Tag Archives: small press

Q4 2013 Publisher Update

It’s been almost exactly six months since our last publisher update, so we’re a bit overdue.  This time around, I’m not just adding new and newly discovered presses, I’m also removing several publishers who have either closed their doors or have been moribund for an extended period.

Publishers Added to the List

1313Horror.com – An exercise in pretension and hokiness, 13Horror trumpets their Thirteen anthology series as “The scariest books ever published” and “…the most important contribution to the horror genre in living memory.  Steeped in controversy and banned in certain parts of Europe…” Volume one in the series features no less than 113 stories, and with that many stories I’m sure there isn’t a clunker in the bunch.  Ahem.  Press founder Andrew Hannon supposedly disappeared in 2010, with his estate “assuming responsiblity [sic] for publishing the horror legacy compiled and edited by Hannon.”  Yeesh.

 

BigTime_HellBig Time Books – Founded by indy-film veteran Eric Miller, BTB’s debut title, the anthology Hell Comes To Hollywood, certainly reflects Miller’s background both in theme and the contributor list, which is filled with screenwriters and others with film backgrounds. The anthology is available in both trade paperback and ebook formats.  No additional titles have yet been announced.

 

 

 

DarkOpus_PoeDark Opus Press – An offshoot of Bête Noire magazine, Dark Opus has published a couple of interestingly themed anthologies — For All Eternity, based on the seven deadly sins, and In Poe’s Shadow, wherein the stories are inspired by Poe — with a third (Tell Me a Fable, stories based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales) on the way.  Unfortunately, some of the text on their website is pretty poorly written, which is never a good sign.

 

 

DarkRen_RichardsDark Renaissance Books – After turning over control of the long-standing Dark Regions Press to his son Chris, Joe Morey has now gone on to found  Dark Renaissance Books, a press that “… will specialize in publishing literary horror, dark fantasy, and fantasy short story collections, and poetry collections” (with the occasional anthology thrown into the mix, apparently).  Dark Renaissance has published three titles so far — highlighted by Jeffrey Thomas’ collection, Worship the Night — and announced three more, including Tony Richards’ The Universal and Other Terrors. Titles are published in numbered and lettered hardcover editions.

 

Dreadful_AgonyDreadful Cafe – A publisher of the “strange and mysterious,” DC looks to be an ebook-only publisher and so far has just one title to their credit — Rick Wayne’s Agony in Violet — but have also announced two anthologies, Membrane and Thresholds. Their place on the list is tentative, due to both their nascent state and the question of whether they will turn out to be primarily a horror publisher.

 

 

 

Fox_ShadowsFox Spirit Books – UK-based cross-genre publisher, with nine of their eleven titles (two novels, four novellas, four anthologies and one non-fiction title) involving horror.  Their books are available in paperback and ebook formats, and representative titles include Jo Thomas’ 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf and Joan De La Haye’s Shadows.

 

 

 

GreyM_DarkVisGrey Matter Press – Promoted from the “Pending” list now that they’ve published their first couple of books, this Chicago-based publisher is specializing, perhaps exclusively, in anthologies, with their first five announced titles all falling into that category.  Of those five, one has has so far been published — Dark Visions: Volume One, featuring the likes of Ray Garton, Jonathan Maberry, David Riley, and John F.D. Taff.  Grey Matter books are available in both trade paperback and ebook formats.

 

GreyhartGreyhart Press – An ebook-only publisher of roughly equal amounts of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  In the realm of horror, they’ve published five novels and a novella, all by either Mark West or Paul Melhuish.

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery_UndeadMystery and Horror, LLC – This company was originally launched as a writing partnership between Gwen Mayo and Sarah Glenn, because they were going to the same conventions and events to promote their books, but the two decided in 2013 to expand into publishing, and have already published four anthologies (and apparently will continue to focus exclusively on that format).  M&H has a strong secondary focus on humor, with half of their books to date featuring a horror/humor hybrid approach — Strangely Funny and the unfortunately titled Ha-Ha Horror.  Formats: trade paperback and ebook.

 

Sirens_MentalSiren’s Call Publications – Self-described as “an edgy/dark Fiction Publisher interested in stories of Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery and Suspense,” Siren’s Call — which is owned and operated by three women — also seems to have a pretty strongy emphasis on romance, with four of their nine titles to date either primarily or secondarily focused on that genre.  As you can gather from those numbers, Siren’s Call just barely qualifies for inclusion on our list, with five of their titles falling into the horror /thriller category.  Representative titles include The Undying Love by Greg McCabe and Days With the Undead by Julianne Snow, both post-zombie-apocalypse tales, and Siren’s Call books are available in the usual trade paperback and ebook formats.

StrangeH_vomitStrange House Books – Named after its founder, Kevin Strange, the moniker also describes the press’ purpose, which — as described on their website — is to “showcase the most bizarre, horrific, weird, and downright Strange fiction the genre has to offer.”  In business for just over a year at this point, Strange House has already published fourteen titles, including nine novels, four anthologies, and one collection.  Somewhat disconcertingly, five of the nine novels are by Strange himself (never a good sign when a founder is so fixated on publishing their own work).  Strange House is clearly treading the same bizarro ground as Eraserhead Press and LegumeMan Books, as evidenced by some of their book titles: Alien Smut Peddlers From the Future; Dinner at the Vomitropolis; and Vampire Guts in Nuke Town.

StrangeW_TwistedStrange, Weird, and Wonderful Publishing – Cross-genre publisher of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with five titles to their credit so far — three anthologies, all edited by D.L. Russell and Sharon Black; a novel; and a collection.  SW&W employs an extremely bare-bones website, and while their submissions page talks about acquiring electronic rights as well as print rights, their books seems to so far be available only in trade paperback format.

 

 

 

Stumar_SpareStumar Press – A UK-based ebook-only publisher launched in 2011, the press’ name is a combination of the founders’ names (Stuart Hughes and Mark West).  Stumar debuted with an anthology and has since published collections by Stuart Young, Sara Jayne Townsend, and Hughes, with another anthology and a collection of collaborative stories, by Tim Lebbon and D.F. Lewis, having been announced.  In the “not-so-good news” department, their website looks to not have been updated since 2012, so they’re going to immediately sport an asterisk next to their name on the list.

 

Vamp2_WalkingVampires2 Publishing Company– Sigh.  It pains me to include publishers like this on the list, but…based on my criteria, they qualify.  Featuring a website straight out of 1995, Vampires2 has published 24 titles — some really only short stories in length, all in ebook format, and all with horrendously amateurish covers. Enough said.

 

 

 

 

Villipede_AbsenceVillipede Publications – Featuring a stylish website (bordering on style over substance, actually, with some annoying display and user experience issues), Villipede debuted in 2011 with a science fiction anthology, but has since followed up with the horror novel The Absence of Light by J. Daniel Stone and the horror anthology Darkness Ad Infinitum, and have announced a collection.  Paperback and ebook formats.

 

 

Publishers Removed From The List

I’ve been allowing a lot of questionable publishers (questionable in terms of whether they’re truly still active)  to cling to the list for far too long.  A culling of the herd is way overdue, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.

I considered removing all of the presses listed below… some I wound up moving to the “Defunct” list, some I declared dormant and moved to the “Excluded Publishers” list, and some I kept on the Active Publisher list, with an asterisk to denote their borderline status.  See the comments for each publisher for details:

  • Alter Ego Books – Dormant; published one title (a chapbook) in 2011, with nothing announced on their website since then.
  • Annihilation Press – Although they’re putting out some comics, Roger Dale Trexler’s press has been dormant as a book publisher since 2009.
  • Babbage Press – Dormant; website was last updated in January 2011, and when I tried to email Babbage to query their status, my message got bounced back because their mailbox was full.  Seems like no one’s minding the store.  Press owner Lydia Marano is a friend from long ago, but… I’m declaring this press dormant.
  • Bandersnatch Books – Defunct; website has been taken over by Asian squatters; Bandersnatch is deader than dead.
  • BlackSails Press – Defunct before they started; no updates to website since 2011; no titles ever published.
  • Blade Red Press – Dormant; no posts on their site since April 2011.
  • Bloodletting Press – Defunct; the lease expired on the website name registration, and the name been taken over by another party. However, former Bloodletting Press owner Larry Roberts is still publishing other imprints (see Arcane Wisdom).
  • Coscom Entertainment – Dormant; no posts to site since April 2011.
  • Dark Prints Press – Announced minimum 1-year hiatus 7/13/13, so I’m keeping them on the list, but giving them an asterisk.
  • Dark Scribe Press – Defunct; no posts since 2010; apparently no books published since 2009.
  • Darkwood Press – Defunct; although the primary imprint Fairwood Press (which is non-horror) continues to publish, sub-imprint Darkwood appears to have gone dark.
  • Dead Letter Press – Nothing published in a long time, but press owner indicates they’re not dead yet, so they’ll stay on the list with an asterisk.
  • DHG Press – Defunct; lease expired on website name registration.
  • Elder Signs Press – No new titles published since Fall of 2011, but they did post in May 2013 that one of their titles will be translated and published in Spain, so I’ll keep them on the list and give them an asterisk.
  • E-volve Books – Defunct; website has been down for more than three months. That’s more than enough cause to declare them dead.
  • Haunted Computer Books – Dormant; no posts since March 2011.
  • Hersham Horror Books – No posts on their site since 2011, but they did publish a book in May 2012, so they’ll continue to stay on the list, with an asterisk, for now.
  • Library of the Living Dead Press – Defunct; no posts on website since 2011; no activity on Facebook page since 2010.
  • Mythos Books – Dormant; no new titles since May 2010.
  • Necessary Evil Press – Dormant; no books released or posts made to site since April 2011.
  • Necropolitan Press – Dormant; no titles released since 2009.
  • Pill Hill Press – Defunct; closed their doors January 2013.
  • Sideshow Press – Dormant; no posts (or titles published) since April 2011.  (Update: as per comments below, I’ve added Sideshow back to the list.)
  • Spectre Library – Dormant; no posts (or titles published) since Spring 2011.
  • Strange Publications – Dormant; no posts (or titles published) since March 2011.
  • Triskaideka books – Defunct; website down; no posts on Facebook page since September 2011, when they announced that they were suspending an anthology.
  • War of the Words Press – Defunct before they started; never published the Weird War anthology that they announced, and showed off a very cool cover for (which can still be seen on their dormant Facebook page).

In sum: I’ve added 15 new presses to the Active Publisher list, and removed 23, for a net reduction of eight, and a new total of 183 publishers on the list.

Q2 2013 Roundup of New Publishers

First off, apologies for the lack of any new reviews from me lately.  I started a new job in late March and have been busy drinking from the proverbial firehose.  As fate would have it, the period leading up to mid-June is the busiest time of the year for the group I work in, so I’ll continue in slightly-overwhelmed mode for a couple more weeks, but have a ton of stuff queued up for review and will start catching up asap, starting with a two-fer review of a pair of titles by Ian Rogers.

In the meantime… it’s been more than six months since our last roundup of new publishers, so let’s take stock of who’s newly entered the fray (or recently been discovered):

Biting Dog Publications – A past publisher of titles by Nancy Collins, Neil Gaiman, and Jack Ketchum, Biting Dog had been moved from the Active Publisher list to the dormant and defunct section, but recently re-emerged with more than 30 ebooks.  Authors include Collins (eight titles), Neal Barrett, Jr. (seven titles), Sara Brooke (four titles), and John Paul Allen (three titles).  Several of their “titles” are just short stories, but they also have some book-length works as well.  There’s no editorial presence whatsoever on the website — no indication of why BDP went dormant for quite a while, why they’re suddenly back, or whether they intend to publish any more print books.

$(KGrHqYOKnUE1OjcYQmiBNdZSC!bCQ~~_35Dybbuk Press – Another press that is getting promoted, at least temporarily, from the dormant section back to the Active Publisher list, although it’s not clear whether Dybbuk is really back to stay.  The last post on their website, from August 2012, indicates that they’re almost done reading for an anthology entitled King David and the Spider From Mars.  The lack of any further updates in nine months doesn’t seem promising. To date, Dybbuk has published eight titles, in both trade paperback and ebook format, in their nine-year history, with the most recent titles being an anthology and a collection by Michael Hemmingson. I’ll give Dybbuk the benefit of  the doubt for the moment, but their stay on the Active Publisher list may be very short-lived.

HM2800_600Horrific Tales Publishing – A UK-based publisher that has released two books to date, the werewolf novels High Moor and High Moor 2 by Graeme Reynolds, with each available in trade paperback and ebook format.  As far as I can so far tell, HTP is not a self-publishing enterprise, but if I do find that to be the case, then I’ll remove them from the list. Edit: in late-breaking news, I just confirmed that HTP is, in fact, Reynolds’ own site, so I won’t be adding the press to the list of legitimate publishers (unless/until they publish work by other authors).  I will, however, go ahead and leave in this description so that it’s apparent why they’ve been excluded. 

 

Frights Cover 3-22-12Horror Zine Books – This press is an offshoot of horror website thehorrorzine.com (which has been around since 2009, but unfortunately looks like a GeoCities site circa 1996), and the brainchild of author/editor Jeanni Rector.  HZB has produced A Feast of Frights, an anthology edited by Rector, as well as her novel Accused, a predisposition towards the publisher’s own work that is often not a good sign (at least not if you’re seeking, like me, to track true independent publishers, and not self-publishing enterprises).  However, Rector’s website and anthology efforts have garnered praise, and contributions, from some fairly big names in the genre, including Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Joe Lansdale, and Tom Piccirilli.  I think the two titles mentioned above are the only ones HZB has published, but I’ll be damned if I can tell for sure: the website’s organization is an abomination; for example, clicking on the Books link in the navigation bar leads not to a page on the books HZB has published, as one might expect, but rather to a page of book reviews.  Two earlier Rector-edited anthologies promoted on the site, What Fears Become and Shadow Masters, were produced by a different publisher (Imajin Books).

headerinsidenuovohome1bMezzotints – An Italian publisher that primarily produces genre work in the Italian language (with roughly 8 titles to date), they recently published an English-language-version ebook of Samuel Marolla’s Black Tea and Other Tales.  The thin collection gathers three previously published (in Italian) tales and is edited Benjamin Kane Ethridge, with an introduction by Gene O’Neill.  It remains to be seen whether Mezzotints will produce further English works or if this was a one-off curiosity.

 

DeadSoulsWS-e1358463780350Omnium Gatherum and Odium Media – Omnium, Odium… oh my!  OK, where was I?  Omnium Gatherum has actually been around since 2011 and is focused on, in the publisher’s own words, “providing unique dark fantasy fiction in print, ebook and audio formats. Dark fantasy fiction, as we define it, combines the best of fantasy and horror to comment on history, science, society or the human condition.” Of their 18 titles, the most notable are probably two titles, Knock Knock and Delphine Dodd, by the highly regarded S.P. Miskowski.  Odium Medium, meanwhile, is the publisher’s horror imprint.  They state that the imprint publishes “horror fiction with young adult protagonists and bring(s) classic horror tales back into print.” The YA focus of their original titles is interesting, if seemingly a bit inconsistent with their reprint philosophy.  Titles to date include reprints of Michael Laimo’s Dead Souls and Rick Hautala’s The Wildman, as well as an original novel by Dean Harrison.  Strangely, there seems to be no links from the Omnium Gatherum site to the Odium Media site.  Equally strangely, the idea of actually selling books seems somewhat foreign to the Omnium site — there is no e-commerce aspect to the site, and links to Amazon are somewhat hidden (only available by clicking on book covers).  It’s worth noting that the two website have some some intro graphics that are cool if you’re working with plenty of bandwidth, but annoying if you’re not.  Finally, The founder of the twin imprints, Kate Jonez, is also a writer, with a debut novel due this summer from Evil Jester Press.

cover-art-pstd-3-feb-26-version-2Postscripts to Darkness – I’m going to with this as the name of this publisher, even though the actual publisher listed on their titles is “Ex Hubris Imprints.”  But the latter doesn’t have a website (or any web presence) while the former does have a site… and as far as I can tell, the two are one and the same.  Regardless, PSTD (their website tagline rather cutely says “Pssst…Dear Darkness…Are you there?”) is a Canadian publisher of three anthologies, entitled Postscripts to Darkness volumes 1, 2, and 3.  Publisher Sean Moreland was apparently inspired by a locally-funded visit to Canada by Glen Hirshberg and Peter Atkins’ long-running annual Rolling Darkness Revue, and he formed PSTD as a result.  Their volumes are short (at least one running less than 100 pages), composed of short-short stories and some non-fiction, available in hard-copy format (either trade paperback or chapbook — I’m not sure of the binding) and are planned to appear twice yearly.  There’s no indication that they’re looking to publish anything beyond this anthology series.

The_Wicked_-_James_NewmanShock Totem Publications – Many publishers in the horror genre first get their feet wet printing a magazine before graduating to books, and Shock Totem Publications is a perfect example of this.  Shock Totem magazine debuted in 2009, with six issues having appeared so far, and fiction by the likes of Cate Gardner, Jack Ketchum, and John Skipp.  The move to books came in 2012 with a limited-edition reprint of James Newman’s novel, The Wicked, which featured a nicely done, retro-style cover with faux creases and bumps.  A collection by Mercedes M. Yardley has followed, with the limited edition including a separate chapbook.  Shock Totem’s regular editions are available in both trade paperback and ebook formats.

SWVol2-WebTradeCoverSomething Wicked Books – Similar to Shock Totem above, Something Wicked began its life as a print magazine in 2006, publishing both horror and science fiction, before converting to an online magazine in 2011, with 19 total issues published to date.  SWB is unique on our list, being the only South African publisher, meaning that many of the authors they’ve published in the magazine and in their two, annual, trade-paperback Something Wicked anthologies are unfamiliar names to U.S. readers (even though SWB points out that they buy from authors all over the globe).  A few of the bigger names include Abigail Godsell, Nick Wood, Lauren Beukes, and Cate Gardner (mentioned above as a Shock Totem author as well).  As with Postscripts to Darkness, the actual publisher listed sports a different name but doesn’t really represent the publications in question (Something Wicked’s publisher, Inkless Media, does have a website, but it contains no direct information on the books published), and so the Something Wicked magazine site is what I’ve linked here.

theamulet_medValancourt Books – This is a truly borderline inclusion, as I’ve excluded many publishers from the list for the reason that the majority of their titles are non-horror, and Valancourt Books certainly meets that description.  I can’t bring myself to exclude them, however, given the roster of horror names that they do publish: John Blackburn, Basil Copper, Gerald Kersh, and Michael McDowell, to name a few.  Valancourt has been around since 2005, when they were formed with the idea of using “modern technology to restore widespread access to rare, neglected, and out-of-print literature.”  Their titles are published in trade paperback form, and they have several book lines, with the most notable being 20th Century Classics, Gothic Classics, and “Valancourt Classics.”

As may be apparent from the descriptions above, it’s starting to feel like we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to finding new publishers.  Not surprising (nor necessarily a bad thing), given that there’s the rather astounding total of 185 publishers on the active horror publisher list.  When I started compiling this list a few years ago, even though I considered myself something of an authority on the small press at the time, I had no inkling the list would grow to include so many publishers.

Is the large number of publishers a sign that the economy is better than believed, at least when it comes to genre book buyers and b00k collectors?  Or is it a case of too many people who don’t know what they’re doing throwing their hat in the publishing ring and producing works that perhaps shouldn’t see the light of day?

You decide.

News, Views & Interview for CD #65

The following will appear as the “News and Views” and “Interview” sections of my Spotlight on Publishing column in Cemetery Dance #65.  The “Reviews” portion of the column will be comprised of reviews that have appeared previously on this website, so followers of this site are in essence getting the entirety of my column ahead of time, albeit in a different sequence.

NEWS & VIEWS

It seems there’s seldom a dull moment in the horror small press field, and the last few months have been no exception.

Let’s start by acknowledging the newcomers to our ranks. In recent months, we’ve seen new publishers Chômu Press, Noose & Gibbet Publishing, and Uninvited Books join the fray. Each of the three seems intriguing in their own way.  Chômu Press’s inaugural title, Remember You’re a One-Ball, by Quentin S. Crisp, lives up to the press’s slogan of “new vistas of irreality,” while their other announced titles display an affinity for the styles and settings of yesteryear. Witness Reggie Oliver’s The Dracula Papers, which opens in 1576; Daniel Mills’s Revenants, which is set in 1689; and Justin Isis’s I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like, which is written in a style that’s compared to Oscar Wilde and Villiers de L’isle-Adam.

Noose & Gibbet also features a nostalgic bent, but of a slightly more contemporary fashion. Their sold-out debut title Back From the Dead is a tribute anthology of mostly new stories, dedicated to the Pan Books of Horror series that ran from 1959 to 1989, and their announced second title is the collection Party Pieces by Mary Danby, longtime editor of, and contributor to, the Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories series during the 1970s and early ‘80s. Uninvited Books, meanwhile, has so far been a bit all over the map, with the anthology Shadows, which contains classic reprints, and new novels from Greg F. Gifune (already sold out) and Robert Dunbar.

These new publishers have been added to the list of active horror small presses that I maintain online at www.twilightridge.net/blog/?page_id=19.

On the negative side of the ledger, we’ve recently seen a few presses apparently fall by the wayside, with the two confirmed cases being longtime publisher Necro Publications and promising upstart Full Moon Press. Necro, as many readers of this column will know, had specialized in edgy and explicit horror (with occasional forays into bizarro fiction via their Bedlam Press imprint), publishing the likes of Edward Lee, Jeffrey Thomas, and John Everson. In a statement on the Necro Publications website, founder David Barnett announced he was putting the press on hold indefinitely as he deals with some significant health issues.

As unfortunate as Barnett’s situation is, it’s trumped by the tribulations faced by Full Moon Press founder Paul Little, who announced via an email that, due to Lyme Disease contracted almost 20 years ago, he was unlikely to live to see 2011 and was thus shutting down the press. Full Moon managed to publish only two titles – Rick Hautala’s The Wildman and a reprint of Joseph Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla – but had an intriguing lineup planned, including titles by the likes of Scott Nicholson and David Niall Wilson.

In other interesting news, Delirium Press founder Shane Ryan Staley essentially introduced the concept of Personal Seat Licenses to small press publishing.  For the uninformed, Personal Seat Licenses, or PSLs, give the holder the right to buy season tickets for a certain seat in a stadium. The PSL holder can sell the seat license to someone else if they no longer wish to purchase season tickets. PSLs are generally regarded as a creative way for sports teams to make more money – or a borderline scam, depending on your point of view. Building on the concept of collectors who prefer to own the same numbered copy of each limited edition issued by a particular press, Staley auctioned off “first refusal” rights to numbered titles from his new press, Altar 13, which will produce 100-copy micro-editions. Staley clarifies the rights thusly: “These auctions are NOT lifetime memberships.  Winning bidders will not be getting any books; they will be purchasing ownership of the number upon the terms of first rights of refusal for every title published by Altar 13.” Buyers of Altar 13 numbers had better hope that the books hold their value better than season tickets have for some of those pro sports teams.

Finally…up until now, I’ve avoided covering digital-only publishers, either in this column or on twilightridge.net, but the changing face of publishing dictates that my approach should also change. I’ll start my coverage of digital publishers by briefly covering one promising newcomer and one example of caveat emptor.

Crossroad Press, the brainchild of author David Niall Wilson, produces both digital and downloadable audio books, and also acts as a reseller for ebooks from other publishers. Wilson describes Crossroad Press as being: “…dedicated to returning out of print titles in new, modern formats, and to creating original high-quality audio books by authors that have otherwise been ignored in that format.” Although the press offers titles across genres, their early titles show a healthy inclination towards horror, featuring authors such as Tom Piccirilli and Chet Williamson.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Lovecraft Press, a firm that managed to both debut and (apparently) flame out in less than a year. As of this writing, there are numerous accusations from writers of contracts not being fulfilled, while the Lovecraft Press website consists of only a single page, unfettered by useful information. Perhaps H.P. Lovecraft can quit spinning in his grave in shame over the usage of his name, as Lovecraft Press seems to be trying to revive itself under the new name Afterlife Publications. At this point, Afterlife/Lovecraft appears to be another textbook example of how not to launch a small press.

INTERVIEW

Bad Moon Books is owned and operated by Roy Robbins in Garden Grove, CA. Robbins began operating as a bookseller in 1993 and then in 2007 made the move into publishing, and has already published more than 30 titles. Bad Moon Books’ publications include limited edition paperbacks and hardcovers (and the occasional trade edition).  Several Bad Moon titles have been nominated for Bram Stoker Awards, and John R. Little’s Miranda win the 2008 Bram Stoker Award for “Superior Achievement in Long Fiction.”

CD: You were a specialty bookseller before getting into publishing. When did you start the bookselling business, and what was the impetus for that?

BMB: First off, I just want to thank you for doing this interview. I have known Rich for over 20 years, and it is in honor to be in CD. I started selling books way back in 1982. I had given my wife a copy of The Dead Zone by Stephen King and she never read it. I picked it up, and was instantly hooked. I read everything by King that I could get my hands on. I bought a copy of the limited edition of Cycle of the Werewolf and was soon a rabid collector. It was the heyday of small presses like Dark Harvest and I started buying multiple copies and selling them to get my copy for free, and eventually even make a little money. I left my job at Hughes Aircraft Company in 1993 and started selling books full time. My first method of selling was printed and mailed catalogs, but soon the Internet took over. I have owned two brick and mortar bookstores but now am internet only.

CD: What prompted you to make the move into publishing in 2007?

BMB: Being in the business for as long as I have, I have gotten to know many people in the industry including a large number of authors. My right hand woman, Liz Scott, had been prompting me for many years to get into publishing and finally I just got tired of her bugging me. We sent out requests for manuscripts in mid 2006 and Wes Ochse’s Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way was our first book.

CD: How did you settle on the Bad Moon name?

BMB: Back when I was doing stapled and mailed catalogs I figured that I needed a catchy name that would roll off the tongue, but still had a sinister aspect to it. I have always been a big fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the rest is history.

CD: Who else, besides yourself, is involved in Bad Moon Books?

BMB: Liz Scott is my associate editor, office manager, shipper, and muse; Cesar Puch (who, by the way lives in Peru) is my designer and typesetter; Jamie LaChance and Leigh Haig are my copy editors; Matthew JLD Rice did my logo designs; and of course my wife Jeanine puts up with the countless hours of publishing-related work.

CD: In the first three years of your press’s existence, you produced six, six, and fifteen titles. Do you hope to keep expanding your production, or have you reached a level that you’re content with?

BMB: In all honesty, I would like to stay at about 10-12 titles per year. Just recently we have begun to do some print-on-demand publishing and I am very excited about that venture as it allows us to put out quality titles without a huge cash outlay up front. With the current economic situation, people are being much more frugal with their expendable income and we have to be sensitive to that. POD allows us to print the number of copies needed to fulfill orders and not carry large amounts of inventory.

CD: Publishing Clive Barker’s The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus in 2009 was obviously a major coup for you. How did you come to publish that book?

BMB: I have been friends with Clive for quite some time. I also be came friends with Hans Rueffert of Luna 7 and had been selling quite a few of Clive’s giclees (original looking prints), which are produced by Luna 7. I felt that Bad Moon really needed a heavy hitter author to give us a shot in the arm, so I asked Clive if he had anything we could publish and he turned over Bacchus. He had written Bacchus as a teenager but it had never been printed. At the time of this writing we are still planning on doing another Barker titled Candle in the Cloud that Clive wrote many years ago.

CD: Simon Clark is another relatively “big name” that you’ve published…how did you acquire his This Ghosting Tide?

BMB: Simon and I met at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City back in 2008. I asked him at that time if he had anything he would like to submit to us in novella length. About 6 months later he submitted This Ghosting Tide. I hope to work with Simon again in the future as it has been a pleasure.

CD: Up until recently, your largest print run had been 326 copies. But then you produced 1800+ copies of the Barker title, and three “unlimited” edition titles. Does this signal a change in your publishing philosophy, or will you continue to produce smaller, limited editions as well?

BMB: I feel at this time in the life of Bad Moon Books that it is a good idea to be realistic when it comes to print run sizes. Keep in mind that an “unlimited” print run does not always mean that it is going to be a huge one. In the past, we have printed 300 copy runs and had them around for awhile. Unlimited means that we can have the luxury of only printing what we need. I do not ever see us increasing our print runs much, unless it is for a Barker, or one of the other “heavy hitters.”

CD: Out of the 30 titles you’ve published to date, only six have been novels. Do you plan to publish more novels in the future, or will you continue to focus more on novellas and chapbooks?

BMB:  By the time this interview is published, it will be nine novels as Vintage Soul by David Niall Wilson, Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon, and The Dead Parade by James Roy Daley will have been published. Both Liz and I really love the novella format, so I would say that the majority of our titles will be novellas. In fact, we started out intending to only publish novellas, but had some novels offered that were too good to pass up. I like the novella format as it can introduce new authors and you can get your feet wet without having to take a whole bath.

CD: Besides the Barker book, which titles have been your fastest sellers?

BMB:  Gene O’Neill’s The Confessions of St. Zach sold quickly, as did Miranda by John R. Little (which, by the way, we have recently reprinted). Our latest publication Blood Spring by Erik Williams has had brisk sales (it has been favorably compared to Laymon’s The Wilds), and Gene O’Neill’s novels Lost Tribe and Shadow of the Dark Angel, and Cletus by David Niall Wilson also sold very quickly.

CD: You’ve published four titles by Gene O’Neill and three by John Urbancik – is it safe to say that those two authors are personal favorites of yours?

BMB: Even though I have not known Gene all that long (we first met in San Francisco at WHC in 2007), he is someone I consider to be a very special author, and more importantly friend. Our lives have some interesting parallels (even though he is MUCH OLDER…lol) and I feel as if I have known him for many years. Gene is a fine man, father, grandfather, husband, author and friend. I am proud to publish his work and call him friend. I don’t even like Urbancik, but he is always bugging me. Just kidding! I have never met John in person but I enjoy publishing his work because it is, to borrow a famous quote, “like a box of chocolates.” I honestly feel if we had been a better-known publisher when we did his novella Wings of the Butterfly, it would have won a Stoker for long fiction.

CD:  You’ve published six titles in your Eclipse series.  What are the criteria for books in that series? Do you plan to continue with the series for the foreseeable future?

BMB: From now on, any novel-length books we publish will be in our Eclipse line. Really, from now on, that is the only criteria.

CD: Who are some authors that you have not yet published who you’d like to add to the Bad Moon Books stable?

BMB: Well, one that instantly comes to mind is that unknown named Stephen King. I would also love to work with Joe Hill, Brian Keene, F. Paul Wilson, Ray Garton, Joe R. Lansdale, and a bunch more.

CD: Five years from now, where would you like Bad Moon Books to be?

BMB: I would like us to be pretty much the same thing we are doing today. I would love to see the economy turn around so we can begin to raise print runs again. I want to always be known for publishing quality dark fiction that is not considered to be “over the top.” Liz and I and our spouses are all devoted Christians so we will never ransom our faith to publish something that is too extreme. It would be nice to continue to have our authors win awards from their peers as this indicates we are picking some cool stuff to publish.

Bad Moon Books Publications List

Novels

  • Johnny Gruesome by Greg Lamberson (2007): 26- and 250-copy editions.
  • As Fate Would Have It by Michael Louis Calvillo (2009): 26- and l50-copy editions.
  • The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus by Clive Barker (2009): 1500-, 300-, 26-, and 10-copy editions

Eclipse Series

  • The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & the Currently Accepted Habits of Nature by David Niall Wilson (2008):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Little Graveyard on the Prairie by Steven E. Wedel (2009):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Lost Tribe by Gene O’Neill (2009):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Shadow of the Dark Angel by Gene O’Neill (2009):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Crimson by Gord Rollo (2010):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Monster Town / The Butcher of Box Hill by Logan Savile aka Brian M. Logan and Steve Savile (2010): 26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Vintage Soul by David Niall Wilson (2010): 26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon (2010): 26- and 100-copy editions.
  • The Dead Parade by James Roy Daley: 26- and 100-copy editions.

Novellas

  • House of Shadow and Ash by John Urbancik (2007):  150-copy edition.
  • Wings of the Butterfly by John Urbancik (2007):  26- and 300-copy editions.
  • Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way by Wes Ochse (2007): 26- and 300-copy editions.
  • You In? by Kealan Patrick Burke (2007):  26- and 300-copy editions.
  • Restore From Backup by J. F. Gonzalez & Mike Oliveri (2007): 26- and 300-copy editions.
  • Plague Monkey Spam by Steve Vernon (2008): 26- and 200-copy editions.
  • The Scrubs by Simon Janus (AKA Simon Wood) (2008): 26- and 200-copy editions.
  • The Bitchfight by Michael Arnzen (2008):  26- and 200-copy editions.
  • The Confessions of St. Zach by Gene O’Neill (2008):  26- and 200-copy editions.
  • Miranda (AKA adnariM) by John R. Little (October 2008):  26-copy, 250-copy and unlimited trade editions.
  • The Gray Zone by John R. Little (2009):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • The Hunger of Empty Vessels by Scott Edelman (2009):  26- and 150-copy editions.
  • The Better Year by Bridget Morrow (2009):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • Necropolis by John Urbancik (2009):  26- and 100-copy editions.
  • The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton (2009):  26- and 150-copy editions.
  • This Ghosting Tide by Simon Clark (2009):  26- and 300-copy editions.
  • Doc Good’s Traveling Show by Gene O’Neill (2009):  26- and 200-copy editions.
  • The Watching by Paul Melniczek (2009):  26- and 150-copy editions. Bonus chapbook Bad Candy was offered to buyers who pre-ordered copies.
  • Lord of the Lash and Our Lady of the Boogaloo by Weston Ochse (2009):  26- and 200-copy editions.
  • The Day Before by John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow (2009): unlimited trade edition.
  • 51 Fiendish Ways to Leave Your Lover by Lisa Mannetti (2010): unlimited trade edition.
  • Blood & Gristle by Michael Louis Calvillo (2010): unlimited trade edition.