After a long year and a half (almost two years) of planning and working, we are calling it quits. Below I will paste the nuts & bolts letter of note, but here perhaps I should be a bit more personal. I’ve done this before – both operating a business and shutting it down – and I can tell you it’s not a small matter. If starting a business venture (even a creative one) is like giving birth to and raising a child, then ending a business is like… like outliving your children. It doesn’t feel natural, no matter how right it might be. There is no way to describe the levels of weirdness.
This year has been a difficult one for us. As a company, we are still solvent and could continue along this track for months – maybe a year or so – without doing much of anything. But the heart was no longer there. The original founders (well, except for me) had removed themselves from the business. Personal conflicts and professional/family duties strained at our resources. Even with new blood injected into the mix, there was no way to keep the heart beating.
So why did it go South? I don’t want to drag out all the terrible details. The short answer is this: Marketing. All of our business plans looked great on paper – except for that one, ginormous, gaping hole, labeled “TBD.” Editors, writers, and copy-editors do not make good marketers. That is to say, the same skills that make an editor excel do not serve the skill set of a good marketer. In our case, they didn’t overlap. We turned a blind eye to our primary shortcomings and could never get over the crippling skill gap. Marketing.
We all learned a great deal from this. Well, most of us learned a great deal. I may throw my hat into the publishing field again in the future. I loved my authors, I loved the work, and I loved the idea that I helped bring some kind of art to the world. It was a great adventure. I will miss it, but I’m glad it is ending.
Thank you very much. Below is our final, so-called ‘press release’ for ECP.
Effective immediately, Escape Collective Publishing will cease all publishing operations. All listings have been removed from all retail markets. All respective copyrights will return immediately to the original copyright holders. Any and all royalty obligations not currently satisfied will be reconciled as soon as is humanly possible. Solicitations for stories will no longer be sought, nor accepted. Before the end of 2012, the cooperative corporate entity that is Escape Collective Publishing will be dissolved.
It has been a pleasure to work with a great many talented, hard-working authors, editors, and artists. Everyone here at Escape Collective Publishing is proud of the people who have made this all possible – the authors – and the fantastic stories we have worked with.
If you have any questions, please contact us at your earliest convenience. We wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.
-Patrick Jennings-Mapp, Editor
Escape Collective Publishing