Case in point is the subject of this year’s feature-- Bloodshot Books.
I met the owner, editor, and publisher of this small press, Pete Kahle when he was the Jury Chair for my Bram Stoker Award jury last year. I knew Pete as the guy keeping our jury on track and in line. I honestly didn’t look him up to see his connection to the genre. I was so busy keeping up with al of the reading and making sure I was doing everything correctly and on the up and up that I never even thought about it.
I knew Pete had written a book, that’s about it.
And then, I was giving a program in MA and also in attendance was Anna Popp, a Consultant with Massachusetts Library System. This was not the first time I had met Anna, so we were just chatting during a break and she said to me, “Hey, you know, I know this guy who wrote a horror book. I’ve known him for years. I have no idea if he is any good as a writer, but would you mind if I gave him your contact info?”
Two days later I got a hilarious email from Pete. “Hey Becky, I guess we both know Anna.” We were only at the start of our year working together on the jury together, but that connection led to us learning more about each other and our work in the horror genre.
I am still volunteering on a jury for the Bram Stoker Awards but Pete had to drop out this year due to the fact that his press, now just over 1 year old, was going well enough that he thought he might have a chance to see a few books get nominated for the 2018 Stokers. He needed to recuse himself to be fair.
I was sad to not get to work with Pete again, but then I saw the authors and titles in his line up for 2017, and I was impressed: Tom Deady, who won the Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2017, the Sisters of Slaughter who were finalists for that same award and whose Bloodshot Books 2017 title I reviewed here, and some intriguing new comers.
Bloodshot Books is a small press that is making some noise, after only 15 months out of the gate. But more importantly, Pete is a publisher who understands libraries and the library market. He puts out a good paper product with professionally designed covers that will stand-up to multiple checkouts. And word on the street is that he pays his authors what he promises and on time. In fact, This is Horror recently featured Bloodshot Books in their Halloween Small Press Spotlight, where they said:
"Our spotlight spills its ghastly beam over Bloodshot Books. Run by Pete Kahle, a true horror fan, and a man bent on keeping the genre alive and kicking with his publishing company that puts out some very fine books. Pete is one of the good guys who spend many hours reading over submissions and contracting some very noteworthy novels to give you chills on these dark October nights."Bloodshot Books deserves more notice from libraries, so, I asked Pete to gather up some of his authors to share "Why They Love Horror" here on the blog so that I could alert you to them, their talent, and this small press that you need to keep on you radar. Now, you may have to work a little harder to get these books. Pete does not have distribution through Ingram or Baker and Taylor, but you can order a paperback from Amazon.
Starting tomorrow, I will have 5 days of Bloodshot Books authors here on the blog to tell you why they love horror, beginning with Pete himself, because I want to highlight some of the "good guys" out there. Yes, even in the bloody, violent, and frightening world of horror, there are plenty of good guys. In fact, I would argue that in the horror world, we have more “good guys” than bad ones.
But that’s just my opinion. You can see for yourself over the next 5 days.
Finally, don’t forget that I keep an updated list of the best small horror publishers for libraries for you to use anytime.