As usual I’ve been silent longer than I should have been, but for once I don’t feel guilty. I have some very pleasant news to spread about, and I have been rather busy connected with that news.
It looks as if I will have sixteen books republished over 2011 and 2012. Since very few of these books have electronic manuscripts (a lot of them were written—believe it or not–before home computers were common; yes, I’m that old) they had to be scanned from printed versions. Scanners have improved greatly over the years, but they still produce some very peculiar interpretations (“be” for “he” is a very popular misreading and “lolled” for “killed” is a most puzzling one that appeared repeatedly in one manuscript). Thus, I have been busy proofreading the texts produced. And while I was at it, I corrected some embarrassing errors. (I had a character using a spinning wheel in the 12th century; I know it seems as if spinning wheels have been around forever–I was so convinced of it that I didn’t look it up—but the spinning wheel only became common in the 15th or 16th century.) I also smoothed out some very awkward writing in the earliest books. (Another shock to my self-esteem.)
Anyhow, leaving the subject of my errors and poor writing (with some relief), I am happy to announce that two of the republished books are now available. SING WITCH, SING DEATH and A DELICATE BALANCE have been published by Belgrave House and are available from their website. SING WITCH is also available from Amazon and A DELICATE BALANCE will be available there after a few months. Both books are only available in e-format, as Belgrave House does not do POD, but Belgrave offers a variety of formats for readers and .pdf, which can be printed out.
Baen Books will soon (I hope; since I have finished reading proof) bring out four of my earliest works: BOND OF BLOOD, KNIGHT’S HONOR, THE SWORD AND THE SWAN, and THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE. These books will also be published only in e-format. The first three books are connected historically and describe the three attempts of Henry of Anjou to gain the throne of England. The third attempt was successful and ended the anarchy of Stephen’s reign (note that England has never had another King Stephen) in the ascension to the throne of Henry II.
THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE is independent of the other books and a bit of a departure for me. It is set in the 15th century rather than the medieval period and describes Henry VII’s early life and taking the throne from Richard III. I came to write the book out of a desire to right (in a very small way) an injustice. During my graduate course work I did a paper on social change in England. One of the books I used as reference was Gladys Temperley’s HENRY VII, since much of it was devoted to the development of trade in England during Henry VII’s reign. The book, however, also presented an entirely different view of Henry from that given in Bacon’s great biography. Temperley shows a much more human and even attractive person in contrast to Bacon’s dour, sour, avaricious monarch. The character in Temperley’s biography stuck in my mind, and so ... THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE.
Next (I think) will be Sourcebooks republication of TAPESTRY OF DREAMS, FIRES OF WINTER, ROPE DANCER, and MASQUES OF GOLD. I have the cover for TAPESTRY, which is rather nice, but so far I have not seen proof. Nonetheless, I do have publication dates, May 2011 for TAPESTRY, November 2011 for FIRES, February 2012 for MASQUES. ROPEDANCER has not yet been scheduled, but since it obviously will follow MASQUES I would guess it would be out in the autumn of 2012. And the best news of all about these books is that they will be Trade paperbacks priced at $9.99. Soon after the paperbacks are published, e-books will also be available, but I do not have a price for those.
Last but not least The Roselynde Chronicles will at last be republished by Cerridwen Press. The abortive contract with Harlequin’s short-lived Something-or-Other Select line that was supposed to reprint the Chronicles lapsed some time ago but I didn’t do anything while I gave some consideration to self-publishing the Chronicles. Then I began to think it over: I would have had to pay to have the books scanned; then because I am a computer idiot, I would have had to pay to have the scans converted to Smashwords compatible format and to have that format uploaded to Smashwords and to Amazon; I would have had to pay for a cover (my husband, who is an artist and taught art for years, assures me my artistic taste is in my mouth ... and I agree with him). There are six Roselynde Chronicles so the whole cost would have come to about $3000. I admit, I am spoiled. I expect publication to bring money to me, not to cost me. So ... I just handed the books to Cerridwen Press (a poor sister of Ellora’s Cave) and let them scan, format, cover and pay me when the books start to sell.
The drawback to publication by Cerridwen is that their prices are high. I do not know what they plan to charge for the Chronicles, but the price of my other books in e-format is $7.99. Cerridwen does offer POD publication in Trade format, but they charge $18.99 (which seems to me outrageous). The books will eventually be available (both in Kindle format and as Trade paperbacks) from Amazon—where the e-format is even more expensive ($9.00). I am sorry about the prices, but Cerridwen (or Ellora’s Cave) seems to be very reliable, which cannot be said of every e-publisher and I really did not want my work to be tied up in bankruptcy proceedings for heaven’s knows how long if the publisher failed.
Well, that’s my news. It may not be terribly exciting to you, but I am thrilled to know that my work will be available again and that at least three publishers seemed to think the books would still be of interest.
This letter is going to be short and sweet because I am bursting with a brilliant idea. Well—I think it’s brilliant.
The other day while I was reading one of my mail list messages, my good friend Bertrice Small said something about sending bookplates to readers who asked for them. I’ve done this too, of course, but the bookplates I have are ... ah ... plain. Or, to be truthful, rather ugly to my way of thinking. What is more they all say Ex Libris or From the Library of ... as if the book had been stolen by the reader from my library. Thus, I’ve never been terribly enthusiastic about sending signed bookplates. However, someone (please forgive me for not noting who supplied the reference) replied to Bertrice that she had bookplates made up for her by a skilled designer and printer called Laron Glover. Since I have a passion for stationary, I went to Laron’s website and was delighted with what I saw there.
Now I am in possession of a number of beautiful bookplates that are simply imprinted with my name and website. I would like to offer a signed bookplate (choose your design) to any reader who has purchased one of my Trade Paperbacks from Cerridwen Press. (Just send an email copy of the receipt for the book.) Or to any reader who has purchased one of the Doubled Edge books (coauthored by Mercedes Lackey and published by Baen Books). Again, I would have to ask for a copy of the receipt for the book and for a snail mail address to which I could send the signed bookplate.