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News on Stardust Press

Well, I had all of these fun things to blog about today, but an email this morning brought everything to a screeching halt.

It seems Stardust Press is closing as of Sept 30, 2007. This mean Bloodstained Innocence, which won their Creatures of Darkness contest (2nd place) will need to find a new home. I admit I am very disappointed, I had been hoping for a Halloween release, but it never made it to editing. I have to give SDP credit. Unlike other ebook presses that have closed this year, SDP is handling it all very professionally.

I am still trying to get permission to repost the entire letter from their senior editor Raine Richards, but here a clip that should explain things more.

Dear authors and editors,

After much discussion and negotiation and evaluation, it is with regret that we announce that StarDust Press is closing effective from September 30, 2007.

This would certainly explain the delay in getting editing notes on my novel and the reason getting an answer about it was so difficult. I feel bad for Raine and the other staff there that put so much effort into Stardust, and even more so I feel for the other authors that must now find new homes for their creations.

According to the email our rights revert back to us on Sept 30th of this year. Raine has given an email where publishers can reach her until the end of March to confirm the right reversal for the contracted authors. All royalties are being scheduled pay dates, and in truth everything seems to be quite well in order. The authors even get to keep the cover art Stardust paid for.

Now comes the daunting task for many of the Stardust authors to once again begin the submissions process. I am just glad we have the chance to do that rather then loosing access to our book rights like the authors of the recently bankrupt (or bankrupting) house have had to cope with.

To all the staff at Stardust Press…

Good luck in whatever you move on to, and thanks for handling a bad situation with so much class.

Moondancer Drake


Update…

I just received word from Raine and she had submitted a public acceptable letter to be shared with you all today.

Dear authors and editors,
 
After much discussion and negotiation and evaluation, it is with regret that we announce StarDust Press is closing effective September 30, 2007. We are saddened that despite all our efforts, SDP is bleeding, and the investors have decided to cut their losses.
 
We know that you would all be concerned with this development, so we address all your concerns one by one below.
 
1. Authors and editors would be paid the royalties/editorial fees due them.
 
2. All books would be taken off the website and Fictionwise by September 30, 2007.
 
3. From September 30, 2007 onwards, all rights to the published books revert back to the author, and as such, you can submit them to other publication houses for publication.
 
4. For unpublished books, you may send to other publication houses as early as now.
 
5. For authors whose books are currently under edits, we would send you a personal email on the matter. 
 
SDP was established to do legitimate business, however the environment wasn't conducive to its survival. And so, we have no choice but to take this step.
 
Thank you for all your support and we wish for the best for you all in your endeavors.
 
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reply to this email. Your question may also be the question of the others.
 
Thanks.
 
Raine
For StarDust Press management





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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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rhonawestbrook
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Ow.

Sorry!

moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
I'll live. I'm one tough cookie, though feeling a wee bit crumbly at the moment. They were my first signed contract, it kinda hurts to have it all go down like that, and I was so proud of winning the contest too.

Well back to the grind of looking for a new place for my book.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this so we can all get the facts rather than feed the rumor mill :)
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought that might be important to concider. With all the guessing I bet that was going on I thought a little dose of the truth would be a good thing.
julesjones
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
Good to see that they're trying to close it down cleanly, rather than just dropping out of sight as some publishers have done. It must be disappointing, but at least you should be in a position to shop the books to other publishers.
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, I agree on that. If ya gotto go nothing beats doin' it with calss.
elfinecstasy
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Recently the press that published my book, The Temple of the Twelve, Spilled Candy Books, restructured and downsized. They returned the rights to the books of several of their authors, I was one. The book had been out since 2001, and finding a new publisher - well, you know what it's like :-P :-) I just wanted you to know I understand some of what you are experiencing, wish you the very very very very best of luck finding a new publisher, and send a hug!
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you, the hug was much needed.
scifiwritir
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
SDP
I'm sorry to hear about that. Maybe this will all turn out to the good. A better more established press awaits you.
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Re: SDP
I certainly hope so. Right now I am hitting the store for some chocolate and have a long bath and maybe a healthy cry or primal scream before the kiddies get home.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
sad
It is sad that another publisher is closing it's doors. This has truly been a rough year for epublishing and author's. I hope that all the people who are involved find a new home for their work...

The best of luck

Savannah Chase
www.savannahchase.com
ameliajune
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
Ugh, another one down. Sorry to hear it, I went through the process of a publisher totally vanishing so I can say I know how much it hurts.

But yeah, I think my experience turned out well in the end, and I'm sure yours will too.

Sigh, tough biz.
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it can be tough, but in a way I am releaved. For months I struggled with getting answers about when we would start edits. I started to think I was being blown off and it scared me. Now I know Raine was struggling getting the same answers from the editors she hired so it wasn't just me. I feel bad for her having all those writers (like me) bugging her about it, and she not being able to give them a decent answer.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
keep on writing
I'm sorry to hear this news, but at least the publisher is closing with dignity and with the author's best interest in mind.
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: keep on writing
I can't argue with that. Raine and I talked today and see seemed very sorry they had not been able to publish my book. I'm just glad I finally know what is going on and can move forward from here. I have a couple places I think would be a good fit for Bloodstained Innocence, so we'll see.
b_sheridan
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
Came here via your post on an email loop
I've been there. It bites, I know.

*Hugs to you all at SDP* and best luck in placing your stories elsewhere.
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Came here via your post on an email loop
Thanks. There's some great authors at SDP, and I bet once they get over the blow of having to do the submission thing all over again they will have no trouble placing thier books in a good home.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Another author's opinion
Thanks for letting me read what you wrote and so many comments from readers. As author I need to say that I admire the company and their professionalism in handling the closing.

I am thinking of to whom to send my book but I do need to wait for the letter reverting my rights back to me. Meanwhile I do hope that everyone do well in sales this last month and for our books to reach farther in the future.

About why so many small e-publishers closing, I can add a few cents to the topic. Have some of you noticed how many publishers actually are? There are many. What there is not enough, is readership. Most publishers are focused in erotic romance and think "sex sells". Yes, it does, but there are not enough readers wanting to invest in e-books they can't carry with them to bed that easily.

There is the problem that many authors and publishers are investing in promoting in the SAME places. That is why I saw how many groups had over 500 subscribers and not enough chat or sales. Many of those subscribers were other authors trying to promote their books.

I think that the e-book industry needs other approaches and techniques to promote itself. Without it we will see many more small companies closing down. There need to be a big effort to reach new readers and it needs to be done fast, before the industry fails. I think e-publishing has a future if we spread the word effectively.

Loraine Mer
http://lorainemer.com
lauraelliott1
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Another author's opinion
I agree with Loraine. There are many epublishers but not much diversity. Especially when it comes to promotion. Look out now, I'm about to brush off my marketing class skills. Here goes:

Think about chain restaurants. There are plenty of chain restaurants - Olive Garden, Red Lobster, McDonalds, Chichis, etc. At each restaurant, you are going to have a different experience. Sure the menu is different but so is the atmosphere and the culture. With epublishing, the menu is different but what else?

It is a problem that most of the advertising is being done on yahoo groups and myspace and very little outside that. And as Loraine said, most of the marketing is being done to other authors trying to promote their book. What would happen if Olive Garden only promoted itself to other restaurants?

A different track has to be taken. Maybe we should start marketing ourselves to conservation groups (save the trees! buy an ebook!) or to college students whose dorm rooms are too small for bookshelves. I think one of the larger epublishers has to step up and spend some money on an ebook marketing campaign. I hear Amazon is launching an ebook service soon. If they do it right, it could create more popularity for the industry.
Re: Another author's opinion - moondancerdrake - Sep. 17th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - (Anonymous) - Sep. 18th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - moondancerdrake - Sep. 17th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - (Anonymous) - Sep. 17th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - moondancerdrake - Sep. 18th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - (Anonymous) - Sep. 17th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - (Anonymous) - Sep. 17th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Epresses - moondancerdrake - Sep. 17th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - (Anonymous) - Sep. 17th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - (Anonymous) - Sep. 18th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another author's opinion - moondancerdrake - Sep. 18th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
jmsnyder
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the closing. If you're shopping for a new publisher, I'd like to recommend one of mine :) Aspen Mountain Press is really great to work with, pay monthly, and I've been very happy with them.

http://aspenmountainpress.com

Good luck!

J.M. Snyder
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the heads up!

Moon
xakara
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Having heard the horror stories of other authors caught in an unexpected closing, I'm happy to see StarDust being so professional and forthcoming.

It's still a disappointment but at least its one where everyone is walking away with their heads up rather than slinking off.

I know it's only a matter of time until you find a new home for BI.

~X
moondancerdrake
Sep. 17th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the plan tomorrow, a read through (since I haven't read this book on about a year) and then I go over the publishers I think will best fit it and pick one.
jacquierogers
Sep. 17th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
My sympathies to you! It's such a disappointment to put so much work into your story, then not get it out there when you planned to--but it will surely be published soon. Have some cyber champagne and Godiva chocolate.
moondancerdrake
Sep. 18th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Hmmmm sounds like just the medicine I need *wink*
(Anonymous)
Sep. 18th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC)
Stardust
wow, a publisher who is honest and decent about what is happening. One thing I remember about Stardust's opening was that they wanted to be totally professional -- unlike one other that recently closed it's doors, who not only made no effort to send royalties, but under reported the sales -- to all but one author who seemed to have everything handed to her on a silver platter....can you say "accessory to fraud".

I am sorry for you and the other Stardust authors -- count yourself lucky that they have ethics and are honest.
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