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Bad news, bad news, good news

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.


  1. MP
    MP September 26, 2017 2:55 am

    Very sad news. Adding Lindsay Technical Publications to this list and my three favorite publishing houses ever are gone in the past few years. Did Paladin look for a new owner or are they intent on shutting down?

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 26, 2017 3:25 am

    Sounds like you have some good opportunities there. Good luck!

  3. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp September 26, 2017 5:21 am

    “Of course, that’s only good news if I intend to do something with my titles — and about that, I’m not sure.”

    It would be a shame — both for your readers and for your bottom line — if you didn’t!

  4. Joel
    Joel September 26, 2017 6:40 am

    What they said.

  5. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 26, 2017 8:48 am

    There’s kinda-sorta another good-news angle.

    One reason outlaw publishers like Paladin and Loompanics are seeing reduced traffic is that the books they used to publish aren’t as far “outside the law” as they used to be, now that you can access info on go bags on the FEMA website.

    But your freedom works need to stay available.

  6. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 26, 2017 8:51 am

    Will be waiting for the big sale for sure.

  7. SKSK
    SKSK September 26, 2017 2:15 pm

    Please write some more. I think I have nearly all the titles that you’ve had in print. (And thanks so much for those!) p.s.–I’m a hard copy sort of person…

  8. Jorge
    Jorge September 26, 2017 3:07 pm

    I’m with Tom.

  9. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit September 26, 2017 3:23 pm

    I can’t wait to see where you go with this!

  10. Tim Osman
    Tim Osman September 26, 2017 3:40 pm

    Very sad to hear.

  11. deLaune
    deLaune September 26, 2017 5:50 pm

    101 Things was how I first discovered you–I stumbled across it almost two decades ago. Freedom Outlaw was a favorite of both of my sons when they were teenagers.

    Quite a dilemma. On the one hand, they’re your books, part of you. On the other, the older ones have little commercial value.

    I just looked up Grey Zone, and Amazon “remembers” that I bought it 12 years ago. I don’t think it has much potential. The pop music I hear, when I can’t avoid it, isn’t about rebellion, but nihilism. Partying while Rome burns.

    Creative activity is difficult to monetize…so I would never suggest that you start a new book.

  12. Claire
    Claire September 26, 2017 6:42 pm

    “Creative activity is difficult to monetize…so I would never suggest that you start a new book.”

    Thank you for that, deLaune. And too true. Writing a book can be good for getting your name out there and establishing credibility. It rarely pays more than minimum wage for the time spent — and then usually only if you’re an aggressive promoter (or have one on your side). I’d do it out of love if I didn’t know that the horrible job of marketing it awaited on the other end.

    But thank you to the rest of you guys, also. I almost certainly should do something with at least two or three of those existing titles. Sad though it is, Paladin’s demise is an opportunity finally to stop neglecting those old books.

  13. afriend
    afriend September 27, 2017 2:51 am

    MP, the Lindsay catalog was entertaining reading all its own. Paladin looked for a buyer but never received a solid offer.

  14. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook September 27, 2017 12:03 pm

    Claire, I might want to buy one of those Hardyville Tales books from you. I enjoyed the articles online. For a short time, I even had a printout of Hardyville Rules or Laws or whatever the title was, sitting in my doctor’s office waiting room. How much do you want for it? By the way, I mailed you a book that I wrote, thinking you were going to review it. Maybe you did and I missed it. Did you?

  15. Claire
    Claire September 27, 2017 12:10 pm

    Dr. Jim — Absolutely I reviewed your book, although it did take me a while after receiving the review copy. I also emailed you to say the review was up. I wondered why I never heard back afterward.

    Here’s my review: “Solve the Medical Mess: Share This Book”.

    Let me get back to you on Hardyville Tales. I do have it listed for sale on Amazon, but I’d be happy to sell directly, also. Autographed, too.

  16. Pat
    Pat September 27, 2017 1:03 pm

    I read that book – The High Price of Socialized Medicine.
    Excellent, and absolutely true.

  17. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook September 27, 2017 4:26 pm

    Wow! I did not imagine you would give it such a glowing review. Thanks, Claire. And thank you too, Pat.

  18. Rocrat
    Rocrat October 1, 2017 7:11 am

    Matt Bracken did me a big favor by using your Quote in “Enemies, Foreign and Domestic” ,, been a fan ever since.

  19. Claire
    Claire October 1, 2017 10:45 am

    Thank you, Rocrat. Glad to have you here.

    (And thank you WRSA for the linkage.)

  20. David Jewett
    David Jewett October 1, 2017 10:17 pm

    Claire, I’m wondering if it makes any sense to attempt to re-launch this kind of business (publishing of fringe titles).

    Will you please post what you think? Or maybe just email me?


  21. Claire
    Claire October 2, 2017 7:56 am

    Good question, David J. But as much as my heart would love to see “another Loompanics” or “another Paladin” or something that combines the two and adds Lindsay … I think those days are gone.

    Minor authors can do better publishing on their own now and/or choosing independent publisher/editor partners to help them who are savvy about print-on-demand, ebooks, online promotion, and so on. Small-press authors don’t need traditional small-press publishers these days.

  22. SH
    SH October 3, 2017 12:56 pm

    Per the above, true, self-pubbing your back catalog yourself is low cost and rewards you with the most royalties. I’d be happy to assist you with converting any of your books to both ebook & Print-on-demand formats. Feel free to contact me to discuss further.

  23. Claire
    Claire October 3, 2017 7:59 pm

    SH — Thank you very much for the offer. But I have a friend who has his own small press who’s offered me a good royalty split. While we haven’t made any official decision, I’m probably going with him.

    I know self-publishing is often the way to go these days, and my friend was quite candid that I’d do better with that option. But my friend has been a long-time inspiration-slash-nudge to me and I need that.

    I won’t forget your offer, but as things are looking now, I’m covered.

  24. CarpeOro
    CarpeOro October 10, 2017 9:57 am

    May want to take a look at Castalia House (I got here from a link another reader provided on Vox Day’s blog). Quality work and association with some writers with huge cache these days in a number of genres – including political.

  25. sam spade
    sam spade October 11, 2017 9:46 am

    I have been watching the paladin site for a few books I was interested in, the prices are still the same on 10/11

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