Further to this post, I have some things to report about the Inheritors’ Cycle.
Not irregularly, people ask me if I’ll be doing more of them. I’ve been seriously considering pursuing that, but I just got royalty statements on them, and it’s clear that unless I could be absolutely certain of getting the books into bookstores, it would be a waste of my time. THE QUEEN’S BASTARD has sold about 1800 copies in e-book and THE PRETENDER’S CROWN has sold about 1000. Assuming that at the best I’d match TPC’s e-sales, I’d be looking at maybe $6K in income, all of which would be eaten by cover art and editorial costs. Not worth it.
“But Kickstarter!” people say, which, yes, but perks! rewards! etc! are costly and it kind of appears from royalty statements that in e-book terms, the people who might support an Inheritors’ Cycle Kickstarter (ie, the ones who are aware of my internet presence and pay attention to it) are very possibly the ones who might also buy the e-book, which means I wouldn’t even have as many as 1K sales to count on. So running a Kickstarter just to cover, say, expenses like cover art and editing could very well leave me in a position of essentially writing the book for free with no especial hope of making enough money through later sales to make up for that. Running a Kickstarter to pay for expenses and to pay me for writing it would be in a region well above what NO DOMINION made, except for a series that hasn’t done nearly as well in general as the Walker Papers. The phrase “long shot” leaps to mind.
If I could Kickstart AND get books into the bookstores AND count on, say, the approximate number of sales TPC has seen in trade (about 6500, but given the time delay and the changes in bookstores since TPC’s publication, I suspect that’s pretty iffy), it would probably be worth it. (If I could get the 17K or so trade paperback sales that TQB did, it would be totally worth it–but if I could’ve gotten that many sales on book 2, Del Rey would’ve continued with the series.) So short of something extraordinary happening, this here is the final word on the Inheritors’ Cycle, and it will not be completed.
On that note, let me address something: although I gather that from many readers’ points-of-view, THE PRETENDER’S CROWN ended on a cliffhanger, I would like to say that from the author’s point of view, it did not. Belinda’s story is concluded at the end of THE PRETENDER’S CROWN; at the very most she might have been a supporting character in later books, but it was frankly my expectation that she would slip away completely, leaving the stage to other players. So while a new story is clearly begun in those final pages, I just wanted to let people know that Belinda’s is, in fact, done.
Right. So that’s the final word on the Inheritors’ Cycle, lads. Sorry it’s not what any of us hoped it would be.