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The 50 Least Influential People In Publishing (Continued)


Our call for nominations to determine the 50 Least Influential People in Publishing has attracted a fair bit of attention. Inevitably, many people have nominated themselves. Please keep your nominations coming. We’re looking for the names of very talented writers, publishers, literary critics, journalists and bloggers who are currently neglected by mainstream publishing. HP Tinker is the prime example: a brilliant young writer who has been on the verge of breaking through for the past five years or so, but hasn’t quite made it. Anyway, here is the longlist in its present, gloriously incomplete state (I haven’t included people like Irvine Welsh who are clearly far too famous):

Akashic Books (publishers, Johnny and Johanna, USA)
Michael Allen (blogger, Grumpy Old Bookman, UK)
Mike Allen (wrier, USA, nominated himself)
Mark Ames (writer, journalist, USA/Russia)
The Anti-Naturals (writers, artists, USA)
Aqueduct Press (publisher, USA)
Steve Aylett (writer, UK)
John Barlow (writer, UK, nominated himself)
Christian Bauman (writer, USA)
Martin Bax (editor, Ambit, UK)
George Berger (writer, journalist, musician, UK)
Tom Bradley (writer, USA/Japan)
Donari Braxton (writer, USA)
Tony Brown (poet, USA)
Richard Cabut (writer, UK)
Noah Cicero (writer, USA)
Pete Coco (writer, critic, USA)
Matthew Coleman (writer, filmmaker, UK)
Andy Cox (publisher, TTA Press, UK)
Paul Curran (writer, UK, nominated himself)
Trinie Dalton (writer, USA)
Brian Joseph Davis (writer, musician, Canada)
Jackson Ellis (editor, Verbicide Magazine, USA)
Walter Ellis (writer, USA?, nominated himself)
Paul Di Filippo (writer, USA)
Jonathan DiMarco (publisher, Zaltys Press USA, nominated himself)
John Dolan (critic, The Exile, USA?)
Utahna Faith (writer, editor, Wild Strawberries, USA)
Tim Footman (writer, editor, UK/Thailand, nominated himself)
Tom Gidley (artist, writer, UK)
Steven Hall (writer, UK)
Sam Hamill (poet, Poets Against the War, USA)
Laura Hird (writer, web journalist, UK)
Gina Holmes (blogger, USA)
Stewart Home (writer, artist, UK)
Alan Horvath (publisher, Kirpan Press, USA)
Heidi James (writer, UK)
Travis Jeppesen (writer, poet, editor, journalist, publisher USA/Czech Republic)
Jeremy Robert Johnson (writer, USA)
Joe R Lansdale (writer, USA)
William Levy (writer, poet, translator, USA/Netherlands)
Roderick Maclean (writer, USA)
Tom McCarthy (writer, artist, UK)
Carlton Mellick III (writer, USA)
Jonathan Messinger (writer, editor, USA)
Chris Mitchell (editor, Spike, UK)
James Morrow (writer, USA?)
Ben Myers (writer, journalist, UK)
Open Wide (magazine, UK)
Chad Post (publisher, Dalkey Archive Press, USA)
Lee Rourke (writer, editor, Scarecrow, UK)
Tony O’Neill (writer, UK/USA)
Pulp.net (webzine, UK)
Georgy Riecke (editor, Under the Bunker, UK)
Kevin Ring (publisher, Beat Scene, UK)
The Science Fiction Poetry Association (USA)
Richard Eoin Nash (publisher, Soft Skull Press, USA)
Mark SaFranko (writer, USA)
Mark Sarvas (editor, The Elegant Variation, USA)
The Savage Kick Literary Magazine (UK)
John Shirley (writer, USA)
Snowbooks (publisher, UK)
Andrew Stevens (editor, UK)
That Girl Who Writes Stuff (blogger, USA)
Mark Thwaite (editor, Ready Steady Books, UK)
HP Tinker (writer, UK)
Susan Tomaselli (blogger, Dogmatika, Republic of Ireland)
Wells Tower (writer, USA)
Paul G Tremblay (writer, USA)
Michael Turner (writer, Canada)
Twisted Spoon Press (publisher, Czech Republic)
Jeff VanderMeer (writer, USA)
Matthew Wascovich (publisher, Slow Toe poet, musician)
Benjamin Weissman (writer, painter, USA)
Steven Wells (writer, journalist, UK/USA)
Joe Wenderoth (writer, USA)
Stephen M Wilson (writer, USA)

So, who do we keep (vote for your favourites) and who do we add?

First posted: Friday, April 7th, 2006.

There are currently 45 comments on this post. You can follow all the comments on this post through this RSS feed.

  1. I would add in 2 others…
    1)Chris McCabe, a young and truly innovative poet whose debut “The Hutton Report” was published by Salt Publishing last year, and we’ve printed a number of his early poems in Lamport Court.
    http://www.saltpublishing.com/books/smp/1844710742.htm
    2) Chris Gribble, who is director of the Manchester Literature Festival this autumn, which takes over from the Manchester Poetry Festival, which he ran for a number of years with Ric Michael. Unlike other literature festivals this one is going to concentrate on the new and innovative. http://www.mlfestival.co.uk/
    3

  2. 1 vote for Twisted Spoon
    !

  3. Thanks for the nod . . . but I’m a loud and proud Canadian.

  4. Tindal Stree Press from Birmingham – independent publisher committed to novels and short stories from outside the London Oxbridge circle, only been going for five years and have already had one of their novels short listed for the Booker Prize in 2003 – and their writers regularly win awards. Great ethos, passion and belief in giving a home to quality literature – the independent spirit incarnate.

  5. Correction: Tindal Street Press

    Website here:

    http://www.tindalstreet.co.uk/

  6. Well, of course people are going to nominate themselves. Nobody thinks he or she is influential enough, and if he or she would write “they” in the first clause of this sentence, he or she probably doesn’t deserve to be influential.

    Like these guys, I think I belong on the list. But a true list of the fifty least influential people in publishing would be people who nobody knew enough to nominate, right? Not even themselves because they’re not influential enough to know about this list.

    All these people do have a measure of influence. I mean, I’ve heard of nearly everyone on the list, read stuff by most of them, and slept with some of them — not that it’s done me much good, of course.

    A really un-influential person would not even have a blog, would they? (Okay, forget what I said about grammar before.) They’d be standing on a street corner — say 86th and Broadway or Bedford Ave. and North 7th St. — trying to sell you their POD books. At least that’s what has worked to keep me from having any influence whatsoever.

  7. Well, of course people are going to nominate themselves. Nobody thinks he or she is influential enough, and if he or she would write “they” in the first clause of this sentence, he or she probably doesn’t deserve to be influential.

    Like these guys, I think I belong on the list. But a true list of the fifty least influential people in publishing would be people who nobody knew enough to nominate, right? Not even themselves because they’re not influential enough to know about this list.

    All these people do have a measure of influence. I mean, I’ve heard of nearly everyone on the list, read stuff by most of them, and slept with some of them — not that it’s done me much good, of course.

    A really un-influential person would not even have a blog, would they? (Okay, forget what I said about grammar before.) They’d be standing on a street corner — say 86th and Broadway or Bedford Ave. and North 7th St. — trying to sell you their POD books. At least that’s what has worked to keep me from having any influence whatsoever.

  8. Oh, and truly un-influential people would not know how to comment properly on a blog so that their comment is not repeated.

    I rest my case.

  9. I’ll nominate Ray Hollingsworth, whose self published some brilliant poetry books – “Blueprint For Life” and most recently, “Dirty Blonde At The Cash Machine”.

    And publisher wise I’d say Codex Books in Brighton, who seem to have gone into hibernation, and SAF Publishing, who do some excellent music books. Their recent biography of Suicide is superb.

    I’d also like to know which pigfucker put my name on the list.

  10. Steve Mitchelmore – who is the writer of the blog This Space

    Quite simply the best quality literary blog IN THE WORLD – intelligent, thought provoking, contrary, often infuriating, but vital reading.

  11. Fred Voss!

  12. Another call for Georgy Riecke and those behind Underneath the Bunker. They deserve credit alone for choosing to have a website with a purely dark grey background. They most trust the power of words..

  13. Guess I’ll have to vote for myself. I wasn’t even sure there was going to be a list, thought it was impossible, just wanted to throw in a link to my novel. Like Richard said, wouldn’t those on the list by definition have more influence than those not? Sorry, I grew up in Australia.

  14. I’ll have you know that we are VERY influential in the martial arts sector, with forthcoming books from such luminaries as Mark McFann, world-renowned ground-fighting expert. So there.

    James @ Snowbooks

  15. “Another call for Georgy Riecke and those behind Underneath the Bunker. They deserve credit alone for choosing to have a website with a purely dark grey background. They most trust the power of words…”

    I second that!

  16. Well thank you for the nomination to whoever did it, my votes as far as other writers go to the tireless Lee Rourke at Scarecrow and Heidi James (although at the rate theyre going they may be on the most influential list by next year, like Tom McCarthy)

    And I would cast an un-vote for Steve M. at This Space simply because he trashed my book without having even read a copy. Not that it pissed me off or anything.

  17. I remember when Steve Aylett used to hover gnomically in the attic offices the New Law Journal. His boss was ex-wrestler and gangland author James Morton.

    I just kept my head down, mended the computers, and left.

  18. I hope you’ll include Leora Skolkin-Smith (writer USA)

  19. I vote for Gina Holmes of Novel Journey. Not only is she working hard interviewing great authors like Frank Peretti and Walter Wangerin Jr on her blog, Novel Journey, she is a fantastic writer in her own rite. She’s starting her third novel while trying to find a publisher for her second novel, The Demon Chaser. She spends hours of her days promoting other authors, reviewing novels, and providing a place for novelists to network.

  20. I nominate Richard, cause he’s double trouble.

    JeffV

  21. Hate to be the kind of person who goes to websites and points this kind of thing out, but it seemed glaringly obvious to me: there are hardly any women on that list at all. Or does that mean that the (very large) percentage of women in publishing are all influential (I can believe that).

  22. Yes. What bowleserised said.

  23. The non-influential women in publishing go off after a few years and do other, more worthwhile things.

    The non-influential men hang on through intertia, impotent with rage, seething in bitterness at their own lack of influence. Hence their appearance on the list.

  24. Gilbert Sorrentino, Gilbert Sorrentino, Gilbert Sorrentino.

  25. You can drop the question mark after James Morrow: He’s totally USA, and has spent his career in the middle of Pennsylvania. Writes beautifully too –I’ll nominate him.

    –Josh Lukin

  26. Andrew Gallix has got be be a runner – he more or less is 3ammagazine and has been throughout!

  27. Off the top of ma head: Kevin Williamson (blogger/outlaw), Charlotte Cooper (writer), Hillary Raphael (writer), Jacob Sam LaRose (poet), Jim Driver (publisher), Edward Champion (blogger), Richard Eoin Nash (publisher), Sander Hicks (writer), Sean Walsh (blogger), Steve Almond (writer), Stuart Christie (publisher), Suzy Prince (editor of Nude), Four Eyed Bitch (blogger)…

  28. i vote for alan horvath

  29. Casey and Denise Hill of New Pages, Lee Rourke of Scarecrow,
    Christian Peet of Tarpaulin Sky,
    Levi Asher and all at Litkicks, Laura Hird, Ron Silliman, Steve Mitchelmore of This Space, Susan Tomaselli of Dogmatika, Dogmatika’s poet Darran Anderson, Red China, Claudia Smith, the poet Nordette Adams, have to mention Viggo Mortenson for Perceval Press though he’s rich and famous (and very handsome).

  30. i’d like to nominate Nicholas Cobic and James Byrne of The Wolf.

  31. Didn’t Ed Champion (www.edrants.com) nominate himself for this over on his blog?

  32. Akashic, surely?

  33. Shane @ Wrecking Ball Press too.

  34. of bloggers mine goes to the collective
    Taking The Brim_Took The Broom
    http://takingthebrim.blogspot.com/

    Can we have our ball back?
    http://canwehaveourballback.blogspot.com/

    Darran Anderson -Laika Poetry
    http://laikapoetryreview.blogspot.com/

    Calvin Liu of The Bullfight Review and The Glut
    http://www.bullfightreview.com/

  35. Tao Lin, Kevin Sampsell, Shya Scanlon, and Elizabeth Ellen would all be good picks if they weren’t “on the verge” as they say.

  36. Gerald England for his tireless work on the NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL
    http://www.geraldengland.co.uk/nhi/index.htm

  37. I’d like to nominate myself, just for my sheer ability to appear in context with so many literary things, to reach honorary mention status repeatedly, to publish in multiple genres over a period of decades, and still remain relatively tranpsarent. Apparently, I can run down the corridors of the literary world naked, and I’m allowed this privilege, though no one is likely to notice (lol). Besides, I’m witty, clever, and deserving.

  38. Martin Millar – repeatedly dropped by publishers and now without a deal in the UK (sob).

  39. Ja, ja: Herr Riecke

  40. Horacio Mono de Calcetines, author of the unpopular blog BloodInk.net, “a happy place for fiction writers”

  41. I would like to vote for two people. The first would be poet and essayist Dan Schneider with his website Cosmoetica.com. I’ve been reading it for several years now, and I’m shocked this guy hasn’t been swiped up by some big publishing house. His poems are complex and lack cliches, and he has a detalied sense of the arts, as shown in his reviews. Even if you don’t agree with all his opinions, they are still worth reading.

    The second person I’d like to vote for is ironically someone Schneider lists in his ‘neglected poets’ page. Poet James Emanuel- some of his poems can be read on Schneider’s site, as well as some legnthy criticism regarding Emanuel’s work. This guy has been ignored his whole life, and reading about him whetted my interest and I ordered Emanuel’s book online. I think these two artists deserve greater than what they’ve gotten, which has been quite little, when compared to most lesser writers out there.

    -Hannica Redding

  42. Can I suggest Resonance FM people who are underground cultural warriors.

    For similar reasons the Scottish publisher-icon of Kevin Williamson (Rebel Inc).

    Not to forget the anarcho-groovers at AK Press in California.

  43. i definitely vote for open wide magazine.

  44. open wide… the true voice of underground writing.

  45. I came across my name on this list in a google search. I’m not sure who nominated me, but I’m flattered. I noticed that a few people mentioned that there needed to be women on this list, so if there is still nominating going on for this I want to add Ellen Datlow. I wrote a quick bio of her accomplishments below and included a link to her website.

    For more than a quarter of a century, Ellen Datlow has been responsible for helping to shape the voice of contemporary fantastic literature (esp. horror and science fiction). Starting in the ’80′s, Datlow was fiction editor of OMNI for over seventeen years and after OMNI she went on to create the award-winning website Event Horizon with her former OMNI colleagues. She was also editor of SCI FICTION at the SCIFI Channel’s website for six years. She has edited the horror half of the The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for going on 20 years (the first 16 volumes edited with Terri Windling and all subsequent volumes with Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant). With Windling, she also co-edited six-volumes of adult fairy tales, two children’s fairy tale anthologies, three young adult anthologies, and an erotic fantasy anthology. Solo, she has edited ten anthologies including most recently The Dark: New Ghost Stories (Tor, 2006) and Inferno (due from Tor in 2007).

    Datlow has won several awards for her editorial work including seven World Fantasy Awards, two Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award, Three Hugo Awards, and the Locus Award.

    http://www.datlow.com/index.html

    Stephen M. Wilson