When Jan Pogue and her husband John Walter first moved to the Vineyard, they soon encountered the phenomenon of the “book in the bottom drawer.”

“You would run into people at cocktail parties who would tell you ‘I’ve got this great idea,’” said Ms. Pogue. “Everyone had one.”

At first, the couple told prospective authors to send their work to small publishing houses they knew of. But then a publisher friend from Atlanta said that the couple should start their own small press, and by 2005 they had taken the plunge and founded Vineyard Stories, a small press for prospective Island authors.

After a decade and 46 books, Vineyard Stories turns out the light. — Mark Lovewell

Now, a decade and 46 books later, Ms. Pogue is set to close down the business this fall. Vineyard Stories will publish its last three titles this summer.

When the press started, Ms. Pogue and Mr. Walter knew how to edit books, but selling them was a different story.

“Simply getting someone’s attention is one level,” Ms. Pogue explained. “But then there’s getting the right people to sell it and that’s looking at national distributors, local book stores and things like that.”

Mr. Walter died in 2008, but Ms. Pogue continued the journey of Vineyard Stories on her own, discovering the rhythm of book selling on a national and local level. Ms. Pogue even maintains a giant stack of books in her garage, ready to ship their catalogue of mostly nonfiction anywhere.

“We didn’t want to do novels or things like that. We were nonfiction people,” Ms. Pogue said. “We wanted to do pretty books. Books you just can’t keep your hands off of because they’re so beautiful.”

The first book the press published was a collection of columns by Justine Priestley from her years of covering the civil rights movement. The book was called By Gertrude Wilson, which was Ms. Priestley’s pen name while writing for The New York Amsterdam News, which at the time was the largest African American newspaper. Ms. Priestley was the only white reporter at the paper.

The idea for the book came from Art Smadbeck, an Edgartown selectman and Ms. Priestley’s son, who told Ms. Pogue of his desire to have his mother’s writing collected in print.

“It was very different than anything else we’ve ever published,” Ms. Pogue said. “But then we changed our approach.”

A Martha's Vineyard and Chappy Sketchbook is filled with drawings and short prose pieces.

The press went on to publish books on the Charlotte Inn, artists such as Allen Whiting and numerous children’s books. Some of the titles focused on obscure topics or dug deep into the Island’s history. This was precisely the reason Ms. Pogue and her husband decided to publish them. If the book seemed important to the Vineyard as a whole, but would probably not have a chance at another publishing house, then Vineyard Stories took it on.

Cookbooks had to pass this test of relevance too. Ms. Pogue explained that the Morning Glory Farm cookbook was put out in part for its wonderful recipes, but also because of the significance of the family and the farm, which has been in business for more than 40 years.

But the attention and care that each book requires in order to be published requires a monumental effort, especially when the bulk of the work is being done by one person in a furnished one-room tree house.

Ms. Pogue is proud of the work she’s done with the press, but noted that after a decade of labor, she wanted to retire and have more time for herself. She is hoping to help out on her children’s farm on Chappaquiddick, and has even purchased some property in Mexico.

Given her outsized role with the press, it makes sense that Ms. Pogue’s departure would mean the end of the business. But Ms. Pogue has another reason for wanting to make sure the shop closes with her. She and her husband came up with a mission when they first started their publishing house: to capture the culture and the history of Martha’s Vineyard. Closing down the press rather than selling it ensures that this mission does not change.

“I don’t want to come back in two years and find that someone had messed it all up,” Mr. Pogue said, looking down at a display of her books. “I don’t want to mess up my past and I don’t want to muddy my future.”

The last three books Vineyard stories is publishing this summer are A Year on Martha’s Vineyard by Adam Moore, a collection of essays by William A. Caldwell entitled Reflections on Martha’s Vineyard and edited by Tom Dunlop, and A Martha’s Vineyard and Chappy Sketchbook by Gail Rodney, all of which are available at vineyardstories.com and in bookstores on the Island.