Well, that didn’t take long. Sorry, folks. My bad. Yes, it seems every time I get involved with a small press publisher things go into the crapper.
- 3F Publications? Gone.
- Scrybe Press? Gone.
- Graveside Tales? Gone. (Yes, the Web site is still there, but check the dates.)
- Stone Thread Press? Closed up shop just before Inheritance was released, so … Gone.
- Fine Tooth Press? They seem to be gone, too, though the publisher is active as an individual on Facebook; the Web site is gone and no word about Darkscapes sales in a few years now.
- Bad Moon Books? Switched from limited editions to trade paperbacks, but will only sell through their own Web site, not allowing the discounts needed to sell through distributors, so sales of Amara’s Prayer have been pretty much non-existent.
- Permuted Press? What, do you live under a rock?
My favorite vampire Gabrielle Faust blew the lid off what’s going on there. I received an e-mail from Permuted Press’s president, Michael Wilson, last week, but with the stress of getting benchmark tests ready at school, I didn’t give it the attention it deserved until I saw Gabrielle’s post. The company has decided to stop releasing paperback versions of most of the titles it had under contract. This would have included the three they contracted from me this past summer.
I entered that contract reluctantly, and after quite a bit of negotiation. I did it because I enjoyed several Permuted titles published in the company’s early days under different ownership, and because Gabrielle was working with the company as an author and in the publicity department and said she believed the company was about to do big things. Well, they did. They switched her title from print with e-book to e-book only the week it was supposed to be released.
I’m not interested in seeing The Prometheus Syndrome, Scratch, and The Living Dark released only in electronic format, so I asked to have my contract terminated and all rights returned. Permuted Press granted that request in less than 12 hours. It was a very cordial parting.
What will I do with the books? I don’t know. At this point I’ve about given up on any and all small press publishers. I know, I know, I’ve said that before. But for real now. If I can spring for cover art I’ll probably release them through my own MoonHowler Press. Why give up most of my royalties for paltry sales to someone who may or may not pay me or stay in business for the life of the contract when I can publish the books myself and be wholly responsible for their success or failure? I would rather not self-publish, but honestly, any stigma still clinging to that method can’t be as bad as the stigma of being tied to an unreliable company beyond my control.
For the moment I will continue trying to find representation that will market my young adult fiction to major publishers, but for adult horror, it looks like self-publishing is the way to go for now. I know there’s a lot of horrible stuff being self-published, but I hope you, the reader, will sample some of mine and work by other authors who have chosen this path and support us with your buying power.