Ian Wilson's blog

Welcome to the blog of Ian Wilson, author of the award-winning Canadian Branchline series, the King's Highways & Steam Trains series, and the Angus Wolfe adventures series.

Upcoming books and such (FIREBOX CHAT #1)

September 03, 2017

This is the first of a brief weekly summary of what’s going on with respect to book projects. Just a couple of items as we settle into fall and the long, agonizing slide to winter.
Next book
The John Rehor-Don Wood pictorial of Ontario branchline steam operations (mostly CNR but a fair bit of CPR coverage) is underway. When released in 2018, it will be my first hardcover volume in more than eight years. I anticipate 192 pages, like the others, and with the same dimensions. Paper and cover stock will be the same, but I foresee a different jacket motif, to set it apart from the Steam series.
Pre-publication offer
We’ll be tabling a pre-publication offer for the upcoming hardcover sometime this autumn, probably around the end of September. This will be a special for email list (and mailing list) members such as you. The expiry date will likely be December 31, 2017. Of note, you will receive a postal mail package with a letter and one or more brochures which will outline the book and special offers associated with it.
Other projects, yes and no
Since my last hardcover (Steam Memories of Lindsay, released in April 2010), I have done a number of fiction and quasi-fiction projects. These range from novels with a steam-era connection to softcover pictorials with fictional storylines overlying the pictorial spreads. The thrust of these projects has been on attracting readers outside the railfan community, including younger readers who may not have any firsthand exposure to steam locomotives. Overall, my core readers who have been with me since the hardcover releases have been sympathetic to these efforts, while not altogether keen on the split focus.
During the past few years, I’ve learned that what I like is not as important as what my readers like, and I’ve listened to your comments pro and con. You readers have categorically told me you don’t want eBooks in any form (to a reader, you’d prefer to pay for a print version than receive a free e-version). Thank you—I will never do another eBook. Again, almost to a reader, you have voiced a preference for hardcover over softcover. Once again, noted—I am planning to re-enter the hardcover business.
The crux of the matter will be this—can I reach enough buyers to cover the massive upfront production costs (well in excess of $30,000) associated with producing a hardcover volume IN CANADA (I refuse to go offshore)? This fall and into the spring, we will launch a direct mail campaign aimed at expanding the readership base, especially in the United States.
Should the Rehor–Wood 1957 volume go as I intend it to go, there will be more such releases. As we speak, I have a minimum of six similar projects under consideration.
That’s all for this week! As always, if you have any steam reminiscences to share, or have any questions or comments, simply respond to this email.
By the way, there’s one easy thing you can do right now to help expand our reach—share the link to this blog post with one or two friends who share your interest in 1950s steam railway operations. They needn’t even be interested in the CNR or CPR or Canada per se. Maybe they are fellow steam enthusiasts or modellers or those who remember the 1950s fondly. Thank you in advance for that!

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