By David Nemeth
There was sad news in the publishing world – heartbreaking news for many – that Midnight Ink will only be publishing "in-process" titles through the Summer of 2019. As Terri Bishoff wrote in Facebook, "As some of you may have heard, Midnight Ink will be shutting its doors after the Spring/Summer 2019 season." J. Kingston Pierce has her complete post at The Rap Sheet.
As of now, all we have is speculation about whey Midnight Ink is closing. Bishoff also wrote, "I’m still in a little bit of shock. I didn’t know this was coming. I’m sure there will be much activity and a lot of questions in the near future. I will answer as best I can." I hope that Midnight Ink's parent, Llewellyn Worldwide, will be forthcoming with the whys and hows of their decision. Not so that we can satisfy some odd thirst, but rather so that the community can learn from the mistakes, if any, of Midnight Ink's tenure.
. . .
Meanwhile, across the pond and a few days ago, another small press began its descent down a path of ruin with one simple tweet.
Let's chat a bit about this tweet. And before I get into it, let me say that I review books on a blog called Unlawful Acts which I guess makes me a book blogger and I have also participated in a few blog tours.
What struck me was the first line, "Stepped away from social media for a few months." I'm sure Ashley Lister, author of "Doll House" that was published by Caffeine Nights in August 2018, was thrilled by that statement.
The next two lines: "Have to say, I haven't missed it. Closed our FB account haven't missed FB at all." Social media does have its problems, Facebook definitely does. But a small press, social media offers you to reach out and inform one's base of news and releases. From my experience, social media drives 50% of traffic to my site. Depending on the whims of social media, sometimes Facebook could generate 25% to 75% of social media traffic. It's a crapshoot, but it does get my site out there. So when a small press publisher doesn't "miss" social media, is that a small press one would want to publish your book? (They might have the Amazon algorithms down to a science. Who knows?)
Let's get into the meat of the tweet, "Quick word about blog tours . . . save your money for something that works." Had the man behind the Twitter account communicated efficiently, he could have written something like, "We recommend not using blog tours as we have found that they don't help our author's sales." Then their problems would have been less.
Lastly the kicker, "Most bloggers have no reach or influence. They just think they do. 😂"
No way around this, this was mean-spirited and the LOL emoji, a final kick in the teeth.
Book bloggers are part of the ecosystem of the small press world. Our influence may be small, but I know from personal experience authors and publishers dig what we do. Well, except for Caffeine Nights. I enjoy reading and reviewing books, but most of all, I love pimping the shit out of books I love. That's what Caffeine Nights and its authors will be missing in the future, not only from me but, my guess, from a majority of book bloggers.