Book lovers received some sad news about two of UK-based publisher Angry Robot‘s imprints, its Strange Chemistry division for YA titles and Exhibit A for mystery. The publisher has decided to close its two imprints due to “market saturation,” according to some reports, although a post on the company’s website insists that its science fiction line is going strong. It even plans to increase its number of titles from two books per month to three next month.
This is unfortunate news for those readers who signed up for the subscription ebook service last year, which offered users a year of books released once per month. Presumably those readers will still be offered a separate Angry Robot title instead, of will be issued a refund.
However, the term “market saturation” is a really strange excuse in this case. As numerous authors and publishers have pointed out, there’s no such thing as too many books being published, or not enough readers for the volume of content. There may very well be a glut of titles out there, but there is certainly not an abundance of well-written stories with intriguing characters and compelling story lines. What the term may be referring to is the increasing difficulty of finding suitable book promotion and making the titles stand out.
Strange Chemistry (YA) was known for very edgy, experimental books, while Angry Robot itself is known for pioneering its DRM-free status on its titles, something that more and more savvy readers are beginning to appreciate.