Announcement: The First Two Dark Breakers Stories Are Officially Out of Print

I received an email early this morning, telling me that when they clicked on the link to see the first two Dark Breakers novellas on Amazon (The Breaker Queen and The Two Paupers), the link was broken.

I had expected this, as I recently took those books “off the shelf.” I thought the process would be a relatively simple thing: I click “Unpublish,” and no one will be able to buy them anymore.

I wanted those earlier versions to be out of print for a while, so that I would have a chance to refurbish them. Because I’d made Desdemona and the Deep a standalone novella for–and because of the many discoveries and maturities of world and characters that occurred in the writing of it–there were a few structural changes I wanted to tinker with in the first two, so that all the pieces fit more beautifully together.


I did not expect the next thing the email writer said: that, remembering that they had already bought the first two books, they opened their Kindle app–and discovered the books they had bought were gone.

Now, I remember something like this happening in early in the Kindle publishing era . . . but I also remember there being an uproar amongst Kindle users, people who’d bought their books and rightfully owned them, to discover that they’d just disappeared.

This was not my intention. I don’t want to take anything away from people who have supported me and bought my work in the past. People have the right to their out of print copies and first editions! Just like I have the right to take my books off the market for a while! But just like I’d never sneak into someone’s house and steal their OWN BOOKS off the shelves, I’d never have intentionally taken away these older copies from them.

I have written to the KDP people, and hope to have a satisfactory answer for you. As for what I can do personally–if your copy of The Breaker Queen or The Two Paupers has gone missing, please email me at csecooney (at) gmail (dot) com, and I will email you a PDF of the older, out of print version.

Meanwhile, The Breaker Queen (a fully realized but slightly older version) was reprinted by Lightspeed Magazine here: Issue 89, October 2017. And Rich Horton reprinted The Two Paupers (again, the older, original version) in his Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016. Both are still in print. Desdemona and the Deep comes out with this coming July.

I am really sorry for all this trouble. I will try to fix it. I am hoping to get to the refurbishments in June. There won’t be much to them–just enough that I didn’t want any more people buying them until I had a chance to look at them again.

As you can probably tell, my few tentative forays into self-publishing did not make me an expert; if I’d been one, I’d probably have known this would happen, and would have already tried to find a workaround. Please forgive me.

— C. S. E. Cooney


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9 responses to “Announcement: The First Two Dark Breakers Stories Are Officially Out of Print

  1. Clifton R

    Unfortunate timing for me, alas! I had had ‘The Breaker Queen’ in my wish-list for a while (on Cassandra Khaw’s luscious recommendation) and when I finally clicked on the entry in my wish-list to go buy it, it had disappeared. Ah well. At least I didn’t lose a book.

    I will await its reincarnation in improved form, in due time, and I already have too many wonderful books to read in the meantime.

    • csecooney

      I would be happy to email you the PDFs if you are interested in reading them. Just so long as you understand that they are “first builds” and will have another!

    • csecooney

      Two years later: just so you know, I have finished revising and expanding those first two novellas, as well as writing three more stories in that world. They will all be appearing in a new collection called “Dark Breakers” out in February 2022 with Mythic Delirium! Here is the link:

  2. I just finished Desdemona and the Deep and promptly went off on a scouting expedition to see if I could find the first two books (I’d heard they’d been pulled out of circulation). So I can’t claim any prior ownership rights, and I can wait – albeit somewhat impatiently – for your refurbished versions. 🙂

    When you’re ready to make them available again, I’d be delighted to review them if you want to send me e-copies. I’m an active reviewer with and a top 20 Goodreads reviewer.

    Best wishes with your writing! I also really enjoyed “The Bone Swans of Amandale” a few years ago.


    • csecooney

      Thank you so much for reading Desdemona! Last year, I got very busy suddenly writing two completely new (to me) novellas, and then, at year’s end, wrote a novella that ended being novel length for the anthology SINISTER QUARTET, so my DARK BREAKERS project didn’t quite go as planned. But Mike Allen at Mythic Delirium and I are in discussions for DARK BREAKERS coming out maybe in Autum of next year, with a few all-new stories set in that world, as well as the two re-writes of the first novellas. Let me know where I can send stuff to you when the time comes! And if you’re interested in A Sinister Quartet–4 novellas of dark fantasy and some horror–I can ask Mike to send you an E-Copy! Thanks again so much for your interest, Tadiana!

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