We found out a few days ago that Shocklines is closing down. Matt’s made the public announcement so I can post about it now. It’s sad to see a staple of the scene shut down. Shocklines was the first to carry our books and I’ve enjoyed working with Matt since the beginning.
I really admire the way he’s chosen to bring things to a close though. He decided he was in over his and head but he’s not just shucking his responsibilites. He’ll make sure that all the customers get the books they’ve pre-order and all the publishers get paid which means he’ll still be running the store for 6 months to a year. He also plans to keep up the Shocklines newsletter and do what he can to spread the word about new titles.
All that being said, the landscape for small press horror looks kind of grim right now; first ProjectPulp, then Clarkesworld and now Shocklines. I wonder if there will be any new stores to take their place? Luckily for us sales for most of our titles have been growing through other sources.
On a personal level, I really feel for what Matt is going through. As he described it, the business just got too big for him but not big enough to cover extra employees. He felt if he spent all his time he could make it work but it was a lonely, miserable place to be. I think he’s making the right decision but what a tough one! When you work so long and hard on a dream it has to be hard to let it go. Running a business is difficult and when things go wrong you only have yourself to blame. It can be easy to get depressed and lose sight of the good things.