It’s been two years since Gallow was published by Gollancz. In the normal run of things the third book in the trilogy would have come out about now and I’d be submitting the manuscript for a fourth (or not) having been contracted (or not) for more at some point over the last six months. But that’s not how we did this. If you’ve been reading the series then you know that all three came out in consecutive months and then . . . an awful lot of nothing.

I’d like your help to change that. The first series has sold . . . adequately. Adequately, so you know, means it hasn’t earned back its advance but has tipped in to profit (whatever that means). Adequately means thousands of copies, not hundreds and not tens of thousands. Most of all, adequately means it hasn’t sold well enough to get the forces of sales and marketing remotely excited, but it has sold well enough that they don’t run away with their fingers in their ears the moment anyone corners them about it. Adequate isn’t great, but it’s enough to be grateful. So if you bought some Gallow, thank you.

Now to the matter of more and where I need a little help: My editor at Gollancz is keen. I’m keen. I’ve got outlines. They’re stronger for the wait and are stories that will at least match The Crimson Shield for both ferocity and pathos. I don’t need your help to sell more copies of The Crimson Shield or the Fateguard Trilogy omnibus; what I need help with are the three shorts Gollancz published earlier this year.

Shorts? What shorts?

Well exactly. Three little stories, 10-20k words each that tie up some loose ends left hanging at the end of The Last Bastion. You want to know what happened to the Eyes of Time? The drowned tomb under the lake? There’s The Anvil, in which Arda gives Gallow a taste of his own medicine. There’s Solace, in which Mirrahj does Gallow’s job for him; and there’s Dragon’s Reach, in which Oribas meddles with things with which perhaps he shouldn’t.

I need your help. These have not sold adequately. That’s going to make sales and marketing nervous. We’re talking tens of copies. I probably need to get that up well into the hundreds. Maybe it’s because they’re only e-books, but you know what? If one person in ten who bought one of the novels in e-book form had also bought one of the shorts, I wouldn’t be writing this. It shouldn’t matter, but in a market where publishers are generally looking to reduce the number of authors they publish, it could become a handy excuse.

So what am I asking for? I suspect the problem is more that no one knows they’re there. If you’re a Gallow fan who just didn’t know they existed, here are the links! Buy them! Spread the word! Think of it as a bit like a Kickstarter – pledge £1.99 to Amazon and if we get enough, maybe more novels will happen – but even if we don’t you still get your story.

The Anvil: King Valaric wants some dirty work done by someone who knows their way around a forge, and Gallow isn’t around.

Solace: Gallow, Mirrahj and the Eyes of Time

Dragon’s Reach: Oribas can’t say no to another Aulian tomb.

I can’t promise that Gollancz will go for more if the shorts suddenly pick up. I can’t say for sure they won’t if the sales stay as they are. I can say that it’s hanging in the balance and here’s an opportunity to try and make a difference.

Need more incentive? Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. If this works and tips the scales, I’ll write another short, free to download for anyone.

Gallow is, to an extent, in your hands now.

Thank you.

- Nathan Hawke