I started Clarkesworld Books seven years ago and each year, it has outperformed the prior year. I’m the only employee, but the store uses my home as its storage space, so in effect my wife and kids are honorary staff. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive team.
A few weeks ago, we found out that we’re expecting our third child. Life takes these little unexpected turns every now and then. This particular one requires living space and that space is currently occupied by a bookstore that has nowhere else to go. After much consideration, I’m sad to say that I’m going to be closing the store. I’ve considered all the options and this is the one that makes the most sense for my soon to be expanding family. If you know how much this business has meant to me, you know this wasn’t an easy decision.
I owe a lot to everyone that has supported us over the years. I feel a bit like I’m letting people down, but this is something I have to do. Family comes first. Clarkesworld is not big enough to take on the staff we’d need to continue (babies need time), and I certainly can’t afford the cost of rent here in NJ. My wife will also need my help to keep her (more profitable) business going.
Everyone who has a preorder in with us will receive their books, but I’ll probably stop taking more preorders in the next week or so. The website will continue to be maintained and I will take orders for in-stock books for as long as it takes to sell them all off. There will be many bargains to be had.
Some of you are probably wondering what this will do to Clarkesworld Magazine. None of the reasons for closing the store apply to the magazine. I have every intention of keeping the magazine going and quite probably taking advantage of a few other related opportunities that are presenting themselves.
Running the store has been a personally rewarding experience. I’ve met many new friends over the years and never ceased to be amazed by how good some people were to us. Thanks to all of you from all of us.