The first bad news was when Peder Lund, owner of Paladin Press died suddenly in June.
The second bad news — the second shoe dropping — came this weekend when I learned that Paladin would be closing its doors after 47 years. Their last day of operation will be December 31.
I’m a Paladin author. They picked up my titles from Loompanics when Mike Hoy decided to close shop, and later Peder commissioned one more book from me (an election-season tome, mostly consisting of article reprints).
It’s incredibly sad that Paladin and Loompanics, two of the country’s more daring, unconventional publishers, will both be gone from the scene. It feels like a sign of these “security”-obsessed times, when rowdy freedom of speech and freedom of the press are both more dangerous than they were ca. 1996 (when Loompanics took a great leap and published 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution).
The good news
The good news is … well, the good news comes in several parts.
Between October 10 and November 29 (the last day of sales) they’ll be having a blow-out sale on all remaining stock, books and videos. I don’t know what discounts they’ll be offering, but I’ll keep you posted.
Before October 10, we writers have the chance to buy all our own remaining stock at a 75% discount (normal author discount is 50%). I don’t know whether I’ll take advantage of that. Have to see first how many copies remain.
As of January 1, all Paladin titles will officially be out of print. Which sounds bad, but that means the rights to our works will revert to Paladin’s authors. At that point, I will own all rights to all my books, including those first published by Loompanics, JPFO, BHM, and Paladin. (BHM hasn’t officially reverted Hardyville Tales to me, but they did give me ebook rights. If they are no longer offering the book for sale, as it appears, print and other rights should revert automatically to me after some period of time. I’ll check on that before I do anything. Meantime, I own several hundred dead tree copies of HT I’m free to sell.)
Of course, that’s only good news if I intend to do something with my titles — and about that, I’m not sure.
I hasten to add that Paladin’s closure won’t hurt me financially. Most of my books are old and only The Freedom Outlaws Handbook is still selling much. A few of the titles — Freedom Outlaw, RebelFire, Hardyville, and perhaps a new edition of Job Culture — have potential. IF they get out in ebook form, IF some of them get the updating they need, IF somebody promotes them. (Yeah, you know how I regard promotion).
Paladin — a good bunch of people — is offering all authors print-ready files of our titles. That makes life easier. Then another small publisher, which offers a much more favorable author/publisher split, has been in the background the last couple of years, nudging me to get off my duff and do something. And offering to help me do it. So we shall see.