Thank God for the small press, they’re doing a great job of keeping horror alive (or undead..?) for those of us who love the genre. Trips to Waterstones or Smiths can be fairly dispiriting when you look at the Horror section – if they even have one – a couple of shelves if you’re lucky, dominated by King and Koontz with very little else on show. Not that I have anything against King and Koontz (well, not King anyway…) but being spoilt for choice generally isn’t a problem you’ll encounter there.
A terrible state of affairs? Well, maybe. For anyone dreaming of making a living as a writer, horror probably isn’t the way to go but I think the small press set-up has a lot of advantages, not least of which being that they’re run by enthusiasts – people who love horror, care deeply about it and want to see quality work published. And that’s the key word – quality – both in terms of the physical product itself and also the writing contained within. Look at the Spectral Press chapbooks – they truly are things of beauty.
Given that I’m involved in a small press I’m obviously going to be biased but I think as a general principle it’s the small independents in any field who reliably produce the quality stuff, and I’m happy that horror writing is in such good hands.
Won’t be giving up the day job any time soon though…