I found myself yelling at the TV last week. I don’t normally do that. I’m not a sports fan, so I don’t get all riled up about a bad call or jazzed about a good play.
But there I was, yelling at the TV anyway. About a drama—The Glades. One that ended with the biggest cliffhanger in its four-season run. A cliffhanger that will never be resolved, because the series was CANCELED! Worse, it was canceled without time to make any changes to the ending. They left the main protagonist shot in the chest while his fiancée and friends waited for him to arrive for his wedding.
I’m not the only one angry about this. An Internet petition has gathered more than 2,500 signatures, with requests for A&E to at least resume production long enough to wrap up the story arc. Other fans are hoping the USA Network will pick it up.
I don’t normally get angry about TV shows being canceled. Disappointed, yes, but not angry. Heck, I run a business based on selling fiction. I get that business decisions aren’t always cut and dry. But the way this series was canceled did a disservice to the fans. And that happens way too often in our industry.
At least it used to. Ask any number of authors, even bestselling authors, about their experience with book series and the way they were historically handled by traditional publishing. The fate of the series was tied to the books selling to some magical number determined by the publishing company. Fans were not remotely a factor.
But ebooks and print on demand changed all that. Now, authors don’t have to answer endless emails from fans bemoaning the disappearance of a beloved series (one the author likely loved as well) apologizing for the discontinuation. Now, authors can finish or continue the series themselves. Or a modern-day publishing company can.
That’s one of the reasons for the partnership with WMG and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Kris had three series that had a good run in traditional publishing, but as often happens, the publishers lost interest long before the author or the fans did.
Well, not this publisher. WMG has already released two new novels in the Retrieval Artist series (Anniversary Day in 2011 and Blowback in 2012). A new RA novel is planned for 2014.
By mid-September, all seven books of The Fey will once again be available in trade paperback (they’re already up in ebook), we published the Fey prequel story, Destiny, in ebook and trade paperback, and the next Fey novel is planned for sometime in the not-too-distant future.
And Smokey Dalton makes his return after an eight-year absence in March 2014 with Street Justice. Oh, and we’ll have the first six Dalton books available again in trade paperback by the end of this year.
We’ve also acquired the Diving Universe contract, so the next novel in that series, Skirmishes, will come out under the WMG imprint next week. And believe you me, we’ll keep that series going as long as Kris keeps writing it. We’ve only scratched the surface of that world of hers.
Because here at WMG, we think our readers are the reason we’re all here in the first place. And we’ve built that into our business model.
So, if The Glades were a book, I probably wouldn’t have needed to yell. And the rest of the story arc would need only someone to write and publish it. Who knows, maybe creator Clifton Campbell will jump media.
The fans would certainly appreciate an end to the story.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.