I awoke to some bad news this morning, but the cows still had to be milked, the chickens had to be fed, the kids needed to be schooled and life went on. The bad news was this: Apocalypse Weird is no more.

The projects publisher, Wonderment Media, sent out an email to all of their authors last night detailing what happened. Rather than summarizing, I’m just going to copy & paste what was said. Here goes:

I’m not going to sugar coat it — we are closing the Apocalypse Weird Project. We are stopping publishing immediately, and we will wind down all operations by the end of November.

Yes, we’re pretty bummed about it.  I’m sure you guys are, too.  A lot of effort from everyone went into this over the last year.  Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we just can’t get the books to earn out, and our seed money is depleted.  We have just enough to cover the taxes and pay off the lawyers to wind it all up.

I know you have questions, so I’ll try and address some here. First — what about the books?

We will be returning all published (and unpublished) books in our possession to the authors who wrote them.

Second – IGG supporters?

We’ve kept enough funds in reserve to fulfill our obligation to our IGG supporters regarding hard copies.  Kevin Summers is taking the reins on that.  Several books need signatures (the perks were for signed copies) and we would greatly appreciate your willingness to sign any books coming your way and send them on to their readers who paid for them.

I want to thank all of you for your hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm for this project.  It was a heck of a ride.  You are all a fantastic bunch of writers, and it has been my privilege to publish you. I am very proud of you, and I an very proud of the books you all made.

If you recall my post Straight Shooting on the Costs of Indie Publishing, I mentioned how much money it costs to produce an indie book. The truth of the matter is that Wonderment’s IndieGoGo campaign wasn’t fully funded, and even then that campaign would have provided enough funds to run the project for a year. The books sold well, but not well enough to catch fire. In other words, the Apocalypse Weird series was going to keep hemorrhaging money and there was no way to correct course. This happens all the time in traditional publishing, so it should come as no surprise that it happened with an indie project. A series I was part of for a long time, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, was cancelled after 10 volumes because it never made any money. Wizards of the Coast no longer publishes Dragonlance content because it just doesn’t sell enough to be worth their effort. And how many critically-acclaimed comic book series have been cancelled because of poor sales? Jonah Hex was one of my favorite books, but it never sold enough copies to make a difference.

Were there things that could have been done differently? Ayuh. But it is what it is and the only option now it to move forward. With that in mind, I’m announcing here that I intend to finish the story I started in The Bleak December. I don’t know at this point if I’ll release 3 books as I originally intended, or if I’ll just combine the entire story into a single volume. I’ll keep you posted as I get closer to publication. I joined Apocalypse Weird in the hopes of picking up some new readers and working with some amazing authors. I got to do both, and while I’m sorry to see the project collapse, life goes on and there’s still firewood that needs to be split. I’m gonna keep writing, and we’ll find out what happens to Harlan, Wes, Melody and the rest sometime next year. Thank you for reading and for your support. Apocalypse Weird is gone, but the Winter Wasteland endures.