Monday, December 14, 2009

Here's to the Word of Mouth

Last Monday, I posted about the "power" of the internet. That post, in part, was a response to all the brouhaha surrounding John Scalzi vs. Black Matrix Publishing.

One commenter, Diana Lyles of Scribblers and Ink Spillers, LLC, suggested:

If you, the short story writers, want paying markets for your work, then support those magazines and journals that do pay.

That happened to be pretty darn close to one of my resolutions last year (buy something small press at least once a month). How'd I do?

Well...I subscribed to Necrotic Tissue, Kaleidotrope, Morpheus Tales, and Murky Depths. I purchased Shock Totem #1, and Black Ink Horror #5. I was fortunate enough to win copies of Malpractice and Barry Napier's Debris collection, and Grant's Pass. Camille Alexa's wonderful Push of the Sky, K.C. Shaw's delightful Jack of All Trades, and Michael Stone's magnificent Fourtold found their way to my door via Amazon. Finally, I'm awaiting R. Scott McCoy's debut, Feast from Shroud. Wait...wait...I picked up the bizarre and delicious The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon by Cate Gardner, too.

So, I could do better. Eleven small press subs or purchases (that I can remember) in twelve months came pretty darn close to my goal, but I did that without effort. Purchasing is one thing, but reviewing and getting out the word is something else entirely. I plan to amp up my small press promotion with a "reviews" blog, trying to mention something about everything I read from the "small press". Whatever small press means.

As Diane noted in her comment, word of mouth is the best promotion any work can get. I plan on blabbing a bit over the next year. Let's build this community. I'm calling my reviews ('cause they need a site of their own and blogs make me happy): Skull Salad Reviews. If you want to write reviews, I'd be happy to have the company. Drop me a line.

Have a wonderful Monday.

21 comments:

mylefteye said...

Same here. I committed to buying more small press books this year and have been rewarded with some terrific reads.

And thanks for calling Fourtold 'magnificent'.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I'm right there with you, Aaron, to help 'build the community'. I'm rolling up my sleeves, ready to apply mortar and a few bricks that were scavenged from an old, haunted house...

Aaron Polson said...

Michael - Fourtold was better than magnificent, but I'll save that for the Skull Salad review (it's on my slate).

Alan - Those are the best bricks. If you want to join the Skull Salad "team", let me know and I'll set up privleges.

Rebecca Nazar said...

Now who wouldn't want to saddle up to a Skull Salad bar? Good for you, community builder.

Cate Gardner said...

I think I shall steal this post and weave my own.

Yay! For Skull Salad Reviews.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Now I have to see how I did this year and, as you are quick to point out, the year isn't over.

katey said...

Definitely the way to go-- I'm a firm believer in talking about the stuff I read and like, obviously, for this very reason. Awesome!

Sophie Playle said...

Great post. I would love to read what you think about the small press publications you purchase. I think one of the main things that puts people off buying them is that there are so many to choose from, and so many that aren't great quality, it's hard to know where to start.

I've also read a few small press magazines, and I keep intending to blog about it. Perhaps I will steal your resolution, and also try out a different publication each month!

Thanks for the post.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Mmm...skull salad. I imagine the brains would taste a lot like sea urchin.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

Ooo...good idea, doing a roundup. I think a lot of us committed to more small market love early in the year (I know I did), time to call for la quinta, por favor.

...and I'd love to do an occasional review for your blog, if you'd have it.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

(BTW, I keep missing your blogspot posts because I've gotten into the habit of waiting for twitter updates for new blog posts...good, cheap way to drive more blog traffic, and helps me maintain my lazy lifestyle ;-) )

Aaron Polson said...

Becca - I'd need plenty of dressing. Skulls are a little crunchy.

Cate - I'm a teacher. We believe in idea theft (if used for good).

Jamie - Not over...but darn close.

Katey - I'd have to admit that you've been an inspiration.

Sophie - The world probably doesn't need more reviews, but hey, author's love them. (I do, anyway)

Natalie - Mmmmm...sea urchin.

Jeremy - I'd love it...do I have your email? (if not send to aaron_polson (at) hotmail.com, and I'll "invite" you as an author. (duly noted, about Twitter, that is)

K.C. Shaw said...

Ooh, a new review site! I love them! I'll link to you from mine (Skunk Cat Book Reviews). Word of mouth is the best way to find great new books and stories, definitely, and it for sure counts as helping out authors and publishers, especially for small presses.

Aaron Polson said...

K.C. - shared linkage! I'll be happy to include a link to Skunk Cat.

Barry Napier said...

Yeah and Debris is on it's way. Sorry again for the delay. You should have it before Christmas.

Danielle Ferries said...

This year I bought more than previous years and I plan to buy even more next year.

Looking forward to reading the new review site.

ElanaJ said...

What a great idea. I do think word of mouth is the best way to get the word out. Good for you and all your purchases!

BT said...

I'm yet to do my count on what I've read this year (including favourites) but it is a sterling idea. I've already said I'd review for KC if novels of appropriateness come along - I'd be more than happy to do the same for you. Currently I'm only reading the small press and listing them as read on the blog - having a prompt to actually review them would be kinda cool. Maybe we could assign small presses to individuals to keep track of each month/publication date so we get extended coverage.

Aaron Polson said...

Danielle - Small press is our bread and butter.

Elana - Word of "mouth" is all I have, I 'spose. And it's digital at that.

BT - I'm looking at more of a "hey, I'd recommend this" format for Skull Salad. Formal review format would seem more like work. If there's anything you read that you really want to pimp, send it my way (or I could add you to the contributors and you could post on your own, whatever).

katey said...

Haha... now those are words I'll probably never hear again... ;)

BT said...

More than happy to read and fire off a 'Check this out' notification. More than happy to fire it off to you or you can add me to the contributors as well.

I guess I'm just a happy chappy today for no reason what-so-ever.

:c)