If you’ve been to the Amber Quill Press website recently, this is what you’ll see—
“AMBER QUILL PRESS, LLC WILL CEASE ALL RETAIL OPERATIONS AT MIDNIGHT (MDT) MARCH 30, 2016 (0700 UTC) MARCH 31, 2016. The site and all its books will disappear from the Internet at that time. Be sure you’ve downloaded everything from your Bookshelf and have used all your rewards points prior to those dates and time.”
This publisher opened its doors in late 2002, and I was privileged to become one of the authors for this “Gold Standard in Publishing” small press in 2003, when I was a winner in the first Amber Heat Wave Erotic Short Story Contest. My winner, Dark Stranger, was released in the spring of 2004. I recently toned down the sex from erotic to sensual and indie published it as Night Rider, under a different name.
Epublishing was in its infancy in 2002. I’ve been through its rise in popularity and our books finally accepted as non-vanity, non-subsidized real books. In the beginning, you had to purchase an expensive eReader. Today, free apps allow you to read any book on any device.
I like being with a publisher, and am crushed at the loss of mine. The AQP owners and staff were wonderful to work with, they operated an honorable publishing house, and I feel a deep sense of regret that changes in the publishing world have created its demise. Through their support of my work,and thanks to my fans, I earned Published Author Network (PAN) status in Romance Writers of America, saw my stories final and place in romance contests, and built a wonderful online network of author and fan friendships.
In the last two years, I watched royalties slowly decrease for all of us due to a major drop in sales from Amazon. I was among many long-timers who wondered if small presses could survive. With AQP’s closure, I believe at least four houses have been forced out of business in the past year.
Why? Were they poorly managed?
No, the behemoth Amazon, in effect, became a publisher. Not just with Montauk and their Kindle Scout program, but by opening the door to indie publishing. They’ve eliminated the middle man functions of small presses. Now, as an indie publisher/author under a different name, I am the middle man—I pay an editor, a formatter and a cover designer for my books. I pay for advertising, and I’m accountant and tax woman.
Novellas selling for $6.00 on small presses couldn’t compete with Amazon’s prices…often at $1.99, $2.99, $.99. Sometimes even free. Those of us who have joined the indie phenomenon have had a role in forcing those middle man, small presses out of business. We are part of the downfall. I am part of it because I’ve indie published under a different name.
My website will remain, but on March 31st two male-female erotic stories will be the only books there. In From The Cold will be my first gay erotic rerelease come April 1st. If Loose-Id accepts Silk Stealth (combined with Silk Stealth: Shadow Warrior to make it novel length) it will eventually show up there.
I’ve lived long enough to get it: the world changes. Has ever since my birth in a small Texas town. Now four small presses have closed in the past year, and I’m sure there will be more to come. Some people will stop writing. Others, and I am one, will continue to write. It is what writers do.
Check out the great prices for my books now on Amber Quill’s website. Pick up your free copy of Savage Lust, my prequel to the Night Train vampire series. Do check out my now short-lived, latest release Surf’s Up!, where Raven must decide if he can love a glam man. (I just love these characters.)
Stay with me! And have a great weekend…