Omnium Gatherum Books joins us to discuss publishing as part of the Small Press Month celebration.
Give a brief overview of what you publish.
Omnium Gatherum publishes dark fantasy, weird fiction and literary thrillers. When selecting titles, I look for characters with distinct voices. Most have an unexpected point of view or explore a mythology or psychology that isn’t standard in genre fiction.
What inspired you to go into publishing?
There’s a saying that goes something like, don’t quit your day job. Authors rarely make a living writing fiction. I hate that defeatist attitude so much. Why does creative work have to be pushed to the side? Omnium Gatherum is still a relatively new company and no one is earning a full-time living yet, but we still have hope. And a plan. Always have a plan.
Your favorite thing about publishing is?
The very best thing about working in publishing is working with authors. It’s exciting to help shape a story and have a hand in making the story as good as it can be. It’s also a great experience to see how a writer’s mind works. There are not very many activities that give you the insight to another person’s creative process the way editing does.
Talk about one goal you have for your press/publication.
I would very much like for Omnium Gatherum to grow. There are so many exciting opportunities that I haven’t had a chance to explore yet just because there aren’t enough hours in the day. In the near future I’m going to be searching for partners and collaborators. Small press publishing is a perfect business for trying out innovative ideas larger companies would have difficulty implementing. There are lots of great reason to work together and share resources and ideas.
Publishing is a tough business, have you ever thought of quitting? What keeps you going during the bad times?
On those days when I’ve got two books that need copyediting and one that needs proofreading and another that needs formatting and 10 books to mail out and 20 emails to answer and a cover to do over because it looks crappy at thumbnail size and someone wants to call and discuss how OG numbers pages incorrectly and it would be great if we could get it right on his book and maybe the website needs an update and the book that came out a month ago only has 2 reviews so far and it really should have at least 10 by now… on those days I like to look at the big shelf in my office where all the beautiful Omnium Gatherum books are lined up and tell myself four years ago none of these wonderful books existed.
Featured Omnium Gatherum Title: Revival House
Our review: Revival House is full of brilliant bloody bits strung together like a cannibal’s souvenir necklace. Once you’ve met quirksters Caleb, Avery, Scarlet and Four there’s no unknowing them. Not exactly likable, these characters have a unique pull that mixes pity and disgust with a certain admiration for their outrageous ideas and unadulterated missteps. You don’t want to look but just have to know what horrible thing they’ve done to themselves now.
I love that the book is set in Savannah, a fascinating town with a long haunted history, and that it uses the setting to its best advantage. An antiquated undertaking business, the riverfront and creepy underground tunnels add a spritz of gritty decay. But ghost hunters from a reality TV show keep it unequivocally modern and ironic. Full of awkward, grim and even hilarious moments, this monster lurches precipitously toward a nasty conclusion you won’t want to know but won’t be able to keep yourself from peeking on.