Late last night, I was browsing Amazon looking for a book, and decided to see how (whether) Dead Ernest was doing. I was shocked to find that, quite suddenly, it's gone. Finished. Sold out. There was the usual "we'll let you know when we have it in stock again" message, but both hardback and trade paperback have gone. So I tried Macmillan's website, and there was no mention of it at all. It might never have existed.
I should have seen this coming, of course. It was never brought out in paperback (Pan Mac) as it "lacked commerciality"(their words). It was just a matter of time before it disappeared altogether. But it was my first; the book that made me feel I might one day be a novelist; the Richard and Judy competiton runner-up (I'll never forget the jubilation); my first full-length literary baby. And now it's gone.
This hit me far harder than I would have thought. I knew I was being stupid; that I've written a second (and I hope, third) better book(s); that poor Ernest would inevitably sooon be out of print. But it felt like a little death in my (very small) literary family. There is still hope, as the screen producer who has bought the rights is still trying to make a screenplay, but while I very much hope this works out (for her even more than me, because she's put so much time and effort into the project), my book is dead, as a book. Unless I become very successful indeed, it won't be brought back to life. And I feel enormously sad.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Dead Ernest RIP
Posted by Frances Garrood at 09:39
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I'm sorry to hear that, Frances. I'm not sure I can adequately imagine what that feels like. I hope the screenplay gets produced and creates demand for a second printing :)ReplyDelete
I know only too well how it feels. Only one of my books (Love Cheat, published by Scholastic)is still in print. I am thinking of getting them reprinted and selling them myself, as the rights have all reverted to me.ReplyDelete
Frances, I can absolutely understand just how you feel. Let's drink a toast to Ernest on Friday.ReplyDelete
Oh Gosh Frances, how sad. We'll just have to believe in re-incarnation and hope he comes back in another form in the future, as a screenplay, another paperback or best-selling ebook.ReplyDelete
Hi, Nevets. Yes - the screenplay saga is long and rumbles on. I jus thoep I live long enough to see it!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Hydra - I'd like to get the rights back, too, but I think that all depends on the success (or not!) of subsequent books.
Thanks, Alis. At least Friday is somehting nice to look forward to!
Thanks, Dee. So sorry we won't be seeing you on Friday. Have you come down off the ceiling yet?
Thanks for the welcome, Frances. I've gone into a deep decline over the demise of "Dead Ernest". I love that book. I think we should all mark its passing with huge bunches of re-seeding sunflowers in the hope that it will blossom again. It deserves to. Here's to the filmReplyDelete
PS Do Sunflowers re-seed? I hope soReplyDelete
Thanks, Browen Sauce. But I think sunflowers are annuals!ReplyDelete
Alas, I think many of us are out of print. There are still copies of mine knocking around on Amazon etc, but you can bet they aren't running off any more.ReplyDelete
Then again, being out of print is to be in remarkably good company. It's shocking how many books--even books that did astonishing business--are out of print. Wear it as a badge of pride.