PERIPHERAL PUBLISHING: THE POSSIBILITIES OF MARGINAL MODELS

Rose Michael

Abstract


There is considerable interest in independent publishing models that operate at or on the periphery of our industry, beyond the ‘centre’ of commercial publishing—from ‘litmags’ (Edmonds 2015) to ‘prosumers’ (Stinson 2016); self-publishers, to digital-first and open access examples. There is less discussion of established ‘literary’ writers producing ‘peripheral’ works, which may be significant in the current context, when publishing faces the challenge of technological developments ‘orders of magnitude greater than the momentous evolution from monkish scriptoria to movable type’ (Epstein 2010). As an author and publisher—working in both roles across distinct categories—I am interested in creative projects that mis/use aspects of generic forms to re/make (a)new literary fiction. In this paper, I consider David Mitchell’s latest novel/la, Slade House (2015), in light of its first appearance as a Twitter ghost story released at midnight on All Hallows’ Eve: a tale-in-instalments that gothic readers and fanfic communities alike would be familiar with, but was and still is more novel for mainstream trade publishers. Mitchell’s avant-garde example may work to illustrate the direction and fluidity of literary fiction at a point in publishing history when traditional practices are being challenged by writers via alternative models of production, which may exhibit a capacity to move between genres that might, in earlier times, have seemed exclusive.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/cinder2020art953

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