Let me come at that topic another way. Recently, I understand, you got word that the books haven't met the publisher's sales projections and they have no plans to offer more contracts for the series. No contracts, no books, unless sales rise significantly or another publisher can be found. What are your plans regarding this issue? Did I sum up those facts correctly?
That’s about it. They are a business, after all. A strange cock-eyed business but that’s what I signed up for. My plans are to raise awareness and maybe sales enough for them to change their mind. And failing that, to find another mid-size or small publisher who would be happy with the sales numbers we are getting. I have a fan base and a good platform and it would be a good addition to any publisher’s stable. I know a lot of people have told me to go indie, to self-publish, and though I haven’t taken that off the table either, I consider it my absolute last resort. To have the backing of a publisher is far, far better that not having one at all. The books can be reviewed by reputable industry magazines, they can be distributed to bookstores and to libraries (library sales are significant. Picture your main library. Now think of all the satellite branches that could order copies). It doesn’t matter to readers, but I got my foreign rights sales and audio book sales based on that publisher name on the spine. It matters. Self-pubbed books rarely get into libraries and bookstores.
Do you do e-book sales? How does the sale of e-books by you and others fit into this equation and problem?
The publisher creates the ebooks. Sales rose slightly but then plateaued. They still only account for ten percent of my sales. Readers who like this kind of mystery really do prefer paper. Sometimes they buy the ebook for convenience, but then they also buy the print book to have on their shelf. The historical mystery demographic is different from what you might read about on blogs and on news sites.
What is your favorite part about writing what I believe you call "medieval noir"?
I like Crispin’s being a tough guy. I like incorporating the hard-boiled tropes into the medieval setting. And I love delving into his character and exploring his chivalric side, whether it’s a good idea for him to indulge in that or not.