Tag Archives: Small Press

Sunday Reads: On Writing, Rejection, and Spiders

Here are a handful of links from around the Internet that we found interesting this past week.

First up, some stuff on writing. Shane Staley of Delirium Books posted an interesting essay on the current state of small-press horror. A more upbeat piece comes from Adrienne Crezo, where she tells us that the “Big Debate” doesn’t matter.

Here are a couple tips on handling rejection: Jacqueline Howett responds to a review of her book, The Greek Seaman. Read the comments, then always do the opposite. Though a bit one-sided, presented as it is, over at Crossed Genres we were shown yet another example of a not-so-recommended rejection response.

Now, how about some fun and cuddly arachnids? A man in Dortmund, Germany is killed and then eaten by his creepy-crawly pets. And in flood-ravaged Pakistan, spiders have taken to the trees in what can only be described as something out of a nightmarish fantasy.

[ Photo by Russell Watkins ]

Scares the hell outta me, anyway!

Posted in Blog, On Writing, Recommended Reading, Writing Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

With Regard to Donations

On the right side-panel you may have noticed something new: a DONATE button. A few people have asked us about it, so I figured it’d be a good idea to discuss it a bit.

Asking for donations is a tricky thing. Many people view it as a symbol of a failed business model, or worse, a scam. I understand that. I’ve seen e-zines asking for donations when they don’t pay a dime to their contributors. They’ll sight hosting costs or some other such cost that we all know is so minimal that it in no way justifies asking for donations. If you can’t afford less than $100 a year for hosting costs and domain registration, you have no business calling yourself a publisher.

Over the years, countless people have wanted to donate to us, but I always turned them down. Thanks, but no thanks, you know. I truly appreciate the gesture, that people like what we do so much that they want to contribute to our continued existence, but I didn’t want to take handouts. That’s how I saw it—handouts.

But recently someone said to me, “It’s not a handout, you dork, it’s a thank-you. It’s my way of saying thanks.”

That comment, as you can imagine, made me very grateful. And the more I thought about it, the more I understood it. I’ve donated to Apex for the same reason. I donated to John Skipp’s recent push to get Rose made (though unfortunately it failed in the end). I also donated to By Blood Alone’s recent campaign to raise funds to finish mixing and mastering their new album, Thunderbirds. I buy everything certain small-press publications or bands/musicians put out, even if it’s something I may not be too interested in. Why? As a thank-you, as a way to help support and contribute to their continued success.

So I get it. Thus, we now have a DONATE button. And I’d be lying if I said donations wouldn’t help us.

But I wanted to take it a step further. I’ve decided to match from my personal savings 10% of all donations we receive and donate it to Duotrope. Most of us use Duotrope, but few of us donate to them. I have in the past, but probably not enough. Yet for years, numerous times per week, I’ve used the service they provide for free. Seems wrong to me. So I want to give something back as well.

As always, the best way to support Shock Totem and our authors is to buy our magazines, but if you want to support us monetarily, you now have that option. And if you do, please know that we humbly and greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!

Posted in Shock Totem News | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment