I had some sad news in the mail today from my former publisher, Paladin Press, which sent letters to current and former authors saying they would be closing shop after 47 years in the publishing business. Another death-knell for small publishers in a world that values electronic convenience over the printed word.
For anyone "of a certain age", particularly in North America, who has done martial arts for any length of time, it's hard not to remember the ads in martial arts magazines for their books and videos/dvds or to forget the legal troubles that they endured in the late 1990s when they were notoriously sued for publishing books said to have influenced some high-profile crimes in the USA. They survived that and, in more recent years, they tried to keep up to changing consumer demand by offering electronic downloads of their most popular films and publications through their website.
What I remember the most is the professional way in which they always dealt with me as an author and that was in great contrast to many of the editors of American martial arts magazines that I dealt with in those years who were often cavalier in their attitudes to responding to authors or making payments on time -- if at all.
Oh, and aside from their more eccentric offerings on firearms, self-defence and personal liberty, Paladin Press also published a lot of martial arts books by respected author/practitioners that might not have otherwise been in print.
This company closes at the end of November, 2017, and I wish their former employees well. They and their families have to deal personally with the consequences of changing tastes in consumers more than anyone.
More About Me
I graduated from university in the early 1970s and went on to work in a variety of fields (archaeology, Federal Government civil service and IBM Ottawa) before becoming a magazine editor with the RCMP for a decade. From 1985-1996, I was the main caregiver for my two sons while also working as a free-lance writer and teaching Chinese martial arts in the evenings.