Today on Splice, we’re incredibly pleased to announce that Dana Diehl’s short story collection Our Dreams Might Align is now available to pre-order as an ebook (£4.99) and a paperback (£7.99 plus postage). Dreams is the first book to be published by Splice, due for release on April 16. You can download a primer on the book, featuring some of the praise it has received so far, and you can head over to our page on Dana Diehl to read three excerpts: the stories ‘We Know More’, ‘Swallowed’, and ‘To Date a Time Traveler’.
Looking ahead, we’ll be featuring an extended interview with Dana Diehl here on the Splice website in a couple of weeks, and we’ll also showcase some of her new fiction to coincide with the release date of Dreams. Then, Dana will take over the reins for a little while to walk us through one of the books she values most as a reader.
Small press operations, like Splice and many others, rely on the goodwill and support of readers like you to bring the work of adventurous writers to the widest possible audience. Pre-ordering books from small presses is one of the best ways you can show your support. It doesn’t work like a standard retail purchase. From our perspective, a pre-order is an implicit declaration of faith in the abilities of a writer and the judgment of an editor — a declaration made on the basis of little more than trust and only a very slight sense of what the finished work will be like. It helps in a monetary sense, of course, but just as importantly it can help immeasurably to lift a writer’s morale.
Don’t forget: unlike musicians and filmmakers and performing artists, most writers published by small presses operate alone and on spec; they’re never really sure whether their work will even find readers — much less resonate with them — and they don’t often get to hear about the experience even when a connection is made. Pre-orders offset the strangeness of that situation. A pre-order is a reader’s way of letting a writer know in advance that someone is out there waiting for their work, interested to see what they’re doing, eager to crack open their book and enter into the world they’ve created.
And don’t forget, either, that the gains for you as a reader are wildly disproportionate to the cost. The principle behind the reviews we publish on Splice is that we want to devote around 2,000 words of consideration to small press publications in order to “shed light on the lasting value they possess beyond the minimal worth suggested by their market price.” A paperback book in the United Kingdom costs, on average, £8. That’s less than the price of a movie, less than a couple of coffees and a piece of cake at a café, less than the daily cap on the London Tube. But the book you buy for that price (or less!) will give you hours of rewards in the reading, and will stay with you, enriching even more of your time, long after you have finished reading it. You can read it again at no extra cost and you can share the pleasure it gives you with other people by passing it on to them. A book can pay emotional returns on its market price tenfold, a hundredfold, over days or weeks after you’ve made a purchase, over the course of years, perhaps even over a lifetime. So a pre-order is also your chance to make a small downpayment on future pleasures — pleasures that will last longer and cost less than many others you might pay for.
What are you waiting for?