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KatG
May 31st, 2006, 07:14 PM
When S&S UK dissolved their sff imprint a few years back, moved sff titles into their main lines and let a bunch of sff authors go, it seemed like we might be in for a bad trend and a sunken market (good sales for big names and lots of problems for the rest of the field.) When Warner in the U.S. lost their big sff editor and announced plans to slowly shut down their sff Aspect imprint, it appeared that this fear was likely confirmed and the U.S. and British markets might be dealing with uneven growth and a potential purge of mid-list authors.

Well, it turns out that Warner's reasons for dumping Aspect were not due primarily to bad sales. Orbit, Warner's UK sff imprint, is one of the leading sff publishers in Britain, and Warner is spinning off coordinated Orbit imprints in the U.S. and Australia. Warner Orbit U.S. is set to debut in 2007 and is expected to grow to 40 titles within 3 years. I don't know how many of those are going to be import titles from other territories, but this is excellent news.

Not only does it mean that Warner is not out of the game in the U.S., but it indicates that there is still sufficient growth in the market as a whole to keep publishers committed to it, and to provide opportunities for mid-list and new authors, even if sales have slipped in some quarters. And it means that sf has more time to find its feet and enjoy the rise in interest it's been getting.

So my fears are a bit alleviated, and I thought others who hadn't heard this news might like to know.

Rob B
May 31st, 2006, 07:27 PM
I read about this, too and was pleasantly surprised. After seeing TOR start up a UK imprint, it is nice to see one of the big UK FSF publishers do the same here in the US.