Sam Clemens, editor and proprietor of the finest Society newspaper in the historical fictionsphere, completed the final draft of his front-page advertisement, put it into the tray marked ‘Urgent’, and rubbed a hand over his face. Today’s edition would be late to the boudoirs of the ladies of the ton, the clubs of the gentlemen, and the shadowy world occupied by the (to his mind) half-mythical ‘authors’ who purportedly invented the multiple universes and characters featured by the Teatime Tattler.
Today, his advertisement would take pride of place on the front cover, which might not excite the first two categories of reader, but would, Sam hoped, be seen as an opportunity for the third.
The recent push for Wednesday correspondents had garnered many more bookings, but they were spread through the year. He still had spaces most months, including the second half of April.
He crumpled up his rejected attempts and lobbed them one by one into the waste paper bin. “Promote your book”, one started. “Reach new readers”, said another. “A fun way to promote” followed “Stand out in the billion-book marketplace” into the bin.
He’d done his best. Now it was up to the authors. He rang the bell for the copy boy. “And tell Tom to add the block with the place they can find out more and book their spot,” he ordered. As the door closed behind the boy, he fished his brandy and a glass from the bottom drawer. Time for a quick drink before the proofs arrived, and then he’d be busy all night as the presses rolled.