On Building Up and Tearing Down: A Call to the Horror Community

There is a small press tale that gets told on repeat. Word starts coming out that they are having troubles, or causing them. Perhaps they aren’t paying writers. Perhaps they are taking more rights than they should. Maybe they edit stories without writer approval. Maybe they are in hard financial times.

Then we talk about it. Point out the problems, issue warnings, post blogs and Facebook discussions. We generate noise, attention, to the tale, telling it over and over.

In these moments, these small presses are getting a level of publicity they have never gotten before. How many of them had you never heard of until their failures were brought into the light?

Would this amount of good publicity have saved any of these presses? Who is to say. Each version of this tale is slightly different; each version has its own flavor.

But, for the most part, this is when presses get noticed. This is when they get the attention. When it is too late.

I know that rewards for doing what is supposed to be done isn’t how things work, for doing not just what is expected, but what is required. But to take these moments, the energy of these events, to turn around and say, but don’t forget these guys, they do good work could bring a positive side to these tales.

Because if we are truly a community, we need to not just protect, but promote; not just tear down, but build.

So, in light of the tale being told again, here is my decree, my call: when these events happen, and they will always happen, take a moment to post about the presses that do good, use the energy to build up, to keep the foundations strong.