I’ve just heard the sad news that after eight great years publishing Radgepackets and various other dark, gritty novels about the underbelly of life here in Britain, Byker Books are ceasing trading. Pretty much immediately.
This is a huge shame. Some of my own first forays into the printed word, certainly in the realm of dark, gallows-humour short stories, were published in the Radgepacket series and I’ll be forever grateful – not just for the publishing credits themselves but also for the many other great authors Byker brought me into contact with.
The CEO, Andy Rivers, blames the rise of cheap self-published e-books for the demise and he has a point. So many authors are now stampeding down the self-publishing route that it’s depriving publishing companies of material. And even the relatively low costs of running a small-scale business have to be offset against prices, which presumably means it’s hard to compete when every Tom, Dick and Josephine are virtually giving their work away.
I don’t know what the answer to this is, but I hope somebody finds it before too many more great, quirky, independent publishers go under.
And in the meantime, if you want the chance to grab any of the Radgepacket volumes before they disappear forever (and treat yourself to some fantastic, sharp little stories into the bargain), then head over to my website for more information on where to buy ’em.
RIP Byker. You’ll be missed.