Those who actually read my blog and social media posts (I have it on reasonable authority that there are a small posse of folk who do!) will know I am planning to launch my own publishing imprint “Strange Days Press” in the near future. I thought I would talk a little here about the reasons why.
Well, it’s a good question. Those who know me personally know I’ve had a bumpy ride the last few years and my writing suffered greatly during this period. Because of this, I felt the momentum I’d gained from previous acceptances in small press anthologies and my other published book of short fiction Urban Chiller, fizzled out in 2014. My writing output ground almost to a standstill and I felt a lot of the good folk who were paying some attention to my wares, lost interest. In effect, I felt like I was back to square one in some respects.
Whilst it is a bitter pill to swallow, my own experience has told me that certain quarters within the publishing world, (even the small presses now), are reluctant to take a chance on lesser known authors and this has made it harder to find a home for my work, especially when there is some terrific competition out there. Unless you write something exceptional, and I mean fucking exceptional, you have little chance, in my opinion, as a lesser-known of landing a spot in an anthology alongside the “big guns” of the genre. I guess presses and publishers have to consider the mass-market appeal of the book they’re putting together and that’s just the way it is. This is not to say that well established authors don’t deserve their success (before all you keyboard warriors line up to go all Annie Wilkes on me!) But, in my personal opinion, there does exist a bit of an undercurrent of snobbery and cronyism within certain quarters of this industry, which makes it doubly difficult for the lesser known authors to get a break.
Launching my own, small boutique imprint; I feel will give me the platform I need to give my own work the best possible chance of exposure. It’s that simple. I also think it will be an exciting and challenge for me to focus on, alongside the actual task of writing. Whilst it’s a lot of work, I also have a passion for the creation of a good physical product.
I can already see a lot of eyes rolling as they read this. ‘Oh yeah, another writer who can’t get a deal decides to self-publish the novels he’s knocked out in his lunch break’ Right? Wrong. I know a crappy, poorly written, poorly edited product that’s been knocked up in no time and jettisoned onto Amazon with a generic cover lifted from Photobucket as much as the next guy, and that’s not what Strange Days Press will be about. I will work only with established professionals to produce the best quality products through the press. After all, it’s my name on the sign at the end of the day. The buck stops with me.
I also believe in a no-nonsense attitude towards any business I’m involved with and securing the trust and confidence of the editors, artists and formatting professionals I work with, is paramount to me. Above all, I want anyone who buys a product of Strange Days Press to get what they pay for.
I’ve seen first hand what can happen to small presses and the recent fallout over the Spectral Press implosion did make me think twice about doing this, especially after the plethora of social media and blog post drama that surrounded it. However, I believe if I handle this correctly and keep the blueprint for Strange Days Press simple, then it has a good chance of doing exactly what it is being set up to do.
The site will go live in the coming months and whilst it will have a humble beginning, I’m looking forward to having a go with this. My new novella The Locked Room will be the first release of Strange Days Press and the date currently slated for release is November-December of 2016.
Onwards and upwards and that’s it for now. As always, thanks for stopping by my blog.