Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Death of a Novel Part 2, and the Mayfaire on the Green

This will be a big week for posting.  I have 2 items to discuss, first the 2nd part about my publisher going out of business, and 2nd the Mayfaire on the Green, a medieval faire I attended over the weekend.

Let us get back to the death of “Legend of the MysticKnights”.  As you know, from the last post, I was describing the history of my novel. As we left off, I had just gotten news about my novel being published by Safkhet Publishing.

The first thing that bothered me about my novel was the cover. In my contract from the publisher, it stated they would give me 3 different covers to choose from. The first cover they provided was the one I ended up using as the cover of my novel (lesser of two, actually three evils).

This cover is atrocious. It looks like they went to a renaissance festival and paid some guy $5 and took his picture.  I complained, and was provided 2 additional covers to choose from. The remaining covers were of the SAME GUY, except in a different outfit or poses. I wanted a professional-looking cover for my novel, and what I got was a photograph.  The worse part of this ordeal was it was released on Facebook, before I had approved it, or even seen it.

So my novel was released as an e-book.  I had hopes I would gain enough sales, and eventually it would be turned into paperback. This would have been my prime area for marketing.  My intentions were to go to every medieval, comic book, or book fair and sell my novel and provide copies to numerous bookshops in the area. This also was not to be.

At the end of 2014, we received a message from the publisher that they were no longer be putting out paper-back editions. The publisher did allow the current authors to leave and regain all of their rights. Many authors, some of my new friends, did leave this publishing company.  I had a dilemma; I wanted a paperback version of the novel but being a new author, I did not want to restart the process of getting a publisher all over again, so I stayed.

So lets us flash back to recent events.  The publisher is going out of business at the end of May. I am back sending query letters trying to get my novel published.  I am at a more disadvantage; because if a publisher tries to research my novel, they will see that book cover (people do judge a book by its cover).  So basically, I am trying to get my novel, and its future sequels, out to my readers, I hope I can.

Many have suggested I go with the self-published route. At this time, I must say this is not for me. If my work is not good enough to be traditional published; then it is not going to be published. This may mean the characters in my novel, and the mythical creatures will be lost to the world forever: so be it.

This past weekend I attended the Mayfaire on the Green in Holland Patent, NY. Holland Patten is a small village in Oneida County north of Utica, NY. This was the six annual faire, but the first time I had been to it.

The faire is located on the small green at the center of the village.  There was no cover charge for this event, which is unusual even for a small medieval fair like this.

I noticed when I approached the green, there were many tents set up, actually more than I would have believed for a medieval fair of this size. At first, I ventured out and saw as many of these tents consisting of vendors and artisan, seeking which ones I would visit later.
The SCA in Action

My first stop was to visit with the Society for Creative Anachronism (or SCA). This consisted of the local chapter of the SCA called the Shire of Coppertree of the Kingdom of Aethelmearc. As I was when I visited the local SCA at the NY Capitol Region Renaissance Festival, I was impressed with their knowledge of medieval life.   The SCA is not only about recreating the fighting techniques of the period,  it focus is about the entire medieval period; so if you are interested in knowing more about medieval times, please contact a local chapter of the SCA for more information.

An SCA Member

I met a group that were selling and promoting the literary works of local authors. This group consisted in fact, of local Rome, Utica NY Authors.  They had numerous copies of local books for sale. I also picked up numerous business cards and bookmarks.  I must say I was impressed with this group, I wished that I was located near them to be part of them.  This group of author’s took the time and effort to help other writers in their area and should be congratulated for that. I must apologize that I do not know each of these author’s names.

I also met a group of painters and artisans at this event. At their tent, you could get a portrait done at the faire.  I met several of the artists including Rebecca Petrie , and I personally am thinking about getting Danny Bertrand (one of the artists) to create a new cover of my novel if I self-publish.  I even bought a raffle ticket for one of their paintings.  As with the local publishers, I am unfamiliar with each of these artists except for Danny Bertrand or Rebecca Petrie. If you are interested in this group, or possibly commissioning some art work, I would contact them for more information.
and Alice C.W. Dennis Creation

Puppeteer Alice C.W. Dennis was performing a show. She is a wonderful puppeteer, and I encourage you to hire you if you are in need of a family-friendly entertainment. Not only does she have the average hand held puppets, she has a large puppet of a dragon.

There were representatives of the Tepee Store; the Tepee store itself is a vintage roadside attraction (shaped like a large tepee) located between Cherry Valley and Sharon Springs, NY. They usually sell Native American made items such as drums, books etc. There is also the Tepee Pete’s Chow Wagon there in case you get hungry.  I will be seeing them again in the upcoming New York Capital Region Renaissance Festival.

Finally, I visited the Tandy Leather whose physical store is located at 6700 Thompson Rd. Syracuse, NY.  I purchased some rivets and a set of steer horns for a future project.  I have been all around New York, and this is one of the best, if not only, complete leather stores you will find.  Make sure you check out the main Tandy Leather website, and also the store, if you are ever in the Syracuse, NY area.


There were so many more artists and vendors at the event, but Mayfaire on the Green was 2 hours from where I live, but I had noticed the weather was about to turn bad. Dark heavy rain clouds were on the horizon and there was a prediction of thunderstorms for that day. It was at this time, I decided to cut my visit and leave; I wished I could have stayed longer. Next year, I will definitely plan on staying a whole day, or two, at this faire. I encourage any of my readers who live within driving distance to visit this faire next year.


  1. It's a somewhat of a relief to hear you say you aren't fond of the cover. It always struck me as less than professional. I'm surprised a traditional publisher would have went with such a cover. If goes without saying not all publisher are created equally, and for some authors, self-pubbing can be the best choice if the author can put together a product that can compete with any book on the shelf.

  2. William, those pictures of the Mayfaire look like a lot of fun - how nice that those people were that friendly and helpful.
    Since I'm not an author I really have no suggestions for you but you do know that whatever way you go I only wish you the best of luck.

  3. I hope you find a good publisher to work with William. I understand self-publishing is not for everyone, but for many (certainly for me) it's about having control over our own work and destiny, and as you've experienced firsthand, that is kind of a big deal. Looks like you had a great day at the fair William. I always enjoy hearing about these events and hope to get back to the mainland soon so I can visit a few myself. Thanks!

  4. Good luck with finding a new publisher Willam. From reading your blog I know how much work you put into it and how thoroughly you researched it. It is a work that deserves a longer run.

  5. Maybe your publisher going out of business will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Either because you find a better publisher or self publish on Amazon and other such sites. The latter may turn out to be the smartest thing you have ever done if it's promoted the right way. Jeri can handle most of it successfully.

  6. I think of those creature images you've put in past blog entries, and wonder: Why not create your own book cover?

  7. Mayfaire on the Greene sounds like a great event. It's cool that a small village can put on such an interesting event and for free. Good luck with your search for a publisher.

  8. What a breath of fresh air. I can't believe that it is free to go to the Mayfaire on the Green festival. That is such a rarity. Where I live, you have to pay an entrance fee, a huge parking fee and then pay for all the overpriced food once you get there. And I'm sure the Mayfaire on the Green festival still makes a good profit from all the vendors. Sorry about the book struggles but I'm glad you had a good time there.

  9. I keep sending good vibes your way, William, for the future publishing of your novels. We do the work and it will pay off! Right? Yep!
    The faire looks like it was a fun time--it's always nice to interact with like-minded people to compare ideas and thoughts.