July 13, 2009

People Suck

In 08, our sales dropped 50%, and we are down another 50% this year. Our non-erotic imprint is a ghost of what it once was. I've spent most of the past few months jettisoning inventory—and I am still going into debt to pay for the privilege of being a publisher. So when someone makes a comment like this, I have to nod:

Mainstream fiction has reached crisis point too, and publishing houses are laying off top-rated eds and thinning down imprints to skeleton level in order to stay in the book selling frame.

I mean, if I were to lay anyone else off, I'd have to start cutting off limbs. (I've never been a big fan of my right leg, anyway...) I'm the only one on staff, and I haven't drawn salary for so long that our payroll service has simply taken me off their regular call list.

But why on earth would someone feel the need to continue with the rest?

So what if a few authors are up in arms about lack of outlets, and let’s be honest here, half of the Black Lace authors are writing for Romantic imprints and mainstream fiction (shelf filling supermarket books). Basically, you’re hacking any and all genre’ with formulated plots, cardboard characters and often as not, little knowledge of what you’re writing about and byjove it shows in the piles of remaindered books one sees at paper recycling depots.

(FYI, this is a comment on an ECW post here.)

Is it the "kick them when they're down" philosophy?
Honestly, I can't comprehend the desire.

Don't worry. I'm not going to spin on this. I'll have an upbeat happy fucking post up in a second. I just needed .37 seconds to rant as my coffee brewed.



Scarlett Greyson said...

Ya know, I'm not one for calling people names, but that's one person I can think of a number of four letter words for.

Nikki Magennis said...

Does Jo mean 'formulaic'? Because I would have thought almost all plots were 'formulated'.

Anyway, just wanted to say, sorry to hear re sales. Pls don't cut off leg. You may not be keen on it, but I reckon it nicely balances the left one.

; )

Alison Tyler said...

Okay, I'll keep it. I have to say, a few weeks ago I was told that I'd cut out a person's heart. With a steak knife. And left it there. In a puddle of greasy black blood.

So maybe I ought to stay away from the butcher tools for now.


ste said...

yeah, sorry to hear sales are struggling like that. fingers crossed things pick up, and soon!

Alison Tyler said...

It *is* sad. But it's why I understand the closing of BL. If we're this close to the bone, I'm guessing the bigger companies (with their serious overhead) must be really suffering.

Plus, I'm a dinosaur. I've seen the shutting of many a door—Blue Moon. Masquerade. This one and that one.

What I don't understand is the need to kick a guy when he's down.


EllaRegina said...

Kick 'em when they're down.


Vultures upon carrion.

To hell with them.

And the sweeping generalisations!

Keep your leg, Alison. I bet it's nice.

I just left some comments for the Schadenfreude-lovin' ladie.