As a response to our previous post regarding the relaunch cancellation, we recently got a surprising email by Dan Letchworth, the copy editor who worked on all eight of the Animorphs books! In the email, Dan asked us pass along his message to the rest of the fans:
Hi Hirac Delest,
My name’s Dan Letchworth; I do regular freelance work for Scholastic, and I’ve been the copy editor for all 8 of the Animorphs relaunches. Animorphs was the most awesome job I’ve ever done for Scholastic, because they were literally my favorite books as a kid. I fixed the inconsistency about Jake being able to use thought-speech in book #1 to Tobias because I remembered that KASU even way back in 1997! I knew what high expectations the fan community would have for the relaunches, and as a devoted fan who still has all 54+ originals on his shelf, I took on each book with the reverence and attention to the greater continuity I felt it deserved.
(Note that not all of the “modernizations” were me– the editors have final say, and sometimes the edits I suggest don’t make it. Personally I thought it’d be fine if Marco still played Doom with his dad, since kids like retro gaming, but I digress…) I actually consulted fan sites listing KASUs and tried to address them where I could! I even called a Starbucks in Santa Barbara (considering the approximate revealed location of the series…) to find out how much the cup of coffee Ax orders at the mall would cost in 2011 money.
So, I’m writing because I share in how bummed out you all are that Scholastic’s not continuing their re-releases past #8. (At least I’ve heard nothing about it since last year.) Honestly I kind of had a feeling they wouldn’t last too long, certainly not through the whole series, though I was holding out hope for at least The Andalite Chronicles to cap things off. So much depends on how much marketing a publisher chooses to put behind a release. Publishers so often “decide” that a book will be a bestseller, while more worthy titles go out of print or aren’t even bought in the first place. But Animorphs had an outstanding original run, and I think of these rereleases as a victory lap more than anything. I’ll put in a strong word of advocacy with the folks I know there to at least get the Andalite Chronicles out, but even if the first 8 is all we get, I have to say I’m still tickled that we got it at all. And I’m encouraged–kids have access to way more resources now than we did in 97, and new fans who discover these 8 and love them will definitely be able to find more if they know where to look.
So glad you’re keeping the love alive here.
Dan Letchworth is a freelance copy editor for Scholastic, and full-time product development assistant at Klutz. His latest project there is Paper Flying Dragons, a book of twelve foldable flyers and fascinating true dragon facts.
Very cool of Dan to drop by, and we thank him for taking the time to let us know of the amount of research and effort it took to relaunching these books.
In related news, it seems like there are still no paperback copies available for Animorphs #8, even though it was released on September 1st. Several fans, including myself, have been unable to find them at any local or online retailer, and no one has been able to provide a direct answer as to why, until I recently received this email stating:
Item Cancelled [...]
Your order was a pre-order unfortunately, information ahead of publication is not foolproof so a new title may be cancelled or postponed indefinitely. An edition scheduled for reprinting may be similarly abandoned by the publishers.
So it looks as though the poor sales of the previous paperbacks have brought on a decision to indefinitely hold off on any further printings, at least for now. However the ebook editions for Kindle and NookBook are still available, and Rijab (who has regularly sent us advanced cover previews for Animorphs books in the past) told us:
I bought the Kindle version and there is no preview in the back for the next book – just a preview for a new book about dragons called “Wings of Fire.” (See full comment)
So there you have it; With no new plans at Scholastic, or any advanced previews being marketed, or anymore paperbacks being printed, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get any more of a confirmation regarding the cancellation of the Animorphs Relaunch. Of course, it hasn’t “officially” been cancelled, so there is a glimmer of hope, however small that may be.
In the mean while, you can still expect Hirac Delest to be running (but, of course, at a much slower pace). The archive project will continue as it always has, and this blog will still be updated should any official announcements arise in the future. To keep up with the latest updates, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
That’s all for now. Until next time!