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Our story

Bess Press Inc. is a family owned publishing company located in Kaimukī. For over 43 years, the Press has been creating and developing content for Hawai‘i and the greater Pacific.

Today, the Press has grown to become a leading educational content producer of Hawaiian and Pacific Island studies curriculum for use in preschool through high school. Our company is comprised of varying divisions focused on educational publishing, trade publishing, online publishing, distribution, and retail. Our work is entirely dedicated toward enhancing the multiple voices, cultures, and shared stories that make up Hawaiʻi and Oceania.

Bess Press has published over 700 titles within the genres of children’s literature, language, history, coloring and activity, biography & memoir, as well as informational and nature guides, along with custom publishing projects.

Our founders

Little did husband and wife co-founders, Buddy Bess and Dr. Ann Rayson, expect that what started in a small basement, with a single textbook, over 43 years ago, would grow to become a thriving publishing enterprise and family business.

"Publishing books is not a science, but rather a combination of art and commerce. We treat each book like one would do with a family member; with high hopes for the future and at some point in time the reality that each of us and each of our books has its own life force."

- Benjamin "Buddy" Bess

How it started

Bess Press was founded by husband and wife team, Buddy Bess and Dr. Ann Rayson. Operating out of their Pālolo Valley home basement, Buddy, a New York City publishing veteran, and Ann, a literature professor at UH Mānoa, bought the rights to a Hawaiian History textbook to support the new social studies mandates born from the 1978 "Con Con."

About Bess Press

About Bess Press