I’ve been blogging independent and small press publications here for nearly a year. With the exception of last week, when the day job demanded all my attention, I’ve done so every week. Most of these posts have been reviews, but there have been a couple of opinion essays and a handful of interviews thrown into the mix as well.
Lately I’ve been thinking about where my reading material comes from. Particularly whether it’s been published by a major genre imprint, a mid-sized imprint, a small press, or an independent publisher. I was reading a number of books that were independently published before I started these posts, but in the last year that number has increased, especially if they are in ebook format.
That’s to be expected. If I’m writing a weekly blog post on independently published works, it stands to reason that I would be reading a great many of them. But what I’ve noticed is that my purchases from major imprints such as Tor, Ace, DAW, Del Rey, and Baen have diminished. I continue to pick up a book from one of them from time to time, especially if the author is a long-time favorite such as Jack McDevitt.
Still, I was thinking about my purchases over the last year, in part because I’m planning an end-of-year post for my personal blog. I realized among the publishers I named in the previous paragraph, there are some in that list I haven’t bought a book from in over a year. (No, I won’t tell you which ones. In the case of two of them, it’s intentional, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post.)
I’m still reading traditionally published books, but they’re mostly from the small imprints, such as Pyr, Solaris, Angry Robot, and Privateer Press. These are the imprints where I find the more exciting fiction happening. That’s not to say the bigger imprints aren’t publishing exciting fiction. Just that these smaller imprints are doing a better job of catching my attention.
Of course there are small presses such as Haffner Press, Subterranean, Centipede Press, and Cemetery Dance which have published a number of titles which I’ve enjoyed. Many of these books are aimed more at the collectors’ market or in the case of mass market editions are otherwise higher in price than mass market editions from big publishers. But the lines between small presses and independent publishers (single authors, IOW) is vanishingly thin at times.
Frankly, I don’t see my reading and buying habits changing much, other than I’d like to have more time to read. That’s a possibility, as I’ve been teaching an overload for the last year, and that ended when I turned in my grades a few hours ago. (Day job is in academia.)
So, I’m curious. With the number of independently published books available, with more becoming available every day, how have your reading habits changed? Are you reading more independently published or small press books? Please let me know. I’m not exactly the typical readers, and I’m curious just how out of step with the rest of the field I am.