Mike Davis, founder and editor of the highly regarded Lovecraftian free online magazine Lovecraft eZine, and its various associated properties, spoke to me about his new small press venture, Lovecraft eZine Press, and overall conditions in the current cosmic/Lovecraftian horror cosmos.
Teleread: How do you see Lovecraft eZine Press fitting alongside the many other fine small and independent presses in the dark fiction and horror areas?
Mike Davis: I’m not a competitive person by nature, so I see the new Lovecraft eZine Press as complimentary to them. Small press is a tough gig. It’s hard to make money at it, and I know in most cases they aren’t doing it for the money. I respect anyone out there trying to bring dark fiction to readers.
Teleread: What’s your assessment of the overall quality of writing in cosmic horror and dark fiction currently, and of the work submitted to you?
Mike Davis: The overall quality of what’s out there right now, published, is excellent in my opinion. Most of it, anyway. As I’ve said many times, if it wasn’t for the small presses, the only available books would be those that were deemed marketable or profitable. As far as the work submitted to me goes, it depends. If I put out an ‘open call’ for submissions, I can usually only accept around 5 percent of what I’m sent.
Teleread: What is your full editorial policy and plans for the imprint?
Mike Davis: I really don’t have a policy as yet; I’m feeling my way as I go. But I’m focused on quality, not quantity. I’d rather release two books a year that are great, and take the time to market them properly, than to publish a dozen that quickly go by the wayside. I want to continue to earn the trust of the reader. I’m picky; if I publish a book, there has to be something special about it. The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas is an excellent example.
Teleread: Will the new imprint make a significant difference to the income and profitability of the site?
Mike Davis: I hope so. My wife is a schoolteacher, and my only job is Lovecraft eZine … so more money is always good. Scott Thomas told me that my publication of The Sea of Ash has brought him more attention than all his previous books. He’s been very happy with his checks so far!