The Future of Clarendon House

With the release of Storm: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Fantasy Anthology 2018, the first phase of Clarendon House Publications programme for this year is concluded.

This is probably a good moment to look back over Phase One and see what we have achieved together in the last few months. And then to look ahead.

Towards the end of 2017, in the first week of December, Condor: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Inaugural Anthology 2018 was launched, featuring eleven authors and a range of story lengths and genres. Condor was a ‘test run’ for this particular kind of anthology: I wanted to see how these things worked in practice, what the obstacles and lines of the thing might be, and to see for myself whether issuing a collection of short stories was beneficial to those concerned or had any income potential. Condor didn’t make its forecasted targets for income, but it did help me to iron out some production issues and it was satisfying to see the positive reception it got from its contributors and the group as a whole, even though that didn’t convert to cash. I decided to continue with the model regardless of commercial concerns.

Firstly, though, in January 2018, I released A Marketing Handbook for Writers, Part 1, based on my own experiences as a consultant, writer and publisher of my own books over a ten year period, including what I’d learned from studying marketing both theoretically and practically for about the same ten years. Various surveys I’d done within the group indicated that there was a great need for such a handbook and that many writers were producing books easily enough but then didn’t have a clue what to do next. The handbook is a guide to what real marketing is, as opposed to the ‘shouting from the rooftops’ model which I had engaged in myself in earlier years, to very little result. Real marketing, as you would know if you read the handbook, isn’t really about numbers, though that may still seem counter-intuitive to you even if you have read it.

I had announced a set of anthologies on the Condor model around this time and was busy taking in submissions for them. While this was going on, though, I was already talking with Steven Carr about putting together a collection of his short stories. It seemed to me that, with his prolific output and high profile, the next logical step in his career should be a collection of his stories so that anyone trying to follow him had a place to go. This was ready by the end of February and was released in that month’s last week to good sales. Since then, SAND has sold steadily and, perhaps more importantly, gained more and more five star reviews for Steven while enabling him to continue writing stories. It encouraged me to continue too, though again, it hasn’t (yet) made me or Steven a fortune.

By the first week of March, I already had enough submissions to put together