RARA-AVIS: Re: Mercenary Questions

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 22 Jan 2008

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Kantner" <rob@...> wrote:

> I published some detective novels back in the 80s and 90s, and have
> published mystery and non-mystery short fiction in magazines and on
> line for 25 years. The book sales were barely marginal and since the
> last contract ran out I have had, despite a lot of effort, zero
> success in publication. In the eyes of agents and publishers, having
> published and not sold well is clearly much more fatal to a "career"
> than having never published at all.
> I keep on writing, though, because I have to. Beyond that, I've had
> re-think what I really want out of this. And what I want -- the last
> element of this weird equation -- is simply to have the work 'out
> there' and available. Which is why I decided, with the latest
> book, to skip 'traditional' channels altogether and put the thing
> via POD -- which establishment authors, publishers, and agents often
> contemptuously refer to as 'vanity press.'
> So far, it's been fun. I've had complete control (something I never
> had going the traditional route); it's selling via Amazon,
> and even via some independent book stores; to my pleasant surprise
> it's already broken even; and (most important) the fans seem
> Just my .02. YMMV.
> Rob Kantner
> www.robkantner.com

Well, damn. I guess I heard a lot of what was going on out there but somehow this post by you makes it reality. I began to read you when your stories appeared in the mags under the byline T. Robin Kantner and then picked up the early Ben Perkins novels (published by Avon as I recall) and you were winning Shamus Awards. You are the real deal. I recommend your work to everyone on this list.

I assumed you had stepped away from fiction sometime in the mid to late nineties because of "other" considerations, such as the need to earn a living. Hey, I know that imperative. I was cheered when your stories appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (such as the Perkins story "The Other Woman" in June 2006) as it showed you were still at it.

It never occured to me that you were a victim of the market forces you describe. I guess it shouldn't surprise me as the same thing happened to another very good writer Stephen Greenleaf.


Richard Moore

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Jan 2008 EST