Last summer I was served notice that Dubsar House, the company that published my first book, Dangerous Religion, was cancelling the contract. No reason was given; probably no reason was necessary. The timeline for the expiry, stated on the letter, was two years.
Last week I sent them a postal money order to purchase the last few books in the inventory. Today I recieved an email saying that the money order will be returned to me, as the book is “removed from circulation”. So, I suppose it is official now: Dangerous Religion is out of print.
So I can say, without fear of retribution, that I’m perfectly happy with this arrangement. Dubsar House was a bad publisher. If their reason for withdrawing the book was due to lack of sales, I claim this is their own stupid fault: they have very bad distribution, very bad advertising, very bad typesetting and editing, and very bad internal communication. I made very little money in my own royalties (perhaps less than $100, all together), and spent as much or more doing my own promotional work for the book.
On one occasion they actually lied to an occult supply store about the availability of my book! I was going to the store personally for a book signing event. The store, (Melange Magique in Montreal), ordered 10 copies and paid for them through PayPal. Rather a long time later, only five show up. The reason for the delay was, so they said at the time, they had to fulfill other orders first. Not long after that they admit that they lied about that: there were no other orders. And that the other five books would not be shipped. But the store might have to wait six weeks or longer to get their money back.
Well, we live and learn. Had Dubsar House not published DR in the first place, my second book might never have been published, or perhaps not even written in the first place. Or written very differently. So I can look back and appreciate the little help they gave me. But as Wittgenstein once wrote, “now that we have climbed to the new height, it may be necessary to throw away the ladder.”
So, if any of you have copies, hang on to them. They are the only copies that now exist. There may be a few booksellers with a few left in their stacks for sale, but there are no new printings. I’m off to find another publisher, now. And to do some re-writing, too. (It’s been seven years, after all.)