Publishers, sheesh

Here’s a blog post by Alma Alexander at Book View Cafe: Closing the Circle

I’m going to pull out the part of the story that struck me the hardest:

I went to New Zealand, and I made the acquaintance of several editors there. … this guy said, we’ll publish this. But yikes, a quarter of  a million words! You’re a newbie! Split that puppy and we’ll do a duology! That is what happened, ladies and gentlemen, back in the days of the close of the old millennium and the dawn of the new one. The duology – now known as “Changer of Days” volume I and volume II. …

But the drawback was that the first half of this thing which was now book I ended on a wholly unintended cliffhanger from hell 

I moved to the States, and so did my work – and “Changer” got picked up and republished, still as a duology, by Harper Collins. …

At some point the publisher in their infinite wisdom decided to let book 2 … go out of print. Remember that cliffhanger? That was all that existed now. You could still buy book one but what you could NOT buy was a conclusion.

I mean, honest to God, this is the kind of thing that gives traditional publishing the worst of bad names. This. Not the gatekeeping function. That is fine. Not how hard it is to get traditionally published. That’s fine too. As many people defend both of those factors as hate them. But this? Letting the back of a duology go out of print while keeping the front half in print?


So, anyway, Alma has brought out Changer of Days, both halves, in one volume. That’s now available.

Took her seven years to get the rights back to the first book. I wonder how she did that. I’ll have to ask sometime. Regardless, I’m sure it’s a great relief to her to have the whole thing available again.

While I’m on this subject, for several years at least, the FIRST and THIRD Griffin Mage books have been available in audio format from Audible, but the SECOND book is not available.

Yes, I have mentioned this problem to Hatchette from time to time. Now that I’m thinking of it, I should do it again.

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5 thoughts on “Publishers, sheesh”

  1. Wen Spencer has mentioned before that she wanted to write a sequel to Brother’s Price, which is out of print in paper, but a trickle of ebook sales keeps it from reverting to her.

  2. Yes, that was my problem with The Floating Islands. Still is. I just had the sequel already written, so I thought what the heck. But it’s not a great situation.

  3. I read Changer of Days (the whole) years ago; thought it was very good. I’ll be paying close attention whenever I get around to reading the new edition. (looks at the over 150 new/samples aging gently on her kindle.)
    These situations are what make KKRush’s posts on contracts and why one should be careful when signing them so important.

  4. I love Violette Malan’s Dhulyn and Parno mercenary books (lots of competence porn, some interesting narrative choices, no angst, just two partners getting the job done) but the last book ends on a massive cliffhanger and the publisher did not contract her for the last book because of sales numbers! AHHH! I keep thinking, when I have time I’ll contact her and offer to help her self publish or kickstart the final book because I want to know what happens!! I understand she even has an outline…. (You can read the first three and not worry about major cliffhangers.)

    I picked up Sabrina Chase’s The Long Way Home on your recommendation and really enjoyed it. Thanks! The second book strained my suspension of disbelief in too many ways but I’m still giving the third one a try.

  5. Well, I fear the third book may also strain credulity in one or two places. But in comparison, perhaps not too much? Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy the third book!

    AARGH regarding Violette Malan’s series. I have the first one on my Kindle, I believe. Good to know about the cliffhanger in the last book published, and personally, I hope you do contact her and she agrees. It’s such a shame to leave a series hanging.

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