Sad Spell Press was almost an accident. Elle and I had both considered printing chapbooks in the future but when we read a few of the submissions for Issue 1 and realized we didn’t have the space to share the work in the mag but we did still have the ability to share it, we decided to expand our plans ahead of schedule. We chose the name Sad Spell because it was already in use as the title of our blog, so that everything written that wasn’t for an issue of Witch Craft Magazine would fall under the same title. Our Spellbook Series 1 definitely does the name of our new press justice as each author picks off little pieces of your heart in turn.
What does small press publishing need most? Apart from many wealthy benefactors, small presses need more (reasonably affordable) venues to generate visibility for themselves and their authors. AWP, SPD, and bookstores are all great (most of the time), but their cost and cuts are often large enough that presses like ours can’t afford to take advantage of them. We could really use a soulful Amazon that doesn’t take 40% of the book price, which is sometimes the entire profit margin of our books. While small presses are trying to globalize the voices we represent, we also need a more localized book economy, including more readings and independent literary conferences, especially as AWP becomes more inaccessible and hostile to organizations and people who aren’t already in power in the lit world. We see small presses as a destabilizing and disruptive force, maybe even socialist in a way, and we would like to see that becoming more visible.