Monday, September 21, 2009

International Small Presses Day


Sandwiched in between all the other "Days" that raise the profile for worthy causes, comes the International Day for Celebrating Small Presses.

Well, no not really. As far as I know there is no such thing as "Celebrating Small Presses Day".

But there should be.

Who knows, maybe there is such a thing. (I haven't Googled to check yet.)

Because there should be.

Why are so many of our good authors published by small presses? Is it because the gatekeepers at the small presses have a lower standard and so it's easier to get your work printed (as long as you belong to their clique?)

Well hell no. In many cases, au contraire.

The large presses do fortunately still publish some great poetry, but not enough. And well - so it seems to the scorned outsiders - they are the cliquey ones. They also tend to err on the side of the safe and the bland too, don't they?

At the other end of the spectrum, the quality of self-publishing and of vanity publishing is fairly variable (a little like open mike night when the convenor is a little too lax).

But the small presses are often in the hands of eagle eyes and good judges.

From what I've seen, Kilmog Press is such a one. It publishes the likes of Jack Ross, Sandra Bell, and Peter Olds.

Another reason to choose to do your chapbook with a small publisher, is you possibly get to have a level of creative control that larger publishers don't allow, because their marketing teams insist on sitting in and replacing a creative imperative with a "concept".

The money minions are right of course. Hardly anyone makes a profit publishing poetry, and nobody got rich running a small Press. It's all done for the sake of Art.

And often the books are very fine, little treasures. Purty.

Praise for Kilmog Press and its books is dotted around the godzone blogiverse - see Art and My Life, The Imaginary Museum, Tim Jones and I swear that Reading the Maps also has been heard to exclaim how good Kilmog Press is... (Can't find an example on a quick hunt.)

Now Kilmog has decided to come into this strange virtual space where there is no smell of ink and no fine porous endpaper or a woodcut in sight.

Kilmog Press has a brand new blog.

Don't forget to put your earthly contact details somewhere guys, so the punters can buy some books!

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