Inheritors’ Cycle update

I’ve had a number of people ask over the past couple of years whether there would be more books about Belinda and Javier (THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, THE PRETENDER’S CROWN). I finally have an update about that, and the answer is, “Not for the foreseeable future.”

This is a business decision, not a lack of enthusiasm. The people who have contacted me about the Inheritors’ Cycle have loved it, as do I, as does my publisher. But let me try to explain what happens in the life cycle of a book (and writer).

THE QUEEN’S BASTARD sold pretty well; THE PRETENDER’S CROWN, rather less so. Therein lies the problem.

When bookstores order books to put on their shelves, they look at the last book a writer has produced. If that book sold 10 copies at their store, then they’ll probably order 9 copies of the next book. Maybe even eleven. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of the same series. All that matters is who wrote it.

So if the last book sold 3 copies, they’ll order two. And it still doesn’t matter if it’s a different series. They’ll order two, and that means only 2 people are going to be able to grab it off the shelf when it comes in. And they might say, “Great, those sold, we’ll order two more!”–but if there’d been 10 in the first place, and 10 people had snatched them up, they’d be ordering 10 more.

So if PRETENDER’S CROWN sold 3 copies, the bookstores aren’t going to say “Oh, different series, these ones move faster!” when DEMON HUNTS comes out. They’re going to say, “Oh, she only sold 3 books last time, let’s not order more than that.”

You can see the potential knock-on effect this has on a writer’s career.

So at the moment, both the larger part of my reputation as a writer and the market is interested in urban fantasy, not alternate history epic sci-fantasy. That’s what’s selling for me, and it’s what my publishers are interested in, and it is therefore what I’m interested in.

Don’t get me wrong. I hope the worm will eventually turn and I’ll have the opportunity to go back and write more in that world. But for now, well, this is how I pay rent, so I’m pitching urban fantasy ideas, and we’ll see how that goes.

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