Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Hawk & the Dove Book 7 - a clarification

Hello friends. I received an enquiry via this blog, about purchasing The Hawk & the Dove books. As it deals with a matter that is puzzling other readers – the high cost of Book 7 on Amazon – I thought it might be helpful to explain it again.

Here is the question:

I would like to buy the complete set to replace my Hawk & Dove 7 vol. set was borrowed and misplaced. My friend gave me the set which was printed in Southern California and shipped to me within days of printing- it seemed legit but I cannot find it now.
Amazon wants hundreds of dollars for some of the copies – a gimmick to get publisher to reprint? I love the series and it would help me very much as I tend to my very sick husband.

And this was my answer:

 Hello friend - 

Thank you for your message via my blog. I think other people are puzzled by the high price on Amazon for Book 7 - I probably ought to post on my blog to explain it.

Books 1-3 were published by Crossway, a US publisher, in a one-volume trilogy. Books 4-6 were published by Crossway as individual volumes. Then Crossway began to make changes. They were no longer really publishing fiction, and the boss of the editorial department was approaching retirement. So they declined to take Book 7. After taking a while thinking what to do, I self-published it. I don't have the know-how for this, but my literary agent started to offer a self-publishing service for authors, so he took care of it for me, and it was available for sale on Amazon. That's how your friend will have got a copy.

Then Crossway got a new editorial boss who wanted to make changes, so the whole series was sold to my UK publisher, Lion Hudson. They planned to publish the books in waves, all as individual volumes. The first three came out in February (this year, 2015) in the UK, and will be out any time soon in the US - but you can buy them from UK Amazon now to ship worldwide. The next three come out in July (2015) in the UK, and again the US publishing date will be a month or two behind that. 

Then there's Book 7. Lion Hudson will be bringing that out too, and at the moment the publishing date is for early in 2016. I am pushing for it to be brought forward, to come out with Books 4-6, but it's a question of whether the cover design and copy-editing etc can be squeezed into an already tight publishing schedule.

It had been my plan to leave Book 7 up for sale until Lion Hudson were nearly ready to publish, but then my agent felt he had to stop offering (and maintaining) the self-publishing option for his authors - I don't know why, but self-publishing is a meticulous and time-consuming enterprise, so I guess maybe it took up too much staff time for the benefits it obtained. My agent's decision took effect immediately, and Book 7 was withdrawn from sale. Because paperback copies of it sold from Amazon on a print-on-demand basis, the usual spare print copies from bookshops and warehouses don't exist. Only second-hand copies are available in paperback. That's why those being offered on Amazon are at such an extremely high price. I guess a second-hand seller somewhere has been able to get hold of a couple of copies, and for now that's all there are.

So, the situation at the moment is that you can buy Books 1-3 right now on UK Amazon to ship worldwide, and they will soon be out on US Amazon.
From July you will be able to buy Books 4-6 on UK Amazon, coming out during the autumn in the US. Book 7 will be following shortly, as soon as I and my trusty editor can hustle it through, because we are aware that people are impatient to get hold of it, and at the moment copies of it are as rare as hens' teeth.

Regrettably, I have no copies of the books at home, or I'd offer to send you one myself.

I hope that clears things up!

Thank you for asking the question, and thank you so much for reading my books.

Right now I'm writing Book 8, The Beautiful Thread, for publication next year. Writing fiction is a wonderful endeavour, but also hard and demanding. Knowing that there are people waiting to read the books and keen to own the whole set gives me tremendous encouragement. I am so grateful. It also helps a lot when people pray into the writing process.

xxx Pen


Penny said...

Ahh, the complicated world of getting books in print!
Thanks for your continued perseverance with this series, and the patient way you deal with those readers eager to read your work. :)

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Deborah said...

NEXT YEAR??? We could all be DEAD by then...*sigh*


Pen Wilcock said...

Well, I'm relying on you to be alive! Half way there . . .


Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I am re-reading the first three books and anxiously awaiting the publication of the next three :-)

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

For those of you who don't know Elizabeth, she writes a brilliant blog reviewing books, The Garden Window'. Rather than (like many reviewers) contenting herself with the back cover copy and a sentence or two of her own thrown in, she writes with real imagination and insight, communicating the flavour and substance of the book.
Here's her review of 'The Long Fall', Book 3 in 'The Hawk & The Dove' series:

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I'm blushing now, Pen :-)

Books like yours are a joy, a delight and a true blessing to read, and a privilege to review and recommend to others.

Pen Wilcock said...


Well, thank you. xx

Laura said...

Your books have been wonderful. I am so thirsty for the next! I have shared the trilogy with close friends and they also love it, and my book club will be reading the trilogy during lent. So--ooo grateful for these! In my life at this time, they rank more significantly than Lewis and Tolkein and even Sayers. That is saying something! Love, love love these books. The layers of understanding wash in like tides after reading, such as reflecting on how Peregrine reminds me of they way we see/experience
God and Abbot John of the way we experience Jesus. How there is a role in the body for each of us, even the most wounded personalities. The stories stand beautifully on their own, but afterward all of this reflective tide rolls in. Thank you so much, Keep writing!

Pen Wilcock said...


Thank you, Laura.

The first six are all out now, The Breath of Peace comes out in the new edition in February along with The Beautiful Thread, and the last book in the series, A Day And A Life, will be out in the summer. xx