Sci-fi and fantasy publisher Angry Robot is closing its Exhibit A and Strange Chemistry imprints with immediate effect.
The publisher, part of the Osprey Group, said in a statement that the two imprints had been "unable to carve out their own niches".
Strange Chemistry focused on YA fiction, while Exhibit A released crime and mystery titles.
A statement from Angry Robot said: "Angry Robot Books has a history of innovation and we continue to go from strength to strength. We’re constantly trying out new concepts and new ideas, and we continue to publish popular and award-winning books. Our YA imprint Strange Chemistry and our crime/mystery imprint Exhibit A have – due mainly to market saturation – unfortunately been unable to carve out their own niches with as much success.
"We have therefore made the difficult decision to discontinue Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, effective immediately, and no further titles will be published from these two imprints."
The publisher added that its own core list was "robust", and said it planned to up its output from two to three books a month.
Author Kim Curran's book Delete, the third title in her Shifter series, was due to be published by Strange Chemistry. She told The Bookseller: “I’m shocked and devastated to learn that Delete – the last in my Shifter series – won’t be published by Strange Chemistry in August as planned. I hope I will find another way to get the book out to all my readers who've been so supportive over the years. And my heart goes out to everyone affected by the closure.”
Joseph Knobbs, crime fiction buyer at Waterstones, said it was "always" a shame when an imprint closed "because publishing is more than just a commercial venture." He added: "I think it is to Angry Robot’s credit that they tried these lists, but also to their credit that they can admit when something hasn’t met their expectations. Our sales of their titles were modest, but there was certainly some bookseller support out there. I think, perhaps, the imprints hadn’t existed long enough to quite forge their own identities. I can imagine there are some disappointed authors out there and that is a shame."
Other authors and readers have also been reacting to the news on social media.
A spokesperson did not confirm many planned titles from Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A would be cancelled, or if any jobs would be affected by the closures.
Strange Chemistry was set up in 2011, with genre blogger Amanda Rutter appointed as editor. It published one book a month with simultaneous releases in the US and UK in paperback and e-book.
Exhibit A was run by Byron Quertermous, who commissioned and edited from Michigan in the US.