Seven years ago, I was sorting through a bag of donated men’s underwear (used) at my charity job when my phone pinged. An email from George at Unsung Stories: they loved Pseudotooth and they wanted to publish. After two years of fruitless querying, my weird book had finally found a home. I bought the cheapest bottle of supermarket champagne available and ordered a Chinese.
Today came the sad news that Unsung Stories is closing down. It didn’t come as a shock, but it’s a huge blow nonetheless. The loss of Unsung is going to leave a big hole in British speculative fiction. It’s the little guys who take the creative risks, putting their strength behind books the bigger publishers won’t touch. We’re all poorer when an indie goes under. Most of all, it sucks to see my friends having a hard time.
Without Unsung Stories, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Which isn’t to say I’m writing this on a veranda in Tuscany, but I’m pretty damn content. I’ve got a new novel out in July, a comic too, and I’m sitting on a nice little mountain of published short stories. I’ve met so many new friends through Unsung and had so many opportunities I would never otherwise have had. Without Unsung, I would never have found myself on the main stage at MCM Comic Con telling that one anecdote about my uncle in France and the spider sex cheese. (Don’t ask.) Unsung produced Pseudotooth so beautifully, fully understanding what I wanted to say with it and why. I’m incredibly grateful.
Pseudotooth is mine again – all rights have returned to me – and I need to decide on its future. I could self-publish or search for a publisher who deals with reprints. At the moment, I don’t know. I just don’t want it to vanish. As it stands, the last copies of the novel are for sale in the Unsung shop for £2.99, which is a lot of paperback for your buck. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
Treasure your small publishers, folks. Buy something weird today.