2003: The UK Small Press in Review

Mar 21, 16:15 by John Frost
What do you think? Did Lavie miss anything important? What else should be said about what's happening in Jolly Olde?
Mar 22, 11:53 by Sean Wallace
Lavie,

I would have to disagree with your statement that the small press is in a vibrant stage. It's more in a standby mode than anything else. With few exceptions like Sarob, Telos, PS Publishing, the British small press market hasn't changed much in recent years, or decades, for that matter. Publishers come and go or go relatively stagnant, as evidenced by Big Engine (folded, for a number of reasons) and Razorblade (which did release one title last year, I think) and the output has pretty much remained the same. The only thing that has changed is the relative shift to more and more collector's editions to make these operations work, I suspect. This also leads into the paragraph below . . .

I don't quite see the truth in this statement: "Crowther is proving that there is still enough faith in the short story to launch a new professional magazine" The fact that he's putting out a collector's edition, more than often not designed to subsidise the printing of the regular edition, usually means that without it, it wouldn't last long. Or else struggle. It's a technique being used by a number of launching magazines, including Argosy and HP Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror and Adventure Tales.

I contend that markets are actually shrinking, not expanding. Refute that :-)

Sean
Mar 22, 13:13 by Lavie Tidhar
Sean,

I would have to disagree with your statement that the small press is in a vibrant stage. It's more in a standby mode than anything else.

I don't quite disagree with you, and don't quite agree with you either. I have an ambivelance about the UK small press, but I do take heart from the fact that several new projects have come up, including Elastic Press, and several new magazines such as Jupiter, Fusing Horizons, Horror Express
(2004), and I admire the concept (if not all the content) of the low-cost chapbooks from D-Press. How many of these will last I do not know. But surely the fact they appear in the first place signals a growth, not a stagnation?

With few exceptions like Sarob, Telos, PS Publishing, the British small press market hasn't changed much in recent years, or decades, for that matter

With all due respect, these aren't the exceptions, they are the UK small press market...

The fact that he's putting out a collector's edition, more than often not designed to subsidise the printing of the regular edition, usually means that without it, it wouldn't last long

I'm not sure I understand your argument. So what if they are collector's editions? I am a collector myself, which was what drew me to purchase PS Publishing books in the first place. Some collectors do actually read... I think POD is much more critically viewed than limited editions, not least because the business model prohibits paying advances, but both are valid ways to produce books (Elastic Press are POD; PS does collectors editions. I like both, and recognise that they publish different material for which different modes are appropriate).

Lavie.
Mar 25, 04:26 by Sean Wallace
Lavie,

Surely the fact they appear in the first place signals a growth, not a stagnation?

In what way is this different than any other period? Small press magazines (and publishers) come and go every day.

I'm not sure I understand your argument. So what if they are collector's editions? I am a collector myself, which was what drew me to purchase PS Publishing books in the first place.

I'm not quite following you. We're talking about magazines and the utilisation of collector's magazine editions to finance the regular edition. From what I recall Postscripts will be released in a limited edition with the regular newstand edition. This could mean anything.

Sean
   

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