THE FUTURE OF DEMONTECH

February 24, 2005

     I owe the fans of DemonTech an apology. I haven't even read any of your email for DemonTech in better than half a year, much less replied to it. I was, frankly, too distraught.

     In May, 2004, I got some very bad news, news that had me shaken all through that summer, and that I'm still not fully recovered from. After stalling for months on a contract for three more DemonTech books, the publisher decided to kill the series.

     I can't fault the publisher for the business decision (though I can for other things that I won't go into here). You see, the books haven't sold all that well. I was happy with the initial sales of Onslaught, it earned out its (small) advance in its first semi-annual reporting period and paid me royalties. But it took two reporting periods for Rally Point to "earn out," as it's called, and start paying.

     The beginning of this month, I got the statements for the second reporting period for Gulf Run. It's still a long way from earning out. What happened was, when the publisher saw they made a small profit on Onslaught, a smaller profit on Rally Point, and Gulf Run was taking longer to make money for them, they decided to cut their losses. It used to be, less than twenty years ago, that a publisher would give a new author or series six books to catch on. No longer. Today they only allow an author or series two or three books.

     So, no more DemonTech.

     I'm very disappointed; I very much liked working with Spinner, Haft, the Golden Girl, and the rest of the characters in DemonTech--if I wasn't writing the series, I'd want to read it, as many of you do. And, honestly, I'd like to continue writing it. But without a publisher, I can't.

     From the response I've gotten to the books that have been published, better than half of the people who try one book get hooked and get the others. Unfortunately, a lot of people who would like DemonTech if they read it, don't even try it. Maybe they think it's just another epic fantasy--you know, another Terry Brooks/Robert Jordan wannabee. Maybe they think fantasy is cutsie or an easy out for the author--something that doesn't have to be thought about. Or maybe because of my name on the cover they think it's too much like their concept of military SF--filled with really macho guys and lots of blood and guts.

     If you're a DemonTech fan, you know better.

     The publisher has told me that if sales pick up, they'll reconsider. If you want to continue reading DemonTech, there are a couple of things you can do: You can write reviews at Amazon.com or other online booksellers, and personally urge friends, relatives, acquaintances, whoever, to try DemonTech.

     But whatever you do, please don't write and suggest that I take DemonTech to another publisher, or to self-publish. Another publisher would look at the sales numbers and say "No thank you." Even if I had the money to hire a copy editor and cover artist, not to mention printing tens of thousands of copies, I don't have any way of getting the books into stores around the country and the world.

     That's where we are. Unless sales pick up considerably, DemonTech, alas, is dead. Again, I apologize to DemonTech fans. I should have told you earlier, but it took this long for me to get enough over my upset and depression about the cancellation to be able to talk about it.



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