 1978. It got its start while they were publishing an outdoor magazine and were repeatedly approached by individuals hoping to publish books, often about their life in Alaska.
Over time, the business has grown markedly.
“We say that the sun never sets on Publication Consultants,” Evan Swensen says. “Someplace in the world, someone is working on our projects 24/7.”
Swensen estimates his company publishes about a book a week, around fifty books each year.
However, it wasn’t their publication schedule that won them the ethics honor; rather it was their status as a rare friend in a world of sharks with eyes on would-be authors.
“A lot of authors that have written one book—that’s their life,” he says.
With book in hand, those would-be authors might shop around and run into an unethical publisher who offers to set them up for $20,000, then strings them along with tales of shopping the story idea around to bigger publishing houses. Often, Swensen says, those publication houses go out of business, only to pop up under another name.
That’s not the record of Publication Consultants. It offers authors several options, from consulting to outright purchasing a manuscript to several degrees of assisting the author with the publication process.
On its website noting the award, Publications Consultants wrote, “The Torch Award for Ethics is a distinction that goes beyond financial success, focusing on the principles of integrity, transparency, and fairness in all our interactions. For us, publishing with integrity and character is not a business strategy—it’s a fundamental part of who we are. Each book we handle and each author we work with is treated with the utmost care and respect. It’s a testament to the ethics guiding our journey from the beginning.”
Swensen adds that his company focuses on family-friendly fare.
“We don’t publish any sexual content or any bad language, so Grandma can read to her grandchildren any of our books,” he says. “Our attitude is, profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcibly. The authors that we publish do not have lazy and feeble minds. We like romance, but when the action gets personal, the lights go out.”
According to the Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific (BBBGWP), the Torch Award for Ethics is the most prestigious honor it bestows on businesses operating within its eight-state service area. Winners must demonstrate a high level of personal character, meet the highest standards of ethics, and build trust with their customers and the community.
“It’s extraordinary to see how this year’s award winner in Alaska goes above and beyond in the marketplace and their community. They are setting the standard for what it means to be an exemplary and ethical business,” says Tyler Andrew, President, and CEO of BBBGWP. “We hope this recognition can encourage others to step up in their respective businesses and build an ethical marketplace for all.”