We have some important news to share with regards to Book Smugglers Publishing. As of December 31st 2018, we will be shifting our business away from for sale short stories, novellas, and novels.
We started our publishing venture in 2014 with big dreams and goals for our little company. Over the course of these past five years, we have been digital editors and publishers–we have acquired short fiction and commissioned essays, created print on demand and limited print edition titles, and expanded our offerings to novellas and novels. The last five years have taught us how to be flexible and innovative, as we’ve pivoted our business several times to react to the marketplace as well as our readers, in search of balance. The entire time, we’ve pretty much managed all of this work between the two of us and in addition to our full-time jobs: from reading submissions to commissioning work, editing manuscripts to creating marketing and social media campaigns, and managing every part of workflow from layout to distribution.
One of the biggest items we’ve grappled with from the start is the problem of scale–as a small indie press, we’ve found breaking into traditional book sales really tough. And without hiring more staff, securing more funding, and devoting ourselves full-time to the publishing business, we’ve realized that we can’t do right by the titles we’ve acquired. And the creators who have taken a chance on us, a small indie press, deserve so much more than we are able to give.
After much thought, discussion, and agonizing–we came to the only decision that we felt was fair for our readers and our creators: to focus on our key Book Smuggler strengths as a website, and as a publisher of short fiction. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on The Book Smugglers as a website with our regular coverage of books–just as we’ve always done since the beginning. We would like to still acquire short stories in the future, but they will only be available for free on our website and without the for sale distribution into e-retail markets. Eventually we hope to move to a service-oriented business (editorial, production advice and services)–but that’s down the road in the future.
We are making this announcement now, after reaching to all of our authors so they knew first-hand about our plans. It is important for us to let everyone know that we will be reverting back all rights back to our creators as of 12/31/18, to form a clean break for 2019. We will also be paying all due royalties, per our usual cadence. Sadly, this means we’ve had to cancel a small number of 2019 publications we had in the pipeline. We started our business hoping to help authors and it breaks our hearts that we have had to cancel those works without them seeing the light of day. We have reverted those rights effectively immediately.
That said, we still have two items to publish in the next couple of weeks in order to fulfill our Kickstarter campaign of 2017: our “Awakenings” anthology and our Mega Anthology collecting our seasonal short stories (out now). It is a good note to end on: one final time, putting these works out into the world once again.
To all of the authors who have taken a chance on us, we say thank you: it has been a honor and a pleasure to be your publishers. To all the artists who’ve created the gorgeous visuals to accompany our stories, we say thank you: your art has inspired us to be better. To Estelle, who has worked on publicity with us over the past two years, we say thank you: you have been invaluable help in getting the Novella Initiative out there.
To every reader who has picked up a Book Smugglers Publishing book, or read one of our stories online, we say thank you: we couldn’t have done it this long without you all.