Recently I was reading Plague of Angels, by John Patrick Kennedy:
Another book I acquired way back in the good old days of 2015, Plague of Angels is by no means to be confused with Sheri S. Tepper’s classic (as far as I’m concerned) post-apocalyptic science fiction novel A Plague of Angels. It bills itself as the first in a duology called “The Descended”, the second of which is called Scorn of Angels; so when I started reading it, I decided I would go and check out the second book on Amazon. The link to the Kindle edition was dead, however, and when I searched for it by title, I found something unexpected:
What appears to have happened here is that the publisher went out of business, rendering the eBook edition unavailable and taking the paperback out of print. Supply and demand, right? Although I’m not sure demand for this book is going to support a price of $799.
Anyway, I posted that screen shot along with my Goodreads “Now Reading” status update, which sparked a mini-discussion in which a writer friend mentioned that one of their old books at one point was being listed for $400 after it went out of print. This reminded me of how I had seen one or two signed editions of my own books being sold for a few hundred dollars on Amazon, so I decided to go look and see if anyone was currently attempting to gouge the reading public for my stuff. Once again, I found something unexpected:
What the what??? $2,456.17 for the paperback edition of Night Watchman? Where did they come up with that price? And where’s the Kindle edition?
The next thing I did was scurry off to Mundania Press, which acquired Hard Shell Word factory, the original publisher of Night Watchman, about ten years ago. And there, I made my final unexpected discovery of the day:
So there you have it — another of my publishers has shut down, like DarkTales (original publisher of A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder) before it*. Obviously it’s just as well that I pulled Dragon Stones from Hard Shell’s publication schedule all those years ago, just before the Mundania transition, after waiting over six months for HSWF to return the contracts …
So what’s next for Night Watchman? Well, of course I can’t let it languish out of print, only purchasable by those who are willing and able to spend the princely sum of $2,456.17 for the last remaining copy on Amazon**. So once I finally (finally!) finish with Father’s Books, I’ll be reformatting Night Watchman and reissuing it myself, just like I did with Flock of Crows after DarkTales went defunct. And after that, I’ll get back to completing one of the other unfinished fantasy novels I have lying around here—most likely the one called The Apprentice, although at this point, it will need a new name***.
Sigh. Writer’s work is never done.
And really. What’s up with that weirdly specific $2,456.17 price, anyway?
* Just call me the Ted McGinley of publishing.
** Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? Hey, tell you what, send me $1,000, and I’ll send you the copy of Night Watchman that’s on my shelf here.
*** For obvious reasons.