Is 2011 the year of the e-publisher?

A recent Wall Street Journal article surveyed the crime fiction landscape and focused on some of the new, high-profile imprints like Mulholland Books and Mysterious Press. I’m glad that the article ran because I do believe that, as a genre, what is good for one is good for all.

One trend that I’ve been keeping an eye on is the rise of e-publishers this year. I did want to take a quick moment to mention some of the e-publishers that have come up this year or will be soon.

Needle Publishing kicked off the year. To date they have released two anthologies associated with the group blog Do Some Damage, Terminal Damage and Collateral Damage, and Dave White’s short story collection, More Sinned Against. They will also be publishing the anthology Pulp Ink later in the year.

Concord Free Press started an ebook imprint with a mix of re-issues, originals, short story collections, novels and non-fiction. One of their titles was Scott Phillips short story collection Rum, Sodomy and False Eyelashes as well as Matthew McBride’s debut novel Frank Sinatra in a Blender.

Spinetingler now has an e-publishing imprint, Snubnose Press, and we have published an anthology, Speedloader and Sandra’s new novel, Harvest of Ruins. Upcoming titles include books by Patti Abbott, Sandra Seamans, Keith Rawson, Les Edgerton and Eric Beetner.

Earlier in the year it was announced that Tyrus Book was acquired by F+W Media and inside their press release was the nugget that they would be publishing as “many as 200 ebook-only titles in 2011”.

Anarchy Books came on to our radar screen because they published long time Spinetingler acquaintance Vincent Holland-Keen’s new novel The Office of Lost and Found. Their other published title is Serial Killers Incorporated. Information on their site indicates that they plan on publishing in multiple genres, including, thriller, fantasy and horror.

On his blog Les Edgerton announced that his book The Rapist was bought by Bare Knuckles Press and that they would start publishing later on in the year. I am aware of some of their other publishing plans but am sworn to secrecy. They’ve got some good books coming and that’s all I’ll say. Bare Knuckles is also going to put out Noir Nation, an International Journal of Crime Fiction. Their site doesn’t appear to be up and running yet.

Finally, there is another e-publisher that I am sworn to total secrecy on but should be making it’s debut in the next few months. Expect them to make a splash.

So, is 2011 the year of the e-publisher? What do you think of e-publishers in an age where it is easy for authors to self-publish. Will the effect of e-publishers be felt in 2012 when more of their books are out there? Will the e-publishers last?

What do you think?

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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