On January 17, 2014, Mercury Retrograde Press will cease normal operations. By that date, all the books Mercury Retrograde has published will go out of print; the rights to those stories will return to their authors. We’ll be honoring our commitment to appear and sell books at Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention in November, but that will be Mercury Retrograde’s last public appearance as the publisher of the authors and works we’ve sponsored in the past.
This decision has been a difficult one, and it’s been a long time in coming. Since we first began in 2007, I’ve been developing and re-developing not only books, authors and artistic careers but methodologies for bringing to press genre works that matter. Mercury Retrograde wasn’t my first foray into this crazy business of publishing, but it was the first time I’d been at the helm of an operation whose vision was mine alone; and that vision is one I still believe in passionately. But in recent months it has become increasingly clear that there is not time enough, energy enough, me enough to support both Mercury Retrograde and my own artistic work. That no matter how I increase our staff, expand our resources, rearrange our methodologies, it cannot achieve the mission for which I’d conceived it without being my primary focus.
There are any number of people whose truest creative outlet is the running of a business about which they are passionate. I am not one of those people. In order for me to do the work that is my truest passion, I must set this mission aside.
I wait with great anticipation for news of the house that picks up this mission, or something similar: a publishing house whose truest passion is genre fiction, which is committed to creating the space and providing the resources necessary for genre writers to free themselves of the expectations of a market that demands entertainment the way kids demand snack foods when what they really crave is a fulfilling meal; it will be my pleasure to offer that publisher (or those publishers!) whatever aid I can. I hope I’ve left the genre world a little something to think about, a glimpse of something cool that might and should be. But I need to turn my energy to other projects.
I am grateful to all of the Mercury Retrograde authors for being part of this adventure, and I wish them all possible success and happiness in their next phases. And I am grateful to all of you for the love and support we’ve received since this grand experiment began. I hope we have brought you some pleasure or learning in return.
What will happen next for all the Mercury Retrograde books and authors we love? Those stories are just unfolding. I can promise you haven’t seen the last of any of them, and in the remaining months we’ll be passing along what news we can about their next adventures. For now, you can find them at their respective websites, blogs and social presences:
Larissa N. Niec (author of Shorn)
Personal Website: http://www.larissaniec.com
Zachary Steele (author of Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO and Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction)
Personal Website: http://www.zacharysteele.com
Leona Wisoker (author of Secrets of the Sands, Guardians of the Desert, Bells of the Kingdom and Fires of the Desert)
Personal Website: http://www.leonawisoker.com
Barbara Friend Ish (author of The Shadow of the Sun)
Personal Website: http://www.barbarafriendish.com