This is part of a series of interviews taking place with small press publishers. This interview series will be partially published online and partially in print, as a part of a nonfiction book to demystify publishing, published in January 2020 and written by Isabelle Kenyon. The following is an extract from an interview with Queen of Swords Press, in conversation with Catherine Lundoff, Publisher.
Queen of Swords is an independent small press specializing in swashbuckling tales of derring-do, bold new adventures in time and space, mysterious stories of the occult and arcane and fantastical tales of people and lands far and near.
Catherine Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis where she lives with her wife and the cats who own them. She is the author of over 100 published short stories and essays and nine books, including Silver Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and Unfinished
Business: Tales of the Dark Fantastic. She has also edited or co-edited three anthologies including the multi-genre pirate anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). In addition, she is the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction
publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world. Websites:
Did you have any work experience in the publishing industry before you started your press? If yes, how did this inform your work? If no, how did you learn your
I actually grew up in New York publishing – my mother worked for a couple of the big publishers for many years. I used to hang out in various offices as a kid, help out with
small projects, model for textbooks and that sort of thing. I also have some background as a bookseller. Before I started the press, I spent a couple of years doing research, taking small business and copywriting classes, reading and talking
to people about what they were doing. I have been traditionally published for many years so I knew what some of the small press publishing industry looked like before I
embraced the idea of doing it myself.
How have you seen the independent publishing industry change since you started publishing?
Well, it’s only been two and a half years. I think that the larger issues that impact the world economies and political situations certainly have an impact, as does publisher
consolidation, the elimination of the midlist, the growth of Amazon and other factors all impact indie publishing as well. It’s harder to get people to buy books and to pay
attention to book marketing when everything is on fire all the time, literally and figuratively. I’m certainly not ready to give up yet though and I keep working on supporting good things as much as I can.
This interview is part of 'Small Press Publishing: The Dos and Don'ts' released January 2020. You can pre-order the book here.