I want to take the words and time allotted me here to write a little bit about the other side of the writing game?publishing. There are a lot of sites on the Internet, and a lot of newsletters, fanzines, and even slick hardcover manuals to help you decide where to submit your work as a writer, explaining guidelines and print runs, genres and formats that will help you to find your way into print.
What you won't find much of is instructions or guidelines for becoming a publisher. There are literally thousands of publishers now, of various types, levels, and competence. You can go from the photocopied fanzine or the book on a floppy disk all the way up to Putnam and Simon & Schuster, and there are so many levels in between it can boggle the mind.
And there are differences. What I want to cover here is my own thoughts on smaller, independent publishing, things that should be, things that are, and things that should not be. I want to cover the responsibility of setting yourself up to publish, the costs and labor you can expect to incur, and how to keep from imploding before you get up a good head of steam.
I'm not speaking just off the cuff here. I published "The Tome" for several years, was involved in Macabre Inc., a small-press venture that published limited collections, and I've been on the periphery of a number of presses, both smaller and larger, seen them grow and fall, fly and fail. And I've written for a great number of them.
So here's rule number one. Dig it, you can't become a publisher or an editor, just by saying you are one. I started out publishing "The Tome" because I was convinced that I could do better than other publications I was familiar with. I learned how to be better, the hard way, but if I'd had this...