Veteran weblogger B!X reports that Highbridge just cancelled a book contract on his sister's novel, Delilah of Sunhats and Swans. He's started a new weblog about The Battle For Delilah, launched by reprinting the publisher's cancellation letter.

And now, with everyone's attention focused on the events related to the terrorist attack on September 11....the opportinity for a new author's book to receive any type of media coverage is virtually non-existent. Without media coverage, it's impossible to sell books.

B!X calls this "spineless." In reality, though, Highbridge may simply be stuck: business is terrible. Small press publishing is challenging even in good times, and it's a very spotty retail Christmas. The big discounters appear to be making their numbers, but people are cutting back and skipping Christmas: bad news for booksellers.

This must be a brutal time to be a publisher's rep. iPublish, the big AOL/TW ebook division, just closed. Random House dropped their ebook imprint.