According to the website The Edit Cafe which is led by several Barbour editors, they will be canceling their newly launched mystery book club. Says Becky:
"2008 was the season for the cozy mystery romance at Barbour. We spent 2 years planning for our new book club. We built a strong team of managing editor and authors who worked hard on both content and marketing of the books. Then we launched the club early 2008 based on strong initial membership drives.
All was going well until our early fall membership drive (traditionally a strong time for adding new members) hit at the same time as the news from Wall Street about the financial crisis. The membership drive had the worst response that we have ever experienced or even heard of in the industry. At that point, to save the club would have required major investment dollars. By the end of 2008, we knew that the national financial climate would not allow for a marketing gamble on something that was still new and unproven.
2008 was a pretty good year overall for Barbour, but with 2009 looking to be a hard one for retailers, we know we have to tighten our belt and keep our money where we are confident it can give us the most return. So, for that reason, we will be closing the Heartsong Presents Mystery Romance Club. We have a couple more shipments that will go out, then books we have contracted will be used in other ways. Most likely they will go into 3-in-1 collections like Cozy in Kansas and Alibis in Arkansas. These 2 books released in late fall 2008 and had very good sales showings over Christmas. We hope you cozy mystery lovers out there will look for these books and support your author friends by buying them."
Read the full piece here. Thanks to Chris Well for alerting us to this news item.