Harry Connolly, author of the awesome Twenty Palaces series of kickass, blood-soaked urban fantasy, posted an announcement today. His publisher, Del Ray, has dropped the series after disappointing sales.
A few months ago Moira J. Moore, whose Hero series is set in one of the most unique and unusual SF/fantasy worlds I've ever read, posted a similar announcement. Her publisher, Ace, has dropped the series.
And earlier this summer, mystery writer Karen E. Olson, who is one hell of a writer and whose books ought to be required reading for anyone who wants to study character and voice, announced that her publisher, Obsidian, declined to extend her Tattoo Shop series contract.
I could probably find several other examples without trying too hard, but these are three authors whose books I love and whose books deserve much more attention. I just don't get it. Ebooks were supposed to save publishing, right? So why are publishers nosediving like this? Why aren't books selling, if everyone's buying Kindles and Nooks? Why the hell am I trying to break into a field where I'll be lucky if I get a few thousand bucks advance per book and will probably see my contract dropped after three or four books?
If you read this, please go out and buy a book this weekend that you might not otherwise have bought: a book by an author who doesn't get tons of advance hype and all the reviews, who doesn't have an HBO series based on his or her books, who maybe only has one or two books on the shelf instead of half a wall. I guarantee you'll discover a great new author.