Celebrating Small Press Horror

I don’t know about you, but when I want a beer, I almost always go for a microbrew. Not only do they taste better to me, not only am I supporting a small business, but because craft brewers are free to experiment with a diversity of flavors, they’re far more likely to create my favorites.

Now, I’m not here to rail against the popular mass-produced breweries, and I’ll even drink one if it’s the best option around. While it may not always suit my particular palette, at least I know what I’m getting.

I feel the same way about horror fiction. While over the decades I’ve enjoyed authors whose books have been published by large mainstream publishing houses, my favorites these days tend to come from small and indie presses.

Nice try, Josh, you may be thinking. Aren’t you just saying that because small presses are the only ones that will accept your work?

I’ll be the first to admit that being published exclusively by small presses, as well as working as an editor and publisher through Denver Horror Collective, makes me a bit biased.

But, honestly, I can’t think of a more perfect fit for my forthcoming eco Jewish folk horror novel, CHARWOOD, than Aggadah Try It, the Jewish speculative fiction imprint of Madness Heart Press (due out this July).

Aside from the obvious reasons, not only did MHP provide me an editor to make the book as good as possible, I was given complete creative say over the final product. Other than a handful of huge names like Stephen King or Dean Koontz, that level of control over one’s work is almost unheard of at any mainstream press. As someone who probably wouldn’t even bother writing at all if I couldn’t maintain my precious “artistic integrity,” this is a real godsend. (Get it? Godsend? Cuz Jewish?)

So, here I am raising my glass of Peppermint Chocolate Imperial Stout to all the small and indie publishers out there—especially the folks at Madness Heart Press and D&T Publishing! And if you’d rather toast with a can of Coors Light, I sure as hell won’t be the one to judge.

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