Friday, March 30, 2012

An Announcement of the Worst Kind

I've spent the better part of two days trying to figure out the best way to write this post. This isn't news I imagined ever having to break to my readers, but like ripping off a Band-aid, sometimes you just have to say it.

There will be no more Dreg City books.

As much as I want to qualify that statement with "for now" or "in the near future," I don't want to impress false hope when I cannot make those guarantees. What I know is this: Bantam has opted to not buy any more Dreg City books due to the sales numbers of the first four books.

Basically, the series isn't selling. Despite being reviewed well and despite you amazing, wonderfully loyal fans, the sales numbers just aren't there. This certainly drives home the point that no matter how artistic you may think writing is, publishing is still a business.

As Michael Corleone once said, "It's not personal, Tom. It's strictly business."

Intellectually, I know it isn't personal. Emotionally, though, it feels like I've failed somehow. I was raised with a "do the job you're given and do it to the best of your ability" work ethic. I did everything I was supposed to do as an author (wrote a good book, promoted it, interacted with social media) and I fulfilled my contracts--but it wasn't enough. I don't know what I could have done differently, or if the series was just too dark, too different from the start. I just don't know. But it doesn't stop me from feeling like I failed.

Worst of all, I feel like I failed you guys--my readers. While WRONG SIDE OF DEAD does not end at a cliffhanger, there are promises of things to come and stories yet untold. I adore writing for Evy, Wyatt, Phineas, Kismet, Milo, and the others. I adore playing in Dreg City. And I adore interacting with you guys.

As I said above, I can't promise anything right now.

Do I know where Evy's story is going? Yes.

Do I know how many more books it will take? Yes.

Do I know if/when/how they'll be written/made available? No.

This is my job, so right now I have to focus on other advance-paying projects. I have something new in the works (folks who follow me on Twitter have probably seen me using the #SekritProject hashtag recently). I still have CHANGELING releasing in June, and I have two new MetaWars stories releasing digitally next year. As much as saying good-bye to Evy & Company hurts right now, hopefully it's just temporary.

I'm going to close by asking a favor of you guys: if you've read and enjoyed the Dreg City books, tell someone else. Tell a friend or a neighbor, or a fellow book blogger, or the lady on your commuter train whose nose is always in her Kindle. Post reviews on Amazon and BN.com. Post reviews on Goodreads. If your local library doesn't have it, ask them to stock it--or better, donate a copy, as many libraries work on very tight budgets.

And even if superheroes aren't your thing, give TRANCE a try. It's more urban fantasy than you might think.

40 comments:

Chelle said...

Oh no. I am so sorry for you and me and Evy & gang. I will be telling everyone I know to read them and I'll go post the reviews. I love the books. But I am looking forward to reading Trance and anything new you have coming! Thanks for introducing me to Dreg City. I think its fabulous!

Sean Cummings said...

Good books, Kelly - I've enjoyed them. You aren't the first with disappointing sales - been there too. Not a lot of fun. Good luck on your other projects.

Sin Dee Anna said...

I'm very sorry for your loss (I'm sure it feels that way). I just recently started reading the Dreg City novels, and really enjoy them. I am really sad there will not be any more. This also recently happened to another author I read, and she is continuing her series by self publishing. I know some authors have found success there. Good Luck!

Jerrilynn Atherton said...

I am absolutely heartbroken!! But I look forward to whatever comes next for you!

RK Charron said...

I'm heartsick but consoled in the thought that this June I'll be able to buy your newest book.

If you decide to self-publish (if you have the time/inclination) any more Dreg City books I'll definitely buy & promote them.

I'll always buy whatever you write because I love the way you tell a story.

With love & best wishes,
Rob

Stacey Graham said...

That's rotten news, Kelly! You did an amazing job with the series and I'm very proud of you!

Let's go look for that window to open now that this door is shut. I'll boost you through--

Tina Moss said...

I'm so very sorry. This is the worst kind of news for a writer, but I am certain that you will continue to have a bright and wonderful career.

May the publisher see the error of their ways.

Eerie said...

I very sorry to here this I love the Dregs City series.
Faithful follower,
Ruth

Anonymous said...

I am so sad right now!!! That is two series that I love axed, yours and Sharon Ashwood! :( Leslee Night Owl Reviewer

JasonTudor said...

Kelly, I'll help with Stacey's boost! We'll miss them but know they will be back!

Jenn said...

Take 2 on leaving a comment, the phone version wasn't working (I think).

I'm so sorry to hear this! I actually have been so swamped I haven't had a chance to read the recent installment, but I loved the first Dreg City books and I'm so disappointed to hear the series will be ending before you were ready to end it! I'm sure this has happened with other books I've read, but being on twitter now means this is the first time I've really known of it. If Evy and the gang end up being published somewhere else someday - even if it is *gasp* an ebook (which I have avoided like the plague thus far) - I'll be sure to go looking for them! And I'm not the world's most dedicated goodreads user, but I'll add some stellar reviews for you just as soon as I can!

In the meantime, I look forward to reading whatever else you've got coming out. I follow authors and not just characters, so I'll be sure to pick up whatever else you've got coming!

Jack Tester said...

Kelly,
Sorry to hear that. I'm just now reading Another Kind of Dead. I love it. I am doing something very unusual. I'm taking multiple days just to read it. I am really enjoying getting immersed in that world and really appreciating the darkness with the thin rays of hope shining through. Good luck. I'll read anything that you write.

Jessica@a GREAT read said...

Oh no! That's awful! That seems to be happening with some of the authors I adore. The books are awesome, but not everyone knows it so they don't buy them!

I will keep you in my hopes, Kelly! Will be buying my friend a looooot of books for xmas this year! Know it's not much, but every sale's gotta count!

As some of the other comments have said, would you ever consider doing self publishing for the last few books? I know I'd buy them!

Karen said...

I'm so sorry. It seems like a lot of great authors are having their series cancelled by publishers. I think its a sign of the amazonocalypse. :(

It has nothing to do with your ability to write. Believe me, I read around 250-300 books a year. You are a talented writer and I love reading your books.

I know some authors are using Kickstarter to fund the costs associated with writing/editing/publishing a book so that they can self-publish. (Chuck Wendig did it successfully.) I can tell you right now, I'd happily support more Dregs books if you decided to go the self-publishing route.

Suza Kates said...

Ms. Meding, you are absoluetly established, and should find another route to getting those books out there! (Probably make more from your sales, too.) Go for it!

Alex Adams said...

Kelly, that seriously sucks. I'm so sorry. *HUG*

Pamela {@SpazP} said...

This post made my heart sink to my stomach. The Dreg City series is an auto-buy for me. I'm a reader, fan, and blogger and think Evy and friends are one of the best series out there and this breaks my damn heart!!!!!
I will most definitely be sure I've posted all my reviews everywhere I can, and will try to pass the word to everyone. Thank you for giving us this fantastic series, I ain't ready to say goodbye, dammit!!!!!! *sobs*

Jenn Bennett said...

Kelly—

I hurt for you. And it scares me, because this could happen to any of us, at any time. It's happened to other writers whose work I adore. Writers, like you, who've amassed a fan base and established themselves in the genre.

It's a strange time for publishing. But I'm certain that this is just a rut in your career road. I'm looking forward to your secret project, and I hope fans of Dreg City will gravitate to your MetaWars series.

Like someone else said, a lot of readers follow authors, not just characters. And I'm betting you've got characters inside your brain that readers will fall in love with.

--Jenn

BookaholicCat said...

I'm very sorry to hear this. Dregs City series is one of my favorite series, one I have in auto-buy. I hope something happens and changes this.
I'll alway be your fan. We still have your Meta Wars series and I'm really looking forward to your secret project.

Keslynn said...

That sucks! I am so sorry to hear that. I love the Dreg City books. Sending you hugs.

I'm with the others who would definitely continue to buy if you went a self-pub route, but I also totally understand that you have other projects that will work better for you financially. Wishing you best of luck on those! And I will still be buying what you write. :o)

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear this. :( You really should look into self-publishing though. I think you could be a hit with the books.

Jackie said...

Well, hell. :(

Paris said...

This totally blows chunks and makes me sad. I love your work and am constantly telling people to read your books. I bought a copy of Trance even though I won one and I love the darkness of the Dreg City books. Hopefully this is just a minor setback and we will see Evie and the gang again someday. If not, this isn't the end of me supporting your work and spreading the word of how awesome you are.

Mike W said...

Wow. I cant believe this. these books rock!! this is some of the coolest UF ive read!!
Kelly, have you considered self-publishing in EBook format? I was reading about it a couple months ago in a Milwaukee paper and there are alot of authors doing it nowadays. maybe something to look into. I NEED MORE DREG CITY!!!
Love your writing Kelly, good luck and keep us posted!!

Almira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Almira said...

Wow. This is very sad news. The Dreg City novels were one of my favourite series and I always awaited the next instalment. I feel for authors that are amazing writers but things do not always work out. I'm hoping that this struggle will give you inspiration to keep trying.
I will definitely keep trying to promote your novels. I share them with everyone I know who reads and they all are glad that I have shared with them. Please do not stop trying.

-Kelly Meding said...

I want to pop in and say THANK YOU for all of the amazing comments and support. You guys are truly awesome, and I am so thankful for you.

Re: Self-publishing. I have given thought to digital self-publishing. In this current market, it's difficult not to consider it as an option. It won't be for a little while, though. I have two other novels, plus a short story in the queue before I can get back to writing Dreg City 5.

But when it comes, I think you guys will love it. Evy gets an unexpected blast from Chalice Frost's past. *mysterious smile*

<<>>

Sarah said...

Hey, that's sooo not fair! I just found Dreg City last month! I'm sorry Kelly :( I really hope to see Evy again.

Barbara E. said...

I've really enjoyed Evy and friends and I'm sorry to hear that the sales weren't strong enough. However you choose to proceed with the Dreg City series, whether it's an opportunity to publish the rest traditionally, or self-publish, I'll definitely be there to read them.

JustWingingIt said...

Well this sucks! I just found the series earlier this year and blew through all four books. I loved reading about Evy and Wyatt and their struggles. I was looking forward to seeing if Phineas would find any more of his clan out there. I hope you do decide to finish out the stories in ebook format. I will certainly buy them.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I'm sorry to hear this Kelly. Really am. I wish you all the best with your other projects and series. I do hope one day you can come back to Evy. Best wishes to you!!

Julie said...

Oh Kelly I am so sorry... That is terrible news. *hugs* You know how I feel about the books and I will do anything in my power to spread the word about your incredible Dreg books. They will live on. I can feel it. ;)

Greytfriend said...

I don't understand this at all, this series keeps getting better and better. You absolutely should be nothing but proud of everything you've accomplished with this series, I guess it's just a crazy market right now. I really hope that something changes or that you find another way to get those stories told, it will be a huge shame otherwise. But no matter what, everything you write is on my auto-order list, don't worry about that. Looking forward to Changeling.

Phil Giunta said...

While this news hits hard, keep in mind that in today's publishing world, you have many other options. If Bantam decides not to pick up the Dreg City series again ever, then when the publishing rights revert back to you, you might consider self publishing going forward.

Many authors, both midlist and NYT bestsellers, are doing this as you know.

Yes, it may feel like a slap in the face but you DID NOT FAIL. As a writer, you did your job, you have a loyal following.

Keep moving forward.

Carolyn Crane said...

SO sorry to hear this!! Uh!!

Shelley Romano said...

As a loyal reader/supporter of this series from the first book onward, this news is shocking, yet, in the new world we live in, not unexpected. Please, keep your head held high knowing that you do have supporters that will come back to you in a minute were you to find another publisher, or self pub. I already follow your MetaWars news series and have been dying to get my hands on book # 2.

Amy Ashley said...

Hang in there! It's a tough business, and sometimes the stuff we love isn't the stuff what's getting read right now which SUCKS. Every word counts though, and every word makes us better--pushes us to where we're going. You're an amazing author. Evy is only one piece of that.

Really looking forward to Changeling! :)

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

I am So sorry Kelly! I aheve been a fan from book one and enjoyed each adventure of Evy and co so much!

Hope you'll get a chance to get back to the Dreg City world!

Anything I can do to help, I will!

xoxo,

Larissa

Paula said...

I just finished the reading the last book and came here looking for updates on the next book. I was surprised and disappointed to read that the series was cancelled. Then I read the comments and found a glimmer of hope. I love the Dreg City series and truly hope you do self publish the rest of the series. I will review and recommend wherever I can in an effort to do my part to see the story continued.

Dawn said...

My dear sister, You will find a way to make Evy come back!! I have faith in you and your perserverance!