Blade Red Press is an independent publisher founded by dark-fiction author Alan Baxter. Based in Jamberoo, a small historic village situated in the Illawarra region on the south coast of New South Wales, the press specialises in speculative and dark fiction, producing texts using Print on Demand (PoD) technology and selling them through a distribution network of online retailers. (Titles are also available, however, via selected bookshops and traditional book sales channels.)
Alan Baxter indicates on the Blade Red Press website that his motivation for establishing the press was very much aligned with the indie music ethos of independently producing and marketing your own music. This movement, which had its origins in the post-punk era of the late 1970s, saw 'alternative' bands releasing their music without bowing to the demands of the major record companies. He notes, however, that while indie music is now considered to be a significant contributor to the worldwide music industry, independent or self-publishers still carry the vanity press stigma: the perception that if a book isn't published by a major publishing house, then it must not be any good. Baxter suggests that this is 'simply because the music world is not as stuck up and elitist as the literary world.' The ready access to the necessary technology, the availability of online retailers such as Amazon, and the conviction that professional and dedicated indie publishing has a highly relevant place in Australia led Baxter to set up Blade Red Press with the express intent of producing quality books in the specialist genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (with a particular emphasis on dark fiction).
Blade Red Press provides an opportunity for emerging speculative and dark-fiction writers to have a chance to get their work published. Although it is intended that the catalogue will be small and select, the press is planning to publish an annual anthology of short stories to give emerging writers an additional publication avenue. The PoD option also means that books from the catalogue will never be out of print. In line with the indie music ethos, Blade Red Press is about giving writers opportunities to establish their names and reputations. While the press will not provide advances, authors will make money from their book sales after production costs.
(Source: 'About' Blade Red Press website - sighted 05/08/10)