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ChiZine Publications (my full-time job!)

November 2nd, 2009 No comments

Hey, folks. This is my first post here since my friend Davey Pig Wilson asked me to join the crew. I’m really not that big of a blogger (my own LiveJournal is mostly used for ChiZine Publications updates these days), but Dave says I’m in a somewhat unique position, being a writer, editor, and full-blown publisher (CZP is now my full-time gig).

Anyway, Dave said I can talk about anything so I figured I’d just blather on a bit about where CZP is currently at, since that’s what’s been occupying 90% of my time this past year.

We’ve published seven books to date, with another 12 coming next year. The first seven have been very critically well received, and the sales have been fairly solid, too. We do both beautiful signed limited edition hardcovers, available exclusively through Horror Mall, and unlimited trade paperbacks, available directly from our site, through all the major online retailers, as well as nationwide across Canada through our sales force, The Literary Press Group and their distribution arm, LitDistCo. We’re also currently in negotiations with a very well-known distributor in the States, who’ve offered us US and UK distribution. We also recently began releasing digital editions (PDF, MOBI, EPUB) exclusively through Horror Mall.

So yeah, things are going pretty well. But a lot of you reading this either know me, or at least know that I used to work as an editor on the educational side of publishing. For those who don’t know me, I worked for Harcourt Canada for seven years, then Scholastic Canada for three years. So why the switch to trade publishing? Well, I was canned from Scholastic back in November of ’08, so the decision was sort of made for me.

And I can honestly say it’s the best thing that could’ve happened.

Sandra (Kasturi, my wife and business partner in CZP) and I had released two titles by the time I got sacked from Scholastic (after 10 years in educational publishing, my heart was simply no longer in it and it had become evident in my quality of work). but we’d always intended the print offshoot of Chiaroscuro: Treatments of Light and Shade in Words to be quarterly. Once the job loss situation settled in, though—helped not at all by the crushed economy—we decided it was either keep hunting (probably fruitlessly) for another educational job I would probably loathe in two months, or sack up and dive in with both feet.

With Sandra’s full support, I sacked up and we decided to increase production—shit economy be damned!

Our first seven books include novels, novellas, and short story collections from Brent Hayward (Filaria), Robert Boyczuk (Horror Story and Other Horror Stories), Lavie Tidhar & Nir Yaniv (The Tel Aviv Dossier), Daniel A. Rabuzzi (The Choir Boats), Robert J. Wiersema (The World More Full of Weeping), Claude Lalumière (Objects of Worship), and David Nickle (Monstrous Affections)—the latter of which has received starred reviews by both Quill & Quire and Publisher’s Weekly. And our spring 2010 line-up consists of offerings from Nicholas Kaufmann, Douglas Smith, Gemma Files, Simon Logan, Tim Lebbon, and Philip Nutman—many of which will be launched in Brighton, England at the World Horror Convention in March.

Having done this for nearly a year now, it’s hard to picture doing anything else. I love every aspect of it. Don’t get me wrong—running a business is a fuckload of work, and the stress of not having that paycheque every two weeks (something I’d never previously been without) takes a bit of getting used to. But when you’re doing something you’re proud of, something that you made happen, that you were in control of from start to finish . . . goddamn. I feel nearly as much pride when I get an author’s book back from the printer and hold it in my hands as I do when I get one of my own novels or short story collections in the mail. That feeling of excitement and potential is there nearly monthly, and it’s a feeling I could never have had if I’d stayed on at educational publishers.

I don’t believe in all this shit about things being “meant to happen”; I don’t think there’s any such thing as “destiny.” I believe we create our own paths and we either drive down them or we step the fuck off and go in another direction, for better or worse. But sometimes we get pushed off our paths, and sometimes it’s for the best, even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

So yeah, I’m one proud motherfuckin’ small business owner right now, and I hope, with the help of Sandra, Erik Mohr (our brilliant book designer), and Matt Moore (our publicist) to build this little machine into a force to be reckoned with. If you’ve heard of us and have bought our books, thank you so much; if you’re only hearing of us for the first time, I sincerely hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Cheers, all!

Brett Alexander Savory
Co-Publisher, ChiZine Publications (CZP)
http://chizinepub.com

p.s. – We’ve been an invite-only press since our inception, but sometime around mid-November we’re going to open our doors to all and sundry. So polish up those manuscripts, and keep watching the website!