the lay of the land

I think there are a lot of parallels with regards underground music and the small press “genre” publishers out there.  From the networking style, to the niche genres and sub genres, to the small zines and ezines and bedroom enterprises, the similarities are there. Both try to focus on the overlooked and under appreciated and both contain genuine pools of genius that the rest of the world is too narrowly focused to notice. Small Press publishers also like special, limited editions  that are such a hook for record collectors… I could go on.

So researching all of this and checking out the publisher sites, magazine sites, and going through the listings on places like and has been pretty interesting. The mentality is familiar and comfortable to me, and in most cases, as far as I can tell, it is passion above all else that is driving the small publishers to do their thing.

It’s odd staring down such a familiar path once again and not being sure if it leads anywhere. Publishing is not my first concern, just as getting a record out wasn’t when I started messing around with music, but as the work piles up you inevitably start to wonder what to do with it. I’m trying to get the lay of the land now in hopes of being somewhat prepared  when the time comes. The tales of rejection slip piles among even the most established writers are the things if legend. I don’t fear that, at least not yet.

I think the thing right now that seems the most obscure is the readership and how they discover new writers. With music it was relatively easy to see the patterns and habits, but with writing it’s not as clear to me.   That’s the question I am still trying to get a handle on.

As I come across writers or books I like I’ll try and give them a plug here as I did recently with Thomas Ligotti. Word of mouth is still one of the most potent forms of promotion I think, so stay tuned.


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