Divorce is hard. No, not that kind, not literal divorce…though, that ain’t great, either. (Been there, done that.)
No I mean business divorce. Looks like I’m having to divorce one of my publishers. Books of the Dead, out of Canada, really gave me a leg up. It published my first book of short stories, Little Deaths, back in 2012. It did really well, selling in excess of 18,000 copies. (Yes, 18,000 copies.) Then, I signed for another two books–The Bell Witch and Kill/Off. The Bell Witch did even better, selling more than 23,000 copies to date.
But then things fell off. Kill/Off, a cool little thriller, fell off the face of the planet, from a sales standpoint, where it still resides even today. And my last one, Infestation, went nowhere. Falling off the face of the planet would have been at least something. But zero effort went into it. I never even got my author copies of it.
Then Books of the Dead stopped doing just about anything. They didn’t market anything. Didn’t really update their website or Facebook pages. Communication became sporadic, and recently ceased altogether. Repeated attempts to contact the publisher went unanswered. Royalty statements stopped, as did payment.
Has Books of the Dead gone under, as many small publishers these days do? Has something untoward happened to its owner? Who knows? I certainly hope not, but Books of the Dead has published a lot of top-notch authors–Bracken MacLeod, Mark Matthews, Justin Robinson, Julie Huchings, Simon Dewar–to name but a few. And it’s left them somewhat in the lurch.
If I’ve learned one thing over the 25 years I’ve been doing this, it’s that if the author doesn’t take care of himself, then no one will. So, I’m reclaiming the rights for these books, as Books of the Dead is in breach of contract. I’m pulling them from all of the appropriate sales outlets–Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. So, in the next day or so, hopefully, they’ll be down. I’m sending a letter by registered post to Books of the Dead, letting them know I’m reclaiming my rights to these works effective immediately.
I already have plans for some of these books; plans I will be able to share soon. Exciting plans. Wonderful plans.
So, thanks Books of the Dead. It’s been a good run, but all good things, as they say. Time to move on.