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My primary publisher, Loose Id, has alas closed as of 7 May. My books published through them are now out of print, although you may see them on third party distributors for a short period while the out of print notices work through the system.

I do intend to make the books available again, but that takes a lot of time, which is a resource I'm rather short of at the moment. I'm also waiting on Loose Id to finish working on the rights releases for the cover art I'd like to re-use. I'm focusing on writing new material for now.

If you're still looking for something of mine to read, I do have books at NineStar Press under the name Storm Duffy, which are still available and will be for the foreseeable future.

julesjones: (Default)
My primary publisher Loose Id has announced they're closing, with the current timescale being final closure in early May 2018.

That means all of my books still with them will be out of print by then at the latest, as will all the other titles in their catalogue. The LI contract is a periodic one generally renewed every year or two years, and any contracts which expire before May will not be renewed and the title will go out of print at that point. I can't remember off-hand which of my contracts might expire before then, so no guarantees that all of my books will still be available after the end of the year. Skimming last year's contract renewal emails suggests that they'll start to fall out of print around February/March.

I gather the usual Boxing Day sale will be going ahead.

I'd like to say that I'll self-publish to get them back in print, but realistically that's not likely to happen for quite a while, given my current health issues. OTOH, if I do self-publish I'll do so at a significantly lower cover price. In the unlikely event you'd like to buy any of my Loose Id titles and haven't got around to it yet, you'll need to weigh up those options.

I know some of the other authors aren't planning to do new editions of some of their titles, or have put it at the back of a very long "when I have time and energy" queue, so you might want to check out what any favourite authors are planning to do if there are any books you hadn't got to yet and would be sorry to miss out on.

Make sure you have copies of all your purchases downloaded, and that you have cashed in any Id Points, gift certificates etc and claimed any prizes before shutdown.
julesjones: (Default)
Woke up this morning to the news that Samhain Publishing is closing its doors. Neatly and tidily, and will be open for some time to come - but anything not ready to go will be released back to the author, and as contracts expire they will not be renewed. If you would like to buy any of their books, it would be a good idea to make it sooner rather than later. But not today, because I've seen something on Twitter this morning about a 40% off sale on Monday for purchases direct from their website.

I never submitted to them, in large part because I was reluctant to submit to a start-up with a 7 year contract term until they'd demonstrated they could stick around long enough to justify that contract length, and by the time they'd done that I wasn't writing because my health had dropped off a cliff. They've had a couple of wobbles over the years (the metadata copyright thing comes to mind), but in general have treated their authors and staff well, and I had some material in the pipeline I wanted to submit to them. I'm not surprised they're doing the classy thing, and planning to wind down the company in a way that maximises everyone's income, and the chances of the authors getting their rights back intact.

I've already seen some comments from the "self-pub rules, trad-pub sucks" corner of the internet about how evil Samhain is for not just letting the authors go immediately and going into bankruptcy, so that the authors can self-pub. That's not the way US bankruptcy law works, kids. The bankruptcy court can go after any assets deemed to have been transferred prior to the bankruptcy to avoid being seized as part of the assets, and that includes the book contracts - they are, after all, the primary asset of a publisher. It doesn't matter if you have a parachute clause stating all the rights revert back to you on bankruptcy - those aren't worth the electrons they're written on. The court can and does quash asset transfers going back months before the actual bankruptcy.

Oh, and as KJ Charles noted in Twitter this morning, any publisher gloating over Samhain's demise is a publisher you do not want to touch with a bargepole. They're demonstrating how they'll treat *you*.

julesjones: (Default)
I'm doing very little blog-hopping these days, so I didn't see the latest piece of erotic romance industry news until a couple of days after the faecal matter impacted the air circulatory device. New epublisher Quartet Press has closed, before it even opened.

This is significant news, because this wasn't your typical "it would be fun and easy and profitable to be an epublisher" epub start-up. Quartet Press was set up by people who had some relevant experience, and who had the nous to headhunt a highly respected chief editor from an established epublisher. I wasn't paying much attention to it, because I haven't been paying much attention to the market at all for the last year other than what my own publisher is up to, but I did sit up and pay attention when I heard about them recruiting Angela James.

My own uninformed reaction to their progress was that they appeared to have the background that indicated a fairly low likelihood of the management going batshit insane (an unhappily common occurrence in this publishing sector), that it appeared to be a serious business venture by people who understood what they were getting into, and thus I thought they had a better chance than most start-ups of making it through the first year, that nevertheless I didn't understand why all the love for them from some of the blogs before they'd even opened, particularly as their background was skewed print rather than ebook, and that I really didn't like what I eventually heard about their royalty payment structure and their rationale for it.

I wouldn't have submitted a novel to them, even if I'd had something available at the time. Established publishers crash and burn, yes, and established publishers screw over their authors, sometimes in very bad ways. But the odds of something bad happening are a lot worse at a start-up, and I would not risk a novel at a start-up if I had a chance of selling it somewhere else. Yes, I sold several manuscripts to Loose Id before they opened for business, but I understood the risk I was taking, and back at the start of 2004 publishers willing to look at m/m romance were nearly as rare as hen's teeth.

What I might have been willing to risk at Quartet was a short story, or even a novella that wasn't suitable for Loose Id. And one of the reasons I might have been prepared to gamble at least that much of my material is what I referred to above -- that the people involved appeared to be treating it as a serious business venture. I thought that there was a high risk that the publisher wouldn't make it -- but that there was a fairly low risk that the management would simply disappear, or hold books hostage, or publicly post the real names of any authors who dared to criticise them during the final tailspin, or any of the other idiocies authors and readers in this genre can tell you about.

And indeed, it appears that they have closed the operation down cleanly, accepting responsibility for their actions, and reverting rights to authors immediately so that they can get on with trying to sell the manuscripts to another publishers. It's not a good situation for an author to be in, but it's a *much* better situation than simply being left in limbo, or being stalked and smeared and even physically threatened. It's early days yet, but for now this is looking a lot less messy for the authors than some past failed publishers.

This is why it's important to think hard about submitting to a start-up. It's not just the high probability of the publisher closing down within the year -- it's how well they'll handle it if it happens. Even if you're willing to take the risk with a new publisher, you need to be choosy as to which ones.


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April 2019

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