prequels, postquels, quelquels

Nancy asks:

Have you thought about doing a “prequel” to Into the Wilderness (with the focus on Daniel and Cora–Nathaniel’s parents)?  

I’ve had quite a few readers suggest this idea. I appreciate and understand the interest, but the realities of publishing that I’ve talked about before apply here as well. The bottom line: I’m not sure I could write a prequel, but even if I desperately wanted to, Bantam might not be interested. The only way that another book could ever be written in the series would be if Book Six takes off like a rocket.

Bantam has put a lot of energy and support into this series, but unless sales pick up significantly, they will step away. They almost did step away after Queen of Swords. Book Six is actually a bit of a miracle. So there it is: you, the book buying public, are the ones who make such things possible.

Assuming for a moment that there is no more interest from Bantam in the series, this does not mean I’ll stop writing historicals. I am working on a proposal for a three-volume series set in the early 1700s in New England, with the hope that the proposal will be picked up early in the new year. When I finish with Book Six, I would start on the new series (which you can think of as 1723, as a temporary reference) immediately.

I also have an abbreviated outline for another contemporary, but again, whether or not that ever sees the light of day depends on how Pajama Girls takes off. 

Publishers live and die by the numbers. They also have pretty much abandoned any serious marketing for mid-list novels, which is why many authors (and I’m in this boat myself) have to spend time, energy and money on getting their work into the public eye.

Thus the Lambert Square and the Pajama Girls websites, the giveaways, upcoming pajama-related contests, and other marketing bits and pieces that I’ve invested in. 

Let me repeat: I am very fortunate in my readers, and I appreciate every one of you. When you write and tell me what you’d like to see next, I am pleased to know that you want more. But  what comes next is not up to me.   

5 Replies to “prequels, postquels, quelquels”

  1. Rosina, I’d be very interested in the New England series you are currently working a proposal for. I’m from the New England area and that would be of great interest to me.

    I look forward to all your books!

  2. The 1723 series greatly interests me also, can’t wait!

    I have a question, and I hope I don’t sound like a jerk. When one of my favorite authors come out with a new book, I usually read a library copy. Then I buy the trade paperback for my personal library later. I do this for two reasons. I just prefer the size and weight of the tpb for space issues and because I lug books with me wherever I go. And I am on a budget so the tpb is obviously less expensive. BUT, does this hurt the author? You know, that I am not buying the hb and if others do the same the initial numbers are affected. Hmm, maybe the answer is obvious here. If any authors here feel comfortable giving your take on this, I’m interested.

  3. Anna — That’s a very reasonable question. Most people who aren’t personally involved in publishing don’t know how the money side works.

    As far as the publisher is concerned, a book is only sold once. An author doesn’t get credit (or paid) after that first sale. Used books, therefore, don’t do an author much good. Note: this topic is widely and hotly debated. I’ve written about it before, too. Some people think that any sale is a good sale, used or new. I think it’s far more complicated than that.

    At any rate. Sure, a hardcover sale is great, but I would not be so presumptuous to tell you that you need to buy the book when it first comes out in hardcover. New softcover sales are also really important. And I appreciate the support, tremendously.

  4. Thank you for explaining that Rosina. It is difficult to figure out the most ethical choices, I think so anyway. I do buy new trade paper backs when “my authors” come out with a new one. For other reading, things I’m not so sure about but want to give a try or extra copies of books that I want to lend out, I sometimes buy used copies. That seems good and bad to me. I’m all about saving a tree (and money), but certainly don’t intend to hurt an author. Ah, the guilt! I think that eventually (like you said) we will be buying e-books and that will solve a lot of this for us. Or maybe only for the trees, as I imagine people will share e-books…

  5. The new series sounds exciting! If I have to face the prospect of saying goodbye to Paradise, it would be nice to know there is a new series to begin around the corner.

    What kind of sale do you need for Book 6 to ‘take off like a rocket’….because I know you are very popular here in Australia.

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