Monday, 13 December 2010


My publisher, Quaestor2000, is closing. Copies in stock will be sold for another month but after that, it’s over. So if anyone wants copies of Far After Gold or Till the Day Go Down, get them now, otherwise they’ll be pulped.
My sympathies lie with Roger Bennett, who began the Quaestor venture. Publishing is harder than people think. Or rather, to make a success, a profit-paying venture, is harder than it might seem. Getting a book printed is easy enough today, but the trick is in selling it. Faced with 500 copies of a title, where do you off-load them?
The big chain booksellers go through their chosen hubs, and select only what they think will sell in multiples. Persuading them to accept a novel from an unknown author is like trying to push a snowball uphill, in my view. Or, they accept politely, and eventually it dawns that nothing is really going to happen. The precious book never appears on their shelves. Or if it does, it's there for one week and then vanishes.
Some people are built for the task of selling their own work and enjoy it, but the mere thought of filling the car boot with copies and touring the countryside as a salesperson fills me with dread.

So, my brief time with paperbacks published and available is soon to be over. I’m sad about it, but console myself with the thought that I still have two e-books available – Banners of Alba and Dark Pool.
And soon I’ll have a contemporary ghost story, Shadows, coming from Sapphire Blue. As with everything else, its Onwards and Upwards and Don't Look Back.
(The pic? Prudhoe Castle in the snow.)


Anita Davison said...

How frustrating for you Jen,and I totally sympathise with the needy 'Please read my book' mentality authors are expected to adopt these days.
I hope you manage to find other homes for your two books.

Jen Black said...

Thanks, Anita. Part of the problem was the pulisher's ill-health, and that can catch anyone out.

Lisa Yarde said...

Jen, I'm sorry to hear about this, I had hoped to see good things coming from Queastor. You're very talented and I don't doubt you'll be able to reissue the two books with another publisher. Hang in there.

Jen Black said...

I'll be doing my best, Lisa, you can count on that!