What have I been up to? I've been jumping the publisher's hurdles.
As it turns out, the process of becoming even a small publisher takes a lot of energy just to get the engine running. That, as it turns out, is the low hurdle that they give you at the start to build your confidence. Hang out your shingle, work with a small printer, talk about your small press in a few sympathetic venues.
After that, it gets tougher. The next hurdles are the gut-checks, the questions of whether and how quickly to grow, whether to sink more money into art or into print run, things like that. Paperwork arrives. Bankers and printers and money men. Bah, is this why I got into the print business?
Finally, the next hurdle hits, and it's more like someone stuck a pole vault in the middle of the high hurdles. The audience starts arguing about what KQ should be, what they want, and everyone who sees a bit of success in a small shows up. It's a time of conflicting visions, and I need to remember why I started the magazine in the first place: to have fun, to share that with the audience, to do in print what others have. As a friend put it recently in email, "I'm glad you picked up that banner." Yeah, well, it's an honor to carry the colors, and I'll keep marching with them, snipers be damned.
Lest you think I'm complaining, I've enjoyed each hurdle so far, and I think I can keep clearing them on a quarterly basis for a long time to come. Readers, artists, writers, advertisers, and distributors have all been very supportive. My thanks to everyone who put up with me over the holidays, when the stress was running high. In hindsight, it's clear that Kobold Quarterly is a bit of a challenge to keep improving. But I'm having a lot of fun with it.
I promise to post a little more often. Possibly about the paperwork.