Well, my redundancy looms ever closer (31st March) and I wonder what the hell I'm going to be doing as of April 1st? Apart from avoid joy buzzers, whoopee cushions etc? One possibility is that I will get drunk for a month. Another is that I will try to set up a small (emphasis on the small) one-man publishing outfit.
My thinking, such as it is, goes as follows.
Supernatural Tales is reasonably well-known and has a fair reputation for the quality of its fiction. This means I'm a fair judge of a good story.
I could parlay my editorial experience and general knowledge of the genre to start publishing new or neglected authors. Nothing fancy, nothing wildly ambitious - just an extension of ST to include collections and perhaps short novels by individual authors.
I would run this putative publishing business as an online affair, availing myself of Lulu.com. That is, I would not be having books printed and sent to me at my 'office' (aka my flat), and then take orders from people and post the books out. This is expensive and constitutes a waste of the time I could be spending on editing etc.
So people would have to order their own books from Lulu, as a print-on-demand service. This would of course exclude people who don't have internet access. I don't feel good about this, but so far as I can see the cost of postage is a big obstacle to me actually making a living, or half a living (i.e. a 'part-time' income).
It's obviously not a get-rich-quick scheme. I think for a year or perhaps two I couldn't hope to make any money at all, and would live off my savings and (with luck) income from part-time or casual work. Or bank robberies. That sort of thing.
I have no doubt there are enough talented writers out there and enough discerning readers to buy their work. I have enough contacts now to 'raise my game' with regard to production standards, proofreading etc. I also feel there's a small but nicely-formed niche in the market for inexpensive paperbacks containing new supernatural fiction (as opposed to new horror, which isn't quite the same thing).
I'm well aware that ST has been an amateur publication but I feel recent issues have shown a marked improvement and I think it can get better. Put another way, I'm not a total idiot and I know people don't pay good money for tat.
So, what do you think? If I'm talking out of my hairy posterior, tell me straight. If you think the idea has some merit but there are questionmarks looming like thunderheads, point 'em out. I'm steeling myself to give it a go, but I want as much feedback as I can get. Needless to say I'll also be asking ST readers for their views, too.