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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shroud Magazine Issue #1 -- Looking Back...

Shroud Inaugural Issue
It's been a while since I've blogged.  Over the past year I have completed another masters degree, taught several classes at SNHU and NEC, been working on the third annual Anthology Conference, and just enjoying time with my family.  I've also been working on my own projects.

Shroud has taken a bit of a back seat to all of these things, largely because the economy has taken its toll on traditional print publishers, and I've placed my family and education as my priorities.  Shroud has always been a big part of life, though.  Many people only know me through my association with Shroud. Lately, it has got me thinking about why I did all of this in the first place.

Shroud was born out of my desire to leave some kind of legacy for my family.  I launched Shroud shortly after my father died.  He passed in 2006, and I incorporated and began taking submissions in 2007 -- making us six years old.  I published our first issue in February of 2008, which would have been my father's 66th birthday, but more on that inaugural issue later.

In that time, Shroud has published twelve issues, three anthologies, over ten novellas, been longlisted for two Bram Stoker Awards, been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, been on the ballot for a British Fantasy Award, been accepted for North American retail distribution through Barnes & Noble, and I have taken it on the road to a number of conferences and conventions to include NECON, World Horror Convention, CONTEXT, ANTHOCON, and many others. Also, Shroud, I'm very happy to say, has been responsible for publishing a long list of talented first-time writers who have gone on to have successful writing careers.

I have been pleased to receive ongoing encouragement and praise from the dark fiction community, and even more so to make friends among these people.  I was recently in New Orleans for a bachelor party at the same time World Horror was going on.  I popped into the Hotel Monteleone dealer room and ran into so many familiar faces, a number of them former Shroud authors. It warmed my heart to connect with so many people whose relationship was fostered by our mutual connection -- Shroud.

So back to that first issue; as I was baby-stepping into the world of publishing I knew that the first issue had to be good.  I knew what was out there (Cemetery Dance), and I knew that everything from the cover to the content had to reflect a professional effort.  I made a point to teach myself Adobe InDesign and was able to layout the inaugural issue by myself.  I also licensed a striking cover image from a German artist, and offered professional rates to the authors.  Finally, I had that issue offset printed and saddle stitched.  It looked beautiful. Shroud made a big splash that year.

My friend Mark Wholley has helped out at a number of conventions.  When he saw back issues of Shroud #1 selling quickly he offered some sage advice:  "Keep a case for yourself. Those will be collectors' items one day."  So I did, and I have that case.  Now, these aren't the same digitally printed copies you get on Amazon.  Those are great and everything, but these are the first and only of their kind. After these sell out, they are gone, gone, gone.

So here's the thing.  Shroud must go on, on, on.  So in order to position Shroud for it's next big project, I am selling off this case of Shroud debut issues.  I'm even knocking off the price down to $5 an issue plus shipping.  I will ship all US order priority mail.

We have some debts to pay off, then Shroud hopes to build up a war chest to blast out our most ambitious effort yet, a fully illustrated dark poetry collection that has been two years in the making.

So, if you want to own a piece of Shroud history, while helping to fuel Shroud's future, then please pick up an issue of Shroud #1.  Use coupon code "debut08" at check out.  Thank you!

1 comment:

Anton Cancre said...

I would buy this in a second, but I already have one. Purchased in person from you back in maybe 2008 or 2009. I can't remember. Had some good tales in it, though.