Hands up anyone who has read Hammer and Bolter, Black Library's eZine?
Hands up who read it regularly?
Hands up who knew it had been cancelled? And not recently at that, but back in November last year.
Why was that not bigger news? I only thought of it because I was thinking about the lack of background or any sort of fiction in White Dwarf at the moment, and
The last issue available through the Black Library site is Issue 26, released in Nov 2012
I've had a difficult time tracking down the official line on the cancellation, having had to trawl the Black Library Blog manually to find the relevant article.
According to Lexicanum the first announcement was made at Black Library Live 2012 on the 3rd/4th November.
The following text is taken from a post published on the Black Library blog on the 16th November.
"Farewell To Old Friends
...Firstly, you can now download issue 26 of Hammer and Bolter. It’s with a bit of a heavy heart that we confirm that this will be the last issue of Hammer and Bolter we will ever produce. For over two years now, we’ve brought you a monthly dose of short stories, extended extracts and serialised novels, but we’ve been receiving increasing amounts of emails asking for the stories to be made available as separate downloads. So that’s just what we’re going to do.
From January 2013, we will release a new eBook short story every Monday. This way, we can bring you new authors, expand stories that start in our novels and continue to give you the wealth of new material that has been provided by Hammer and Bolter these last two years. The important difference is that you can now choose what you read. Get all the stories about your favourite army, try out new authors whose ideas tickle your fancy, read about a brutal battle scene when you’ve got a spare half-hour on your lunch break- the possibilities are endless..."I suggest taking a look at the full post to see how little coverage this got. I certainly don't remember seeing anything about it on the White Dwarf Daily blog. Which is good and bad I suppose. Black Library has certainly thrown itself into its Digital Mondays and publishing short stories in eBook format.
I've not kept up well enough with the Black Library's digital output enough to know what stories are being pulled from Hammer and Bolter for Digital Monday's and what's original. I do know that H&B stories are being bundled into eBook collections where relevant, such as the Night Lords ebundle.
I wonder how the Black Library's decision is playing out for them, and if reader's choice sales are beating Hammer and Bolter sales, and if the lack of cross marketing that Hammer and Bolter provided is being made up for. H&B was also running serialised novels along with the short story content, and I'd be very interested to see how that affected sales.
All this is old news, but I thought it was worthy of a mention.