This has been a hard year for my writing career on many levels. With the economy in decline, sales have been stagnant on most titles (West of the Warlock being the only major seller), and the marketing of new works has been surprisingly difficult. It seems there are fewer and fewer markets that are interested in publishing the sort of stories I write, and even the stuff I read.
At the same time, during different writing exercises and contests, I have uncovered a lot of really good writers who aren't getting published much, even though their stuff is way better than a lot of the stuff that is being pushed by the bigger commercial markets. I don't know if it's just my personal tastes which are out of whack with the mainstream, but there is clearly a growing niche of sci-fi and fantasy that is underrepresented in the marketplace. It's about time I did something about that.
The closure of Hall Brothers Entertainment was just the final straw. That tragic loss has finally given me the impetus to move forward with something I have been considering for years. That is the formation of my own publishing company. Without further ado, I hereby announce the birth of Martinus Publishing!
While still in the "conceptual phase," I foresee Martinus Publishing as a viable small press, seeking to publish an eclectic selection of Science Fiction & Fantasy works, both single-author novels and multi-author anthologies. I am also considering a line of historical novels, though let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's important to start out small, and see what happens. No sense over-extending myself, right?
The first book that I'll be releasing will be The Curse of Selwood. It is all ready to go (thank you, HBE), and I should have an official release date soon. In addition, I'll be re-releasing West of the Warlock about the same time, with a fresh postscript. In the meantime, I have put up fresh "sample" pages at my website:
Speaking of websites, that is something I will have to handle, as well. I will have to set up a separate site for Martinus Publishing. It's a fairly simple thing to do. Give me a hundred bucks and I'll put something together. It may not be big and flashy, but it'll work.
After West of the Warlock & The Curse of Selwood, the next release will have to be The Temporal Element, which is still open for submissions at this time. This first anthology will establish Martinus Publishing as a genuine small press, and not just a shill company for publishing my own work. The first artwork I'll have to commission is a cover for this anthology, since I'd like to have something nice and professional.
Once these outstanding projects are released, then I will move forward, and start seeking some new talent. I expect to handle a couple of novels each year, and possibly a couple of anthologies as well. With any luck, this will be the start of a long-lasting endeavor, which will bring fantastic fiction to life and hopefully produce enough of a profit to keep itself afloat without eating away at my limited revenues (yes, wishful thinking, I know).
So, let us begin!