I think changing publishers before a book comes out is kind of interesting. Well, it adds drama. For the writer, it poses an interesting dilemma. You have to kind of feel that one press is better than the other, but you already accepted with the one press so why did you send it anyway? Brandon Scott Gorrell faced a situation where he had accepted with Greying Ghost Press but when Tao Lin decided to start his own press, Brandon backed out and went with Tao. Not a surprise. I think most of us would have done the same thing, or maybe not.
I decided to ask Brandon for a bit of an explanation, or what he was thinking. The response is lengthy, but good. I think what’s interesting is the idea that Greying Ghost and MuuMuu House could have published the same book — Tao said he would publish the book even if Greying Ghost put it out and Brandon offered the editor at Greying Ghost to put the same book out as a dual-release, which Carl declined.
Here’s Brandon’s full response/explanation on the situation:
Yes, I will explain that. Tao emailed me, saying that, since he just finished his novel, he was going forward with Muumuu House. He asked if he could publish my book. He said he would publish it as a perfect-bound paperback and that I could control all aspects of the book’s design if I wanted. He said things like “I feel sure I will promote the book for the rest of my life” and other thematically similar life-affirming statements. He also said that he would still want to publish it in the case that Greying Ghost published it.I emailed Carl from Greying Ghost, telling him that Tao offered to publish my poetry book as a “real” style book (as opposed to a “chapbook” style book), and that I would like to take the opportunity. I said that I would also like Greying Ghost to publish it at the same time. I suggested a dual-release thing. Carl from Greying Ghost emailed me back and said that he would not want to publish my poetry book if Tao also published it. He also said something similar to the sentiments “I would understand if you wanted to go with Tao” and “There would be no hard feelings if you choose Muumuu.”When I had this information I quickly made the decision to withdraw my manuscript from Greying Ghost. I made this decision because I perceived Muumuu House as having a greater likelihood of providing more press, financial gain, power, success, etc; because Muumuu will publish it as a perfect-bound paperback (I prefer that to a chapbook-style book); because I trust Tao to promote my book really hard; because I know that I will be able to communicate with Tao, probably on a daily basis, about my book, if I need to; and because I have control over all aspects of the book’s design.