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Pyr Sold to Start Publishing

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

A Guile of Dragons-small Blood Orbit-small The Hanged Man K.D. Edwards-small

Publishers Weekly is reporting that Pyr, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books, has been sold to digital publisher Start Publishing.

Under Editorial Director Lou Anders, who founded the line in March 2005, Pyr was one of the most dynamic and exciting independent publishers in the industry, acquiring books from Michael Moorcock, Ian McDonald, Kay Kenyon, Sean Williams, Alan Dean Foster, Adam Roberts, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Tim Lebbon, Paul McAuley, Brenda Cooper, Jack Dann, Ken MacLeod, Robert Silverberg, and many others. Pyr launched numerous talented new writers as well, including Black Gate authors James Enge, Chris Willrich, Jon Sprunk, and others. Lou left Pyr in 2014 to pursue his own writing career, but under new editor Rene Sears Pyr has continued to be a force in the industry, with a backlist of over 170 titles. Recent releases include K. R. Richardson’s Blood Orbit, Tracy Townsend’s Thieves of Fate series, and the excellent Nebula Awards Showcase anthologies; its forthcoming titles include K.D. Edwards The Hanged Man.

I’m not sure what this means for Pyr, and especially their print editions. But PW claims Start Publishing will continue the print versions, and retain at least two editors from Pyr and their sister crime fiction imprint Seventh Street Books.

Start Publishing began has an exclusively digital publisher but, through a series of acquisitions, now releases print editions as well. Start will publish both print and digital editions of the newly acquired titles. Jarred Weisfeld, president of Start, told PW two editors from Prometheus will stay on to continue to release frontlist titles under both imprints. Start will also hire a new public relations/marketing person to promote the two imprints.

Read the complete announcement here.


  1. Hope this works out well for all involved — Pyr has put out some great stuff over the years.

    Comment by Joe H. - November 13, 2018 11:02 am

  2. They have indeed. In particular their Joe Abercrombie back list and the Nebula Awards Showcase books still sell well.

    Pyr aggressively took chances on a lot of new writers, which made them much loved in the Black Gate offices. But their marketing budget didn’t always match their editorial enthusiasm, and industry buzz is that sales underperformed for many of their frontlist.

    Their publishing schedule has dropped considerably since their heyday a decade ago, and their website hasn’t been updated since Spring. That’s never a good sign.

    I’ve heard some pessimism about the Start acquisition from industry insiders in the past few hours, but I’m glad to see the line find a home. Start has a proven track record with digital sales, and I think that’s something that could serve Pyr well.

    Comment by John ONeill - November 13, 2018 12:08 pm

  3. At least so far this doesn’t seem like a debacle on the scale of Night Shade. At least from an outsider’s perspective.

    Comment by Joe H. - November 13, 2018 1:36 pm

  4. […] Black Gate »  Pyr Sold to Start Publishing. […]

    Pingback by Links (2018-11-14) | Featured Futures - November 14, 2018 11:53 pm

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