Today I should have been celebrating the imminent release of my 12th title tomorrow - Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened - and be on tour with it. Instead I'm mourning the loss of my main publisher Breathless Press, and their YA sister, Lycaon Press. With great regret and much sadness I have to announce their closure on the 1st of May. The owner, Justyn Perry, and his associates took the hard decision over the weekend after notifying us on the Friday. There were hopes of continuing in some form, but unfortunately that won't be the case.
Direct from Justyn Perry:
"Breathless Press has decided to close it's doors after a long year of declining sales. The decision came after a week long process of looking at options to keep the company open. Rather than leaving the authors high and dry, the company decided that the best option was to close before financial hardship hit them like so many other small presses. For those who are supporters, we thank you for your continued support."
I can honestly say it's been a huge pleasure and privilege to have been one of their authors for the past year, and I'm thoroughly heartsick at their closing. I have to commend Justyn and his team for taking the decision in time to prevent the company falling into debt and saddling everyone with issues as a result, and in keeping us fully informed throughout the process. In some ways, that has actually made it harder. BP has always done its best for its authors, doing things many other small presses don't offer, like blog tours and promo opportunities, as well as an extensive application for reviews. The company treated its authors as partners rather than just resources. Even with the closure, Justyn has worked hard to make it as painless as it can possibly be considering the situation. My heart goes out to him, the staff and my fellow authors. Everyone has been devastated by it.
So what does that mean for the five titles I have with them? Well, the books will be removed from all retail sites by the 1st of May. BP have arranged for us to be able to buy our edits and/or cover art so that those of us wishing to self publish can get our works back up ASAP. In my case that means When Dark Falls and No Angel will hopefully be available again before the end of May. Tethered and Restless In Peaceville are getting new cover art courtesy of the awesome Danielle Fine, who has gone to enormous lengths to help me get back on track too. This will mean it may take a little longer to get those two titles back up, but they will be. However, Zombie Girl (which was due for release tomorrow) will now go on the back burner along with the sequel I was writing for Camp NaNoWriMo. There's just too much work to do restoring the other titles, and frankly I'm taking this as an opportunity to rethink the trilogy and what I want to do with it. Maybe I'll publish it as a serial, an idea I've been dead against until now. Maybe I'll publish it week by week on WattPad.
In the meantime, Keir will still be releasing in May in ebook formats, with me pushing to get print available as soon as possible to compensate for the loss of RIP, Tethered and WDF in paperback. However, because of the costs in edits and cover art, despite huge concessions being made, this will have a knock on effect with my publishing schedule for at least the rest of 2015. I'll try to update that as soon as possible. Bear with me.
What else does it mean for me? Am I going to quit? Hell, no!
NEVER GIVE UP - NEVER SURRENDER!!
It does means one big thing though. No. More. Publishers. While I still have one novel with Champagne Books (my only surviving publisher), I won't be submitting anywhere else ever again. Perhaps I should have done this last year after one publisher sold out and another closed. Perhaps I should have taken that as a sign. Hindsight is wonderful thing. Despite that, I have no regrets at being with BP, but this has decided me. After doing this three times in the less than three years since I was first published, I can't do it again. I'm going fully self published from now on, though it'll be a struggle financially and work will come out more slowly. At least I'll now have full control. I can run special discounts and promotions, experiment, tweak things as I see fit and update back matter. The bonuses will outweigh the costs.
It just remains for me to thank Justyn Perry for creating a small press whose closure has had me in tears for days. Thanks also go to:
Jo Husaymen for her marketing, Gayl Taylor for her formatting and uploading, Kris Pavka and Allie Kincheloe for their editing, Victoria Miller for her artwork, and Deadra Krieger for giving me my first break at BP with my freaky little zombie story. Also to my fellow authors there who were so warm, welcoming and giving, and that I hope to stay connected with, and who sent virtual hugs as we all went through our loss.
Thanks to all my online friends, most of whom didn't know what the hell was going on but still sent virtual hugs. Huge thanks also to Laurie Green, Liana Brooks, Misa Buckley, Laurel Kriegler, Diane Dooley, Diana, Victoria Miller, Allie Kincheloe and Laurel Kriegler for letting me cry on their shoulders and offering their support, often in more ways than one. But most of all to my editor, cover artist and friend Danielle Fine - my superheroine - without whom it would be taking me couple of years to recover from this set back rather than a couple of months, and who has pretty much covered my arse and held my hand since my publishing debut. You rock, lady, and I can never thank you enough.
And while this is not the kind of sales pitch I ever wanted to make, if you happened to want any of my BP/LP titles, I suggest you buy them quick. They'll be coming down from retailers very shortly and will definitely be gone by the 1st of May. I can't currently give you any guarantee of when they'll be back up, though I hope by the end of May, maybe end of June at the latest. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has supported me and hugs to all my BP colleagues. We can get through this. One very sad Pippa Jay checking out...
My fellow co-bloggers have been putting up an array of interesting and amazing posts in the last week. Check them all out.