Monday, 23 June 2014

On the end of Strange Chemistry

This was originally posted on my tumblr when the news first went out.

As you will be aware, Angry Robot Books has a history of innovation and we continue to go from strength to strength. We’re constantly trying out new concepts and new ideas, and we continue to publish popular and award-winning books. Our YA imprint Strange Chemistry and our crime/mystery imprint Exhibit A have – due mainly to market saturation – unfortunately been unable to carve out their own niches with as much success.
We have therefore made the difficult decision to discontinue Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, effective immediately, and no further titles will be published from these two imprints.

In other words, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A will not be publishing any of the books they were set to publish, including Rabble, which was slated to come out in September. Angry Robot is still going, and will be supporting the books that’ve already been published so you’ll still be able to get copies of the existing Strange Chemistry titles, including Skulk.

Another publisher may come along and take on the imprint and be interested in publishing Rabble, or we may sell it to a publisher on its own. The rights have reverted to me so my options are many and varied. If the worst happens and no established publisher wants Rabble, I would probably self-publish it for those of you who’ve said you’re looking forward to finding out what happens next. But publishing generally moves like a treacle glacier - except, apparently, when chunks suddenly break off - so whatever happens, it probably won’t happen very quickly.

It’s… odd. It’s very odd. I had no idea this was coming until late last night. My deepest commiserations and sympathies go to the entire Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A teams, Amanda in particular, and all my fellow authors - especially those who are mid-series or without day jobs. It’s a really sad loss to YA in general, and a really sad statement about the market at the moment that it can’t support an imprint as generally innovative, exciting and well-loved as Strange Chemistry.

Obviously, finding out Rabble isn’t going to be published (in the time and way I thought it would be) is a kick in the teeth. It’s been a shitty week all round, actually, and that’s even taking into account the fact that CEFC had a really great concert and someone on Game of Thrones actually made a sensible decision for once.

And yet… I just handed in the second draft of Rabble last month. It was difficult going, but we made it. And so in fact, my writing brain has pretty much moved on to other things. SC had the first right of refusal on my next book, but a) they might have refused anyway and b) I haven’t written it yet. So in a way, my very immediate future hasn’t changed very much: my aim now is the same as it was yesterday, to write good new things and sell them to somebody. It’s an extremely odd and contradictory feeling.

Anyway, it’s really, genuinely been a privilege to share an imprint with all of the incredible SC writers. We are set adrift, but in the best possible company. I hope and believe that all of us will find new homes for our stories sooner or later.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The State of the Rosie

What am I writing? Still working away on the gay Victorian gothic YA. This month, I have mainly been making things painfully awkward for my...