Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another One Bites the Dust

Well, it's time again for some bad news.  Pill Hill Press, publisher of "The Guns of Mars," and several of my short stories in different anthologies, has closed down.  Yet another market fades to black.  It is another sad affair, for certain.

I'm not sure what this means for The Guns of Mars yet, though I should be getting a letter soon about the rights.

This is a sign of the times, as well as the fluid nature of the publishing industry in general.  People no longer have the time or money to indulge in the "hobby" of being a publisher.  It's really going to be hard for aspiring writers in the future, as more and more of these small markets vanish.  Fewer venues will mean a lot of good books will never see the acceptance they deserve, nor have the editorial revisions they may require to become true gems.

I want to assure everyone that Martinus Publishing is here to stay, and with all of these small presses shutting down I'll be here to pick up the slack.  If anything, this may give me cause to expand, and become a true force to be reckoned with in the book publishing world!  I will rage against the dying of the light, so to speak.

Even though a shrinking marketplace may provide opportunities for my publishing company, it does have disadvantages for me as a writer.  First it was Hall Brothers Entertainment.  Now, with Pill Hill Press shutting down, I find myself with virtually all of my books "in house."  While it may be convenient to have all of my books under the Martinus Publishing banner, it will put a black mark on my credibility as an author. 

While Martinus is a legitimate publishing company, I fear that most industry professionals will consider my books "self-published," and therefore consider my works "invalid."  There is still a bias against self-publishing, even more so today where virtually anyone can "publish" a book for almost nothing.  The bias isn't wholly unjustified because of this ease of modern publishing.  There are a lot of books being released that have not been edited properly, and are not ready to see the light of day.  With so many unqualified manuscripts floating around the self-publishing world, the works that are good and worth reading are maligned and marginalized amidst the slush.

So, it's back to the drawing board.  The works that have already been "published" by other presses that are now defunct will have to be released by the Martinus Publishing line, because it would be next to impossible to find another publisher interested in putting out a "second edition."  Maybe I should resume the search for other publishers to release my previously unreleased works, though the marketplace is contracting, making it even harder to get anywhere.  Besides, it seems the only editors who ever understood my writing have gone out of business.  Damn my infernal irrelevancy!

Well, I have a company to run.  2013 is already shaping up to be one rough year.


  1. I think people exaggerate about self-publishing editing habits versus professional publishing (although I don't do the trend of reading so much self-publishing, so who knows?), because I've seen plenty of bad editing in professional publishing. It's just easier for people to point to self-publishing because there are fewer layers of the onion to peel.

    Sad to hear. But I like your commitment!

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties and the demise of your small publisher. Do you know if the editors you worked with will be moving on to other companies or becoming freelancers? You may still find a way to work with them. I do agree editing makes a difference, which is why I hire a freelance editor for my work. It's expensive, but I consider it a long-term investment, and this is a long-term business. Best of luck to you and your company.