Friday, 24 July 2009

Edited Out

Picture above from Nikki's blog, extract from Adam Nevill's goodbye e-mail reproduced (with permission) here:

"On a personal note, despite the enormous workload that was either stretched between two harassed editors - when I worked with Kerri, Donna and Simon respectively - or levied upon one when I have worked alone, this has been the most interesting and satisfying job in my working life. Commissioning the work of so many talented authors and artists, innovating the direction of the lists and their design, and managing a huge critical path for so many titles has been immensely satisfying. It’s the creative commissioning position I was always curious about and now that curiosity has been well and truly satisfied. My colleagues and I in erotica, have published over 300 books since January 2005.

On the bright side, we were profitable to the very end and remain the market leaders in the UK, currently with 8 out of 10 titles in the Nielsen Bookscan Erotica Top Ten. Historically, Nexus and Black Lace are also the longest running imprints of erotica in the UK, have sold millions of copies and been translated into many languages. The imprints also include some of the most imaginative explorations of sexual fantasy and sexuality in literature, and book shops will be poorer places without new Black Lace and Nexus titles standing proudly on the top shelf."

We were in profit, we just didn't fit into Random House's corporate vision. How f***ing sad.

It's official: as of today Adam Nevill is no longer working for Black Lace and the imprint has no editor. It will continue as normal until the end of 2009, and in 2010 will still be selling existing books but not publishing anything new. Don't forget there will be three new anthologies this year: Sexy Little Numbers, Misbehaviour and The Affair - all of which include my short stories. And please give your support to the debut books by Charlotte Stein and Justine Elyot, due out in October and December respectively.

We're all still here and on sale!


Nikki Magennis said...

I'm still not sure how and why a publishing imprint would cut a line that is profitable.

Charlotte Stein aka The Mighty Viper said...

Thanks, Janine! You're a lovely, lovely gem. I'll be with you in pants crapping spirit at the wake.

And Nikki- tell me about it. In the current climate, what sort of sense does that make? Was erotica perhaps leaving a bad taste in someone's mouth? Do they think more space for 1000 Ways To Cook Broccoli is the way forward?

Who knows? No really. Who?

Janine Ashbless said...

If there's one thing I've learned this year it's that how businesses are run has nothing to do with common sense, or even business sense. They are run by morons who buy into their own dogma and refuse to take responsibility for anything beyond their noses.

Sorry, but I've spent a weekend LARPing in the company of (yet another) friend who has just been laid off. He was one of 4 people working in the only department in the company that turned a clear profit. In fact they worked out that each of them was turning £60K profit after wages etc were taken into account, and they were all working flat out. What did the company do? Get rid of one quarter of these profit-making people, thus - yes! - reducing the company profit. Senseless.

And do not get my friends started on the Kafka-esque lunacy that is the business giant BT ... It's literally beyond belief that a company could be run that way.

So, Random House is merely another example, I'm afraid.

I intend to just carry on writing, and try to ignore the mad, bad, stupid reality of the human race until such point as I can leave it.

And tomorrow I will be upbeat. I'm bored with my own whinging.

Justine Elyot said...

Thank you so much for the mention, Janine! It's astounding that, in the current economic climate, a profitable imprint is being treated this way, but I don't know why I'm surprised.

I just hope we get to read Red Grow the Roses one day, regardless of publisher.