Sunday, November 16, 2014

Setbacks and Delays

Martinus Publishing isn't doing well, and neither am I at the moment.  As a quick heads-up, I'd like to inform everyone of the situation.

Sticking just with the publishing side of things, sales are currently awful.  The last two anthologies, Life of the Dead, and To Hell with Dante have both tanked, big time.  We are seeing virtually no sales of these titles, and I've spent more (much more) on advertising than has actually come back.  These titles are essentially dead.  That is very disheartening, and I dread having to send out royalty reports in January to the contributors.  I hate sending out pocket change for the authors who have contributed stories, and I further hate to let them know that nobody's buying their work.  Some will roll with it, some will be understanding, and maybe a few will just be upset and blame me for not being a rich New York City publishing house.

There is a huge pile of slush on my computer, waiting to be read, but due to various reasons I have been unable to focus adequately to get through most of it lately.  If you can imagine a writer with "reader's block" then that's me at the moment.  I cannot stand to look at the raw print some days, and I can't give an adequate assessment of a submission if that is the case.  Most of the open anthologies are closing to submissions by the end of the year, at least, so I might get a breather to catch up in January.  Maybe.

I have quite a few personal things troubling me, but those are my business, and I will not trouble anyone else with them.  Needless to say, I do not ask for your pity or your sympathy.  I only say it so you won't be surprised by any delays that might arise due to my current state of mind.  Don't be surprised if you don't get a timely response to a submission.

A little over 3 months ago, I quipped in a radio interview that I was "too stubborn to quit" when it came to the publishing industry.  That may still be the case, but I can't run myself into the ground for nothing.  When you have 2 flops in a row, and find yourself broke with no means to even run any more online ads, it really isn't much motivation.  Worse still, I don't even have the money to get some other projects I have in the works off the ground.  Damn it, I can't stand the thought of telling people I'm too financially strapped to make their dreams come true.

I realized some years ago that I was not liable to be able to become the successful writer that I always sought to become, but I thought I could help others on their trek toward that goal. Now, I can't even do that, so what good am I?  I'm sorry.

I'm not giving up.  I'm not shutting down.  However, I will say that writing and publishing aren't my most important concerns anymore.  Being a writer is something that has defined me my entire life.  Yet, the greatest success in the world would not grant me what I truly need in life.  No, that is something entirely different, and I have only just begun to understand it.  When that is achieved, perhaps then the writing will matter again. 



  1. Hi Martin,

    Sorry to hear things aren't going well at the moment. I was very thankful for you honoring me to be in past anthologies. However, taking care of yourself is most important. If you need to step away for a bit to get things in order, I don't think anyone would begrudge you for that. Take care and if you need anyone to talk to you, you have my email.

    1. Thank you, Philip. It has always been a pleasure working with you, and it has been an honor to feature your stories in past anthologies.

  2. Seconding Phil's comments; your health is far more important than anything else that may be on your plate at the moment. If you need a few months break to get things together, then so be it.

  3. Sorry to hear about your troubles, Martin. Sometimes its damned hard to find that needed ray of sunshine when you most need it. I'll extend the same offer to you that Philip did. Hope everything turns around for you real soon.

  4. Martin,
    I'm one of those that will roll with it and be understanding. Sometimes writing is what we do to escape real life, othertimes it enhances it. Either way, it should always be enjoyable. Always take care of yourself and your family first. Life is short and precious. Let me know if there is anything I can do. Good luck, my friend.

  5. Martin

    I think your writers are some of your greatest fans, myself heartily included. That says a lot about you not just as an editor, but as a man. You know we will help any way we can.

  6. I haven't had the pleasure of working with you yet though I'm hoping to submit to a few upcoming anthos. Life is challenging here, too, esp with regard to writing. I've considered giving up, but I think it's something we really can't do. Regroup, maybe, take a breather, but we have a need, don't we? To lose ourselves in other worlds, to craft them and shape them. I am among the willing to wait and resigned also to not making mad money with words. I hope, though, that if I can come up with something acceptable for you, we can work together to market and improve visibility. I think that's every author's responsibility, especially these days. We are beyond the days of one man or woman being able to accomplish massive things on their own. We can do better as a team.

  7. There is no way in the world you can let us down, Martin. We know who you are. We've seen what you've done.

    We see you.

  8. Martin, I wish you the best of luck and strength dealing with whatever you're going through.