Well, the unexpected always rears its head sooner rather than later, and this past Saturday, it took the form of my publisher announcing that after fifteen years in the industry, he’s decided to close up shop. In September, StoneGarden.net Publishing will be no more. The contract for the prequel to The Uncanny Valley is gone, and Scaring the Crows, The Uncanny Valley, and On the Edge of Twilight will soon be out of print – temporarily, at least.
I’ve decided to approach this as a positive development…it’s the only way. After a few rough days, I’m now moving steadily forward in the hunt for a new publisher, and I’m amazed by the kindness, support, and helpfulness that many of my colleagues and friends, both in and out of the writing and publishing community, have already shown me.
So here, now, is the good news as I see it:
To begin, my current publisher is kind enough to allow his writers to terminate their contracts at any point between now and the official disbanding of the company in September. That means that if I locate a new publisher to reprint my current books and publish my new one, I can move forward immediately; no copyright issues, no delays.
On top of that, my fine illustrator, John Randall York, is still interested in working on our projects together. All of the illustrations he created for these books, both cover and interior, will be available for reprint editions, and he’s still on board for work on future books, too. That’s an enormous comfort.
Having the freedom to work with a new publisher may also open up whole new avenues of marketing potential for the existing books, as well as the prequel to The Uncanny Valley. StoneGarden was excellent on many levels, and I am eternally grateful to them, but perhaps now I can move on to a somewhat larger publisher that offers more advanced marketing, better distribution, and other benefits that aren’t often available to the smaller companies. Bringing these books to a wider audience would make me incredibly happy.
Right now I’m picking through a copy of The Uncanny Valley with a fine-toothed comb, checking little details, revising here and there. With any luck, that will be the first of my existing books to find a new home, and the prequel can follow directly—so I want to have it in perfect shape now, should the right person ask to see it. But I also have ideas for the stories in Scaring the Crows and On the Edge of Twilight, so with any luck, moving forward, everything will soon have a home once again. Writers live, at least in part, through their work. Here’s hoping these works, so much a part of who I am, have a fine future ahead of them.
Sometimes, the unexpected isn’t so bad. Sometimes, maybe even often, it’s actually very good.