Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We're Canceled Here.

Some bad career news, today.

Emmis, the company publishing the Behind The Screen series, which includes The Princess Bride, The Big Lebowski, Breakfast at Tiffanys and my own Spinal Tap effort, has closed its book division effective immediately, which means that all the upcoming books are canceled. Contracts with writers are terminated.

News first surfaced of this development on the Net Friday, but I was notified personally this week and wanted to wait to be sure it was true before writing about it here.

I wanted to thank everybody who pre-ordered the Spinal Tap book through Amazon, and commented about it on the blog. This would have been my eighteenth book (I have contracts with other companies through my 21st...), so I've been in the business long enough to know that publishing can often be a tricky and disappointing game. I remember when Cinescape changed hands several years ago, and I was left with over a thousand dollars of unpaid fees for articles I had written, or my disappointment at Farscape's cancellation just as I was becoming a regular contributor to the official magazine. Sometimes, those are the breaks!
C'est la vie!

But don't cry for me (Argentina...), I've also learned that what appears to be a reverse, a setback or a failure can often times be translated into a success or a happy ending. When I finish my deadlines on Horror Films of the 1980s and my other projects (in mid-April), I'll have more time to closely ponder the future of my Spinal Tap book (which is all finished...and features behind-the-scenes info about the film that's never been revealed.)

Until then, I just wanted to express my sincere gratitude to those of you who expressed interest in the project, and apologize to anyone who ordered the book and will now be disappointed. I'll keep everybody updated on how things go from here.


  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Sorry to hear about the cancellation, John. I can't imagine you'll have much trouble finding a new publisher for this book, though. The audience is certainly out there.

    Personally, I'm holding out for your book on Bad News. Warriors of Genghis Kahn is the Stairway to Heaven of my generation, after all.

    -Tony Mercer

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words, Tony. Hopefully the book will be revived in some incarnation soon...