Trolling the internet, as I often do-
(Muse: For porn? You were trolling for porn right?)
Not tonight. I was actually in my submissions tracking system and looking back at some of my stats when I came across my entry for "A Capella," which ended up in the Arcane anthology about two years back. I had not been to Cold Fusion Media's webpage in a while, so I sauntered over to take a look. I thought about maybe going and buying Arcane II, since the first one was pretty decent. Well, I went over there and found this:
Sorry to announce that there will be no Arcane III — at least, not for the foreseeable future. Both of the first two anthologies are solid, enjoyable work that I’m fiercely proud of (without foundation, as I didn’t actually write any of those incredible stories), but sales have been sluggish; at the current rate, even the first volume is years away from breaking even.
Two points. One, this would make me feel like a failure – as in my writing was not good enough to help keep them afloat, so I share the blame for this; except, I am a sociopath, so I don't feel too guilty. But a little, like if I had been a better marketer or something, they would have done better.
My second and more important point is that I do feel like an abject failure when it comes to supporting the smaller publishers. The big conglomerates are going to be out there and I read plenty of big-press books. But I have been remiss when it comes to smaller shops. Look, even without my participation in the first one, the first Arcane anthology had a number of awesome stories in it. I can't imagine the second one is any worse, so what have I got to lose? Besides CFM's Nathan Shumate (editor of the Arcanes) offered me some really timely encouragement and praise on "A Capella," at a time where I was really doubting my future in the industry. If for nothing else, I owe him for that.
(The good news here is that CFM still has some projects in the pipeline.)
So here is my pimping appeal: if you like this genre and even if you only have $4.99 to spare for the Kindle version, I'm asking you to go pick this up. I am going to splurge and buy a paperback cover version, just 'cause I feel it is on us to support those publishers making an effort.
And if you're reading this, know me personally and don't own the first one? Well, shame on ya. Buy it. I'll buy you a beer.