Spring, 1999

Posted in General at 6:24 PM by Jack Chalker

If youwonder why you might be having problems getting Priam’s Lens,and you’re also puzzled as to what I’ve been so depressed abouthere of late, consider this: Barnes & Noble, the U.S.’s largestbookseller, “passed” on Lens (they do not explain why,ever). The result is, the entire chain, including the superstores,took a grand total of only 1250 copies. This is not enough topay the cost of the cover printing. As B&N now also owns thelargest distributor of books in North America, Ingram, you cansee how things are going…. (5/18/99). My Baen reissues havebeen doing better than this. And if they can’t even geton store shelves, what chance do I have to keep making a livingif my readers can’t even find me?

Well, I’m now going through my bleakest period as a professionalwriter, with virtually no sales or publications during the wholeof 1998 and nothing due until May of this year. However, if Ican get through this period, things are looking up, withnew titles scheduled to appear and more money coming in to coverthe bills. In this period, though, I desperately need all my fansto go out and buy my new books as they appear and bring friends.There is a trend now in publishing to concentrate only on mediarelated and NYT bestsellers, and my long term future can onlybe assured if one or more of these sells like the old days.

People keep asking me about the sixth DANCING GODS book.There is one in outline, the final one, but Del Rey says not enoughpeople bought the original for them to be interested in this newclimate in completing it, and as they also control the first fivethere is no chance of placing it elsewhere. Maybe one day they’llchange their minds. I’d like to complete the set.

I just delivered The Moreau Factor to Del Rey. It’snot scheduled until July, 2000, though, so don’t be in any hurryrushing to the bookstore. In the meantime, Baen has reissued TheRun to Chaos Keep; the final one in the series, The NinetyTrillion Fausts, will be out in September. In the meantime,I have at least one more to do for Del Rey and three for Baen,so I’m not dead yet!

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