As some of you will know, the Wizard’s Tower bookstore never made a profit (apart from that one amazing month when the Finns came to party). However, revenue had been increasing at a slow but steady pace throughout. I always believed that if I kept working away at it, that we’d get there in the end. I even had a bunch of big plans for improvements for this year.
However, the first few months of 2014 saw a significant drop in sales. The figures for March were around half what they had been for the same month last year. Sales for April thus far show every sign of being as bad or worse. Much as I enjoy selling good books to eager readers, I can’t carry on paying out money in hosting fees, and spending a lot of time running the store, if no one is buying books.
I’ve also noted that some of the publishers I stock have stopped sending me their latest releases. As a publisher myself, I totally understand that. There is no sensible distribution system for the ebook market, and small presses can only justify the time it takes to get books stocked in a store if that store is actually going to sell a significant quantity. But of course if I don’t get the latest books, that means fewer visitors to my store, which results in a downward spiral.
So I have decided to close the store at the end of this month. I’m not sure of the exact closure date because I’ll be heading off to Finland around the end of the month which messes up my schedule. However, I’ll definitely keep the store open for the next week because some people are still buying copies of The Secret History of Moscow in preparation for Åcon and I don’t want Kathy to miss out on any sales. So if there is something that you had been planning to buy, get it now.
The good news is that this will not negatively impact the publishing business at all. I sell far more copies of Wizard’s Tower books through Amazon than I do through my own store. And for those of you who prefer not to buy from piranhas I’ll always make copies available through a few other stores.
I guess that it also means that I will have a bit more free time, but I may use that to try to be less exhausted and stressed, rather than start any new projects immediately.
If you have bought books from the store and manage to lose your copy, don’t worry, I have records of who bought what. Just email me and I’ll replace the file.
Finally, my huge thanks to everyone who supported the store during its lifetime, either by selling their books there, or buy buying them. I shall miss the happiness boost I used to get from checking my email in the morning and seeing that someone had bought a book I love.