Tuesday, 18 August 2015

10 Years of Apex Publications

Jason Sizemore has been in the publishing business for 10+ years. He decided to share some of his wisdom and more unconventional experiences in For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher, a collection of semi-true and sometimes humorous essays. Jason exposes the parties, people, and triumphs that shaped him into the Apex Overlord. Meet Thong Girl, heed the warning about the ham, receive rest stop bathroom wisdom, and visit an emergency room straight out of a horror movie in this extraordinary account of life as a publisher and editor.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

Jason Sizemore: I love staking claim to inspirational moments. Unfortunately this one came from the mind of Joseph-Beth Booksellers marketing maven, Patricia Murphy. She wanted to know if I had anything special planned to celebrate my ten years as a publisher. Because I’m a dynamic and interesting person, I said “No.” Patricia scowled at me, and suggested my “memoirs”.

I’m a long way from having accomplished anything that would merit a book of memoirs. But I did have enough interesting experiences in the publishing business to write For Exposure.

Q: What was the easiest and then hardest part about writing this book?

JS: The easiest was recounting the odd people and occurrences. Instead of having to make them up like you do in fiction, I just used the real deal.

The hardest part was (and still is) overcoming a sense of imposter syndrome. I’ve written a few dozen short stories over the years, but I think most don’t see me as a writer. I’m that ‘publisher guy’.

Q: Why did you decide to let people you wrote about respond to your stories about them in For Exposure?

JS: It was only fair, ya know? I wanted some of the people who appear in my book to have a chance to rebut my statements. It helps that most of my friends are excellent writers, so talking them into doing a rebuttal was quite easy.

Q: What was your favorite part about writing this book?

JS: Reliving moments of Apex past. Granted, some of them are painful (St. Louis and kidney stones), but many are amusing and educations (my experiences with the traditional book and magazine distribution system).

Q: What do you think readers will be surprised to learn when they read For Exposure?

JS: Just how lucky and unlucky I’ve been. I’m not a big believer in fate nor do I believe there is some all-powerful being wasting his/her time tormenting little ol’ me. I feel like you make your own lucky. That explains the extremes I’ve encountered over the years.

Q: What are some upcoming plans for Apex that readers can look forward to?

JS: We are releasing the fourth volume of The Apex Book of World SF at the end of August. Lavie Tidhar and Mahvesh Murad have done a fantastic job. It’s a project that I’m happy we can do.
Born the son of an unemployed coal miner in a tiny Kentucky Appalachian villa named Big Creek (population 400), Jason fought his way out of the hills to the big city of Lexington. He attended Transylvania University (a real school with its own vampire legend) and received a degree in computer science. Since 2005, he has owned and operated Apex Publications and Apex Magazine. He is the editor of five anthologies, author of Irredeemable and For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher, a three-time Hugo Award loser, an occasional writer, who can usually be found wandering the halls of hotel conventions.

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