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The Deixis Press Weekly - Issue #52
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been getting back into the swing of things after my long contract, and I’ve spent most of my time trying to make sure The Burn Street Haunting and The Cartoon Life and Loves of a Stupid Man get a good start in life.
Upcoming book stuff
Some of you have been asking about the launch! We are again having a two-book launch party at Vout-O-Reenee’s on 10 November. I’ll send out proper invitations sometime this week, but it would be brilliant to have as many of you there as possible. If you want to come and I haven’t invited you before, please just let me know and I’ll add you to the list.
Both books have had really good response from advance readers. Here are some reviews:
Gadz has created something that feels truly horrific and nasty without, on reflection, ever writing anything gratuitous or obscene. It's the atmosphere that sells the vibe and that's a truly remarkable achievement.
Imagine Stephen King's IT filtered through the sensibilities of Thomas Ligotti and Ramsey Campbell, and you'll still be nowhere near prepared for where this ends up. Brilliant and unsettling.
The tension and sense of unease never lets up! Mr Gadz draws you into this man’s mind and then royally messes with you until you too feel like the supernatural entity that has been hunting the main character since childhood is out to get you too.
A stylistically brilliant novel with an extremely unreliable and troubled narrator … The sympathetic but obtuse central character and command of language and dialogue reminded me of the works of Nabokov and John Kennedy Toole. Strongly recommended.
It’s a slow burn of a story, well written and plotted, and progressively claustrophobic. I was totally sucked into the book, and had to tear myself away last night in order to go to sleep. The novel isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely not light reading. But for those who like literary novels with an edge, it’s definitely worth reading.
This is one of those novels that really defy genre expectations. It's intriguing, creepy in some instances, and very well written but it's not overtly horrific in the traditional sense … I recommend this book for those who want a quieter and slowly unsettling horror read. You'll find a lot in here to enjoy.
Pretty good, huh? Just remember: the success of books and small presses is mostly down to . . . selling copies. And if you are able to be involved in the buying part of that equation, my authors and I really appreciate it. If not, please just share news of upcoming/existing books (from any small press, not just this one!) with people you think could be interested. And please do also know that I do all I can to keep my books’ prices reasonable—not easy in current circumstances, but it’s just about ok.
My website (which I need to update, and again will try to do this week) currently says that submissions are likely to open in autumn 2023. That’s pretty firmly now, but I have not opened for submissions. Here are some reasons:
Some of my existing authors have books coming out next year and the next too (I hope with me), so my slate is already theoretically full, depending how much money I want to spend.
I’m still holding out hope that I’ll be able to publish some books I’ve seen in the past, where I didn’t have the money to take them on before.
I’d quite like to write something myself once I’ve got these two books out the door. I think I have a little window then if I don’t try to take anything else on straight away.
The thing I’d like to write is about what it really means to be published by a large publisher, and how there are better and healthier options for most authors than pursuing the big 5 (or even the slightly smaller however-many), especially early on in their writing careers.
You may have gathered that, despite being a publisher, I am not particularly pro-publisher, any more than I am pro any business, whether that be Coca-Cola or a locally-owned franchise or an independent clothing shop. That is, I don’t see any business as inherently evil (not even Amazon! as we have explored in these very pages), but I’m also not going to pretend that they aren’t commercial entities with correspondingly commercial priorities.
I’d like would-be authors to understand where legitimacy comes from in writing—and I can tell you for free right now that being traditionally published simply is not it. But in pursuit of that fictional legitimacy, writers strive for those big contracts, and they can easily end up getting chewed up and spat out, no less impoverished than before, having attracted the brief attention of a fickle, easily distracted audience.
I’d quite like to talk about these things in more depth. The question is whether I can make a whole book about them. Maybe, maybe not (but at least nobody is making me write to a minimum word count before dropping me like last week’s banana).
I’d also quite like to put something together to help people get started in self-publishing, which is something I VERY MUCH BELIEVE IN. I’d like to talk to them not only about the functional how-tos, but also about the real costs of doing it well, the pitfalls they are likely to face, and, ultimately, the liberation it can bring. And maybe that’s a separate book.
Or maybe both of these ideas are just a series of blog posts. I don’t know yet. But I’d like to take some time to myself over the next few months to figure out how to do it properly. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, and/or anything you feel passionately about that you’d like to hear represented in any part of this work, feel free to comment or email me. (Also if you think it’s a terrible idea.)