About a week ago, Angry Robot announced that it’s had to close two of its imprints, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A. The announcement on Strange Chemistry’s site says:
As you will be aware, Angry Robot Books has a history of innovation and we continue to go from strength to strength. We’re constantly trying out new concepts and new ideas, and we continue to publish popular and award-winning books. Our YA imprint Strange Chemistry and our crime/mystery imprint Exhibit A have – due mainly to market saturation – unfortunately been unable to carve out their own niches with as much success.
We have therefore made the difficult decision to discontinue Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, effective immediately, and no further titles will be published from these two imprints.
Twitter has been abuzz about the decision and I’ve seen quite a few reaction posts, several giveaways, and a blog hop. The Bibliophibian’s giveaway is still ongoing (until June 30th, so if you want to enter you’ve still got some time!) and I think Venturead Laxre’s Laura Lam giveaway is still running as well. Both giveaways are international.
Several authors have recommended we support the affected authors by buying their books and spreading the word. I know how long some of the books I’ve bought have been languishing on my TBR pile. I know how bad it was before I cut into it with utter ruthlessness. I also know how important word-of-mouth is to authors, whether traditionally published or indie published. Several of these authors have looked at self-publishing as a way to continue series and… Word-of-mouth is just so important, especially at times like these. Like I said, I know what happens to books on my TBR pile. I also know that my pile is not the only one which suffers from the languishing.
And so, for me at least, I wanted to do something bigger than support these authors by buying their books. I wanted to read them to. Thus the idea for a Reading Month was born. I’d schedule it in August both because it gives me a little more time to organise myself and because I have few deadlines in July. As a bonus, it gives anyone who wants to participate a lot more time to get several books together.
I don’t know if the Exhibit A authors have seen a similar online outpour or whether the situation is very different from those for Strange Chemistry authors. I know I haven’t seen that outpour for them. Now, I have to admit here that I’m not a crime/mystery reader at all. I’m not sure I’ve ever managed to finish a crime/mystery book that wasn’t in some way SFF-rooted, even. So I’m not the best host for an Exhibit A Reading Month, but I don’t want to leave them out of this. (So if anyone with a stronger interest in crime/mystery wants to cohost/join in, get in touch with me! Contact form’s here.)
The actual Reading Month idea is (certainly at present) very simple: I, and anyone who wants to participate, dedicate August to reading books by Strange Chemistry or Exihibit A authors. Minimum of one book. Those of us who write reviews are, obviously, encouraged to write reviews of our reading material to create buzz. In the spirit of the reading month, I’d ask that, if authors have multiple books available from multiple publishers, you read only books published by the Strange Chemistry or Exhibit A imprint (or associated self-published works), but you don’t have to.
And… that’s it. In a nutshell:
What? A month dedicated to reading as many Strange Chemistry or Exhibit A books as we can/want to read.
When? This August, so in a little over a month.
Where? On our blogs! Our twitter! Our tumblrs! Wherever it is we want to discuss what we’re reading!
Who? Me! And hopefully you as well.
Why? To support the authors and discover shiny new books. But mostly to support the authors. And discover shiny new stories. (YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.)
I got several positive responses to the idea on Twitter so far. I’ll be doing link round-ups, but I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be doing them by hand or setting something up for them. It’ll depend a lot on how much linking I expect to be doing.
If anyone wants to help out in any way, drop me a line. (Contact form’s still found here. ^_^) I’d love to make this the best experience possible for everyone involved! (But I’ve never done something like this before and right now I’m aiming to keep it fairly low-key.)
I am excited! I can’t wait to start reading my shiny, shiny books! I’ll share their titles in a proper introduction post closer to August. Spread the word, if you’re so inclined, and come join me in August!