This really sucks. . .:-(


I was meaning to post about this last week, but those dreaded final Bar exams got in the way.

Sadly, this is bad news to Paul Kearney and his fans. Considering the amount of shit available on the shelves of the fantasy/science fiction sections in bookstores around the world, it defies comprehension that a talented author such as Kearney now finds himself without a publisher on both sides of the Atlantic.

This is a message he posted on his website a few days back. You can read it and the readers' replies here:

I've been pretty remiss about visiting the site of late, for which I apologise heartily to you all. Things have been rather busy as regards the future of the Sea Beggars series. I'm sorry to say that sales of both books have not been brilliant, both in the UK and the US, and so both the UK and US publishers have decided to pull the plug on the series. In the conventional sense, there will be no more books...

I'm completely gutted by this decision, as are both my editors, but these days the bean counters have the final say. Both books got excellent reviews everywhere, and Forsaken garnered me the best reviews of my life - but good reviews do not put money in the pockets of the publisher.

That said, my US agent is still in discussions with a different publisher about bringing out the last two books in the series, though it's a long shot. I'm considering publishing the third book for free, here on the site, chapter by chapter - just to get it out there. I'd very much like to hear any input from you guys on the matter. I'd hate to see the series just disappear down a hole.

Having said that, I am (hardly surprisingly!) somewhat disgusted with the whole publishing business at the moment, and will almost certainly take a complete break from writing for a while - perhaps for good. I have had an idea for a reality/fantasy novel set in postwar Europe which my old editor would be keen to publish, but I'm thinking it might just be best to make a clean break and set up in some other kind of work. It doesn't come easy - I've been a professional writer for sixteen years now - but it says much for my sheer disgust as the business of publishing as it is conducted these days.

I'd like to thank everyone who has turned up on this site and made an input - I greatly appreciate them all, and thank you all for your kind words.

Best of luck to you, Paul. I'm sure that another publisher will pick up The Sea Beggars.

10 commentaires:

Vanin said...

but it says much for my sheer disgust as the business of publishing as it is conducted these days.

While I understand his disappointment, his last statement just seems improper. It's a business after all.

As a side note, I wonder how good the sales would be, if he decided to go for self-publishing.

purplepangolin said...

I've just added the first two to my wishlist as a result of your reviews.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe this, the Sea Beggars has been one of the best new series' of recent years. Was so looking forward to the next installment.

James Boone Dryden said...

In response to Vanin:

Business or no, it's still the creative arts. Publishers used to stick with their authors whether they made them big money or not because they understood the art, and they wanted to see it succeed. The publishing industry is sketchy at best (I know: I work in it).

In general:

It's disappointing to see a publisher do this to someone. Other publishers, now, will be hesitant to pick up his work because they saw that someone else gave him the boot. While I understand that sales are important, so is the art.

Anonymous said...

This is really, really sad, but it the fact that quality doesn't matter at all in those decisions doesn't surprise me. Obviously writing is all about churning out dumb formula fiction instead of being creative and inventive.

It is really disheartening, too, for those who are still trying to get published.

Stuart said...

Dropping a series midway through is a poor prescedent.

It reminds me of network television dropping shows mid season and then wondering why new series are not attracting viewers. If you're going to cancel it, I'm not going to spend the time to get invested in the story.

I hope Paul finds another venue to finish his story.

John A. Karr said...

Harsh reality. To vanin's point, I imagine he could do some decent sales via self-publishing. He's obviously got loyal fans.

Anonymous said...

Kearney's books are good. It's the publishers who failed.

Roh said...

But that is a GREAT series!!!

:(

Voland said...

Damnit! Now I feel bad for not picking up his latest books yet =( The Monarchies of God series was pretty damn good.
Hopefully he'll figure out some way to release the final books in the Sea Beggars, although I'll probably buy them now anyway to support Kearney.