The second novel of my Steampunk/Regency/Romance, “Spies and Subterfuge” is at the printer and I am hoping to receive books to take to the last of the Christmas Craft sales. I had “Steam and Stratagem” at the November sale and now am down to four copies left and looking to raid my publisher’s inventory. I am trying to guess how many of each book I should keep on hand…the full shipping box of “Spies” will be 28 books, so I am guessing ten of the earlier might be a good ratio.
The final novel of the trilogy “Scandal and Secrets” has left my hand for the publisher’s but Margaret, the submissions editor, is fighting to whittle down the books on her desk and hasn’t given me a date for the edits to begin.
One of the features of the trilogy has been the introduction of many of the famous names of the Regency period into the story. It has been an interesting exercise for me to visualize them as characters and have them play a part… sometimes a very important part. Among the guests have been Members of the Admiralty, The Prince Regent, The Duke of Wellington, Joseph Fouché (Napoleon’s spymaster), and Napoleon himself, Field Marshal Blûcher, Tsar Alexander, and of course George Stephenson who owned a part because the protagonist, Roberta, is his fictional daughter.
The other novel on the move is my fantasy novel “Rast” now renamed “The Peril of Rast”, that will be joining my Iskander novels at the distributor XinXii very soon. I have done a new edit and am currently working with my artist, Marion Sipe at Dreamspring Design, on a new cover.
My imprint Autarkikal will be the third home for poor old Rast…it has had a troubled life. The first publisher to take it suffered a loss of a key partner before any work began, and the remaining owner was swamped with several years of contracted novels to work through, Sportingly she let authors take back the rights if they didn’t want to wait for years. The next publisher had it a year before telling me they had a plan…and that they were not going to publish fantasy after all, so it had no home there, just a year visit to the waiting room. The actual second publisher was also new and started well, but over the course of the first three years became a house for erotic romance and children’s books (strange combination) and mere fantasy became invisible. That third year had the first option for renewing the rights, or not, and I picked up my marbles and left.
You may wonder while I am moaning about these mishaps…well, there are other authors out there with similar troubles…and new writers who are contemplating accepting a contract with a house that wants to tie him or her for ten years with no recourse if their manuscript collects dust for most of that time.
I have not done all I should to promote my novels that are now self-published, but now the trilogy takes less of my time and energy I will spend the winter catching up with that department. I may even manage to write more than one blog post every month. (That’s a tentative promise.)