I know Dave, but your always talking about the state of NY publishing. Except one of the guys your engaging in conversation, Allan Guthrie, is published by a NY publisher. And no one would say that his fiction is anything but dark. And I know Dave, that your not talking alternatives, except you are and you should be.
If this shift exists (and I'm not yet totally convinced it does -- at least not as absolutely as you are) then you have to account for the other places where that type of story could wind up.
Lets talk about paradigm shifts, by all means, but lets also extend the conversation. Because its far more helpful. If your going to really have the conversation then really have it.
The metric of the conversation can't be:
-The NY publishers don't publish dark crime fiction
The metric of the conversation HAS to be
-The NY publishers have shifted their stance, they aren't publishing a certain type of fiction
-A void has been created
-There are other, smaller presses trying to fill that void.
-Is there a void?
-Are these smaller houses succeeding?
-If yes, then lets talk about them more
-If no, then why not and what needs to happen to make it so.
The publishing landscape doesn't start and end in NY but you know that Dave, so let's find a way to be productive about it.
Also lets not pretend, not even for a second that getting published by a major NY house, with all of their distribution channels, is the end all be all. There was a great dark thriller, released by a guy whom we've all heard of, that should have been a huge commercial success. But wasn't, my understand is that it sold peanuts. That book was Fifty Grand by Adrian McKinty. You talk of small press books selling in the hundreds, well Adrian's book probably sold that much and look at who he was with. How about someone like John McFetridge who has been bent over by larger forces a couple of times in recent years. Would these guys have been better off with a Bleak House or a Tyrus? Its not finding a big house its finding the right house.
Those 750k days haven't existed for a long while so we have to stop pining for them
If the landscape is changing, and I think we can all agree that it is, then we need to talk about the whole landscape not just a portion of it.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "davezeltserman" <Dave.Zeltserman@...> wrote:
> I'm not talking about alternatives. I think I made it pretty clear that I'm talking about the state of NY publishing, specifically the large houses and the reason for this is pretty obvious--because those are the books that are being distributed and bought in large numbers, and if the large NY houses have closed themselves off to dark crime fiction and real noir, that's a significant change in the publishing landscape.
> As Al mentioned here a few weeks ago Jim Thompson's "Nothing More Than Murder" sold 750,000 copies, so while the PBO houses like Gold Medal might've been out of the mainstream, they had the distribution channels to sell 100s of thousands of copies of their books. Many of the micro presses that are publishing edgier darker stuff today are lucky to sell several hundred copies of any book. I'm not putting Akashic or Busted Flush or other more significant independents in the US and UK in this category (namely publishers that have distribution and sell their books in stores), as much as I'd like it to be otherwise they'd don't have the marketing muscle and funds behind them that the NY corporate publishers do, but what it comes down to is this shift in NY away from dark crime fiction is significant, and to argue otherwise by tossing up the independents and micropresses is a bit disingenuous.
> --- In email@example.com, "lindenmuthbrian" <blindenmuth@> wrote:
> > I think that's a bit disingenuous. While I will never suggest that today's publishing landscape is the same as it was 25, 35, 50 years ago I do think that there are other alternatives for dark crime fiction, noir fiction and crime fiction that is harder to classify out there in the small presses.
> > New Pulp Press is making a serious go at it; Underland isn't strictly a crime press but of their four offerings last year three of them fall under the crime banner in someway (including Brian Evenson); Murder Slim Press in the UK is publishing some really interesting dark fiction (admittedly some of in the Bukowski vein) but Dave you knew that because you wrote the introduction to the Seymour Shubin they published last year; as far as I know The Outfit only published one novel last year but it was a good one; Overlook is putting out some great titles (another company I believe Dave is familiar with); Coffee House Press has been Brian Evenson's (there that name again) publisher for the last couple of years; The Switchblade imprint of PM Press went two for two with back to back out of the park homeruns last year; Akashic Books has a steady stream of good stuff too; Busted Flush and Stark House are venturing into originals territory. And I'm sure that there are others.
> > Since some of the above named publishers also put out other types of books part of it is casting a wider net.
> > The NY houses have their problems this I know but I just don't want to see an almost strawman-like argument/default position overshadow the work that these smaller houses ARE putting out, which can be quite dark, a little daring and worth your time.
> > If some of the named novels had been turned down by NY publishers, whether now or then, its not like there aren't viable alternatives. Just as the paperback companies that we now hold in high regard were the viable alternative then its up to us to support those viable alternatives today. Especially if we want them around. Are today's viable alternatives the same as yesterday's viable alternatives? No, of course not, but lets not pretend they don't exist
> > Just my two cents.
> > And not for nothing but isn't Roger Smith published by a major publisher?
> > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "davezeltserman" <Dave.Zeltserman@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Yes, many of the great noir books from Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Charles Williams, Dan Marlowe, Peter Rabe, etc. came from Gold Medal and other paperback publishers, but at least they existed--today, Hard Case is the only equivalent I can think of, and Charles is publishing a tiny fraction of original crime fiction compared to Gold Medal. And I'll stick by that books like Dead City, Cain's Postman and Double Indemnity, Seymour Shubin's Anyone's My Name, Rex Stout's How Like a God, all published by NY as hardcovers would be just about off limits to NY today.
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