Anthologies, birthdays, and other frightening things

Today, Crossed Genres released our new anthology, Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy tales of challenging the norm. This is a project I put together by myself – I came up with the topic, invited authors, read slush, selected stories, edited those stories, designed and formatted the book, worked with the artist to come up with the cover, designed the cover, and got it to the distributors. Not that I hadn’t done all those things before, but it was always working with Kay and our various wonderful staff. This time, it was all me. (Except for formatting the ebooks, which CG’s ebook assistant Casey Seda handled excellently.)

So you can probably imagine that Subversion means a lot to me. Not only because of all the work I put into it, but also because even when being as objective as possible I think it’s an amazingly good anthology. I invited authors who I already knew were fine writers, but they really stepped up for this one, and sent me some magnificent stories. Brittany Jackson, the cover artist, took the design concept and made it brilliant. I had great material to work with – which certainly made it easier, and also makes me even more proud to have brought it all together.

So why is it frightening? Because I want it to do well so badly. CG is a tiny market, and we’ve never hidden the fact that it’s never been a financial success. This is problematic when we have great work that we want as many people as possible to see.

And it’s especially problematic now, because I no longer have a day job. Now, we can honestly say we NEED Crossed Genres to become more self-sustaining – we no longer have the resources to run it as we have in the past. Subversion is the first book we’ve released since I became unemployed, so it’s the first one that’s had this kind of quiet desperation to it.

We’re already planning more for Subversion‘s future than we usually do. On January 3 I’ll be guest hosting a Subversion reading for The New York Review of Science Fiction in NYC. (Kay will be one of the readers!) And on January 11 I’ll be the guest representing CG in SFF Writer Chat on Twitter (where I’ll also be talking about Fat Girl in a Strange Land). But I am worried. I like not having a day job, and the only way to make that work is to make our finances work. CG is a big part of that.

Saturday is my birthday. Contrary to the post title I don’t actually consider it frightening. I’m not one of those people who obsesses over age or has midlife crises or anything. I’ll be 35, so I could run around going “OMG I’M HALFWAY TO 70!!!!1!!” but honestly it just doesn’t bother me. I have a great family and consider myself very, very lucky.

But, y’know, if you want to make my birthday even happier? Get me an early present: go buy a copy of Subversion, help us boost the sales numbers so I can keep dedicating my time to CG, and I will be very happy indeed!

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