Friday, September 14, 2012

Out Of Print

You know how I said this month is looking pretty good for me? That was before I got the bad news. My books haven't been doing all that well, hence the decision on my publisher's part not to go ahead with another book from me. That was hard enough for me to take, but this new bad news is even worse.

My publisher has decided to let my first three novels go out of print. As of Monday morning, September 17, all remaining stock of Epoch, Evil, and Attack of the Intergalactic Soul Hunters will be pulped and recycled. This is a huge blow to my writing career; it isn't over, but it is in serious trouble.

I was expecting this news for Soul Hunters. It's been out since 2005, and since 2006 the average sales have been less than twenty copies per year. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

The decision to pulp Epoch and Evil, however, came as quite a shock. Epoch sold relatively well in its first couple of years; Evil, not so much. I had hoped this situation would improve as my Internet presence grew. Since Evil's publication, I've had lots of reviews and quite a few guest posts on numerous blogs. I've discovered the promotional possibilities to be had with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Goodreads and Amazon, to name just a few.

I've also kept up a regular presence on the convention circuit. I'm a regular attendee of Ad Astra and Polaris in Toronto, and a few others when I could. I was the guy with the cartoony leaflets, handing them out to anyone who'd take one, leaving them on chairs and tables, trying to get myself noticed.

I've been busy, worked hard, and had an extraordinary amount of help. To every person who has friended or followed me, or Liked my fan pages; to every blogger who reviewed me, interviewed me, or asked me to write a guest post; to everyone who posted comments on those blogs, or wrote critiques of my work on Goodreads and Amazon; to every convention organizer and volunteer who helped set me up with what I needed, worked me into the programming schedule; to every fan I met at the cons who bought a book from me, took one of my flyers, sought me out at my table, commented at one of my panels, befriended me, and generally made me feel welcome and accepted... I can't thank all of you enough. I am so grateful, and feel so lucky, to have met you, and I want to shake every one of your hands.

And yet... it wasn't enough. Not by a longshot. I tried to get the word out, and all of you stepped in and gave me a boost, but the word simply didn't spread far enough. My novels didn't earn the sales required to justify keeping Epoch and Evil on the shelves.

Thankfully I still have The Cupid War, and I will continue to fight for it. It will be a much harder fight, however, now that I'm no longer taking up as much shelf space. I still have my small press books: my ebook for children, Closets; and Section K, my sci/fi comedy for grown ups. And, of course, I'll keep writing. I still have hope, and a burning desire to write I'll keep going.

Maybe someday I'll sell those three novels to a new publisher. The rights have reverted to me, apart from those already sold. I really don't know what's going to happen with the digital versions of those books; I'll update when I do.

This isn't the end. It does, however, feel an awful lot like the beginning of the end. I wish I sounded more positive about this, but I'm not going to sugar-coat the situation, either. I'm in a bit of a funk, and I'm not going to snap out of it for anyone else's comfort. This is me, reeling from a blow delivered by a harsh reality, and I haven't managed to bounce back yet.

But I will.

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