Well, I've shipped off the copies of the new anthology Gunslingers & Ghost Stories. I always enjoy the physical process of preparing the packages for the contributor and review copies and sending them off. With that one act, there's a completeness of the process that started sometime back with an idea, then guidlines posted, then reading the stories that came in, then sending out contracts, then editing and cover design issues. Then, poof, it's suddenly done. The book is now in the hands of the readers. They can buy it or not, but the power has shifted from me to them. The readers are in control of the fate of the book now.
This book is a little different. It's slightly smaller than its predecessors, Low Noon and Six Guns Straight From Hell. It lacks a story by yours truly. I did not toss in one of my tales this time. I'm just the editor (and publisher). And, I honestly do not know if it will be the last book I publish. The sales of the previous book, Low Noon, have been so bad that I almost didn't do this one. But I've always wanted to do a collection of ghost stories, as opposed to western horror in general, so I thought I'd give it one more shot. Time will tell, I suppose.
Four of the contributing authors, the Colorado contingent, will be doing a reading Saturday, December 8th at 2pm at Broadway Book Mall in Denver. That may prove interesting. All four of the Colorado writers are women. My experience in this weird western area is that it is not nearly as male dominted as librarians, reviewers and bookstore buyers seem to believe. Of the direct buyers who I send copies directly to (as opposed to the ones sold through distributors) are two-to-one women. I don't know if that statistic has any profound significance, I simply mention it.
My western sci fi magazine, Science Fiction Trails, continues. I could use more readers there as well, but it's kind of found its own niche. I believe it to be the only regularly publishing western sci fi magazine in existence. It has different issues affecting its future than the books do. There, sales are stronger but it remains a challenge to obtain quality stories.
The two different products remind me of parallel universes in some ways. They don't seem to feed or support each other. Although ads have featured the books in some of the Science Fiction Trails issues, I don't think they've generated many sales. Nor do I think the books have had any positive effects on the magazine. It's like two different businesses in many ways, with each having less and less to do with the other. 2013 will be a watershed year as far as my publishing endeavors. What future projects are undertaken is now in the hands of the readers more than in my hands.