The economy has affected everyone, and the gaming "industry" is no exception. Word on the street is that some distributors are going out of business, because game stores are not doing well, and so on up the chain.
The word is Key 20 wasn't making ends meet because they weren't getting paid by some important distributors. Jason contacted me a little while back letting me know that they were severing contracts, and I refrained from making any public statements until the dust settled. On the plus side, Jason did pay me all that was due, and shipped my remaining books back. So he did good by me despite what must be a very difficult time for him. I respect him a great deal for that and I wish him the best.
So what next? That's a tough question. Labyrinth Lord remains in distribution through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but when the copies in distributors' warehouses run out they won't be available at game shops.
As far as I know there is only one other distribution consolidator. I have had some communication with them and I think they would be interested in taking me on. However, the economy is in the dumps right now and it is a big risk. A risk that is probably better left alone for a while.
So, at the moment my idea is to try to maximize my distribution on the internet, and to reach as many people I can by this medium. Traditional distribution is very, very tough at all times but now even more so for small press people like me who do this as a hobby and do not have a steady predictable release schedule.
I'll have to treat this as an evolving situation over the coming months....maybe years....and see where we're headed. In the meantime sales through Lulu, online distribution, and electronic book sales have remained steady for several months, so I'm optimistic.