I started Byker Books back in 2008 with a vague notion of publishing the working class lads and lasses who weren't taken seriously by the big publishers or agents. The people who didn't have degrees in 'creative writing' but had crap jobs that sapped their souls instead, the people who didn't have a 'journey' to bore people to death with but did have an idea for a bloody good story that other people from the estates would enjoy, the people who didn't get glowing reports at their great schools but instead had to battle their siblings for the one pen in the house to write anything down before doing their paper round in the rain.
That's who Byker Books was for. People like me.
It was never about the sales or the money, it was never about slavishly trying to perfect SEO on a glorified search engine named after a river in Brazil (work it out) and it was never, ever about shafting the writers for profit - Byker Books was different to the others. During it's lifespan my tiny independent press published over one hundred previously unknown authors through the 'Radgepacket' collections (some of whom went on to get book deals elsewhere) put out twelve paperbacks and published a number of others via electronic means.
And now it's over. I won't be publishing anything new (so that means the forthcoming submissions window will be cancelled - sorry) by anyone and BB will cease to exist as anything other than an outlet for my work (assuming I ever do any) and my e-magazine BookD. The books will disappear from Amazon and the BB site over the coming weeks as the rights revert to the authors so you'd best check them out HERE and make sure you get a copy of the one that catches your eye before it's gone for ever...worth one last try eh?
As you can imagine this has been a gut-wrenching decision for me as I started Byker Books in 2008 and at the time it was a much needed initiative for the kind of writer that I've detailed above but the advent of mass-market self-publishing of e-books has pretty much negated any need for that any more and it is now impossible for me to continue in the same vein as before.
Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the many authors I've published/met/drank with over the last eight years and to publicly thank them for allowing me the opportunity to publish their great work, it's been a fantastic experience and I wouldn't change it for the world. Ladies and gents I know you're mint so make sure you all go out and do yourselves..and me..proud!
It's been fucking brilliant.