- Why was Victorian Secrets started?
Catherine Pope formed Victorian Secrets after discovering that many of the books she wanted for her studies were available only at the British Library. She also found that university syllabuses were severely restricted by the limited availability of non-canonical texts. Our aim is to make some of the less well-known Victorian novels available to the modern reader, and also widen the opportunities for academic research.Our decision to branch out into modern narrative non-fiction was prompted after receiving the MS of David Waller’s The Perfect Man: The Muscular Life and Times of Eugen Sandow, Victorian Strongman. It was so good, we couldn’t not publish it.
- How do you decide what to publish?
The initial titles were purely a whim, but we now consider proposals from potential editors/authors. Although we don’t necessarily expect our books to have mass appeal, they need to be able to cover their costs. For this reason, we do ask that any suggestions are supported by an explanation as to why they are worthy of us spending our pocket money. In the case of an original book, we expect a detailed proposals and sample chapters.
- Where can I buy your books?
Our published books are widely available online, eg Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders etc. As we publish via print-on-demand, you might find that you have to wait a few days to receive your copy. Your local bookshop (please support them) will also be able to order our books through their suppliers. If you really can’t wait, you might just have one of those fancy new Espresso Book Machines nearby. In case you haven’t come across them, they will print a book for you in under five minutes, and all our published titles are available via this service. You’re right, it is exciting.
Retailers can order our titles through any of the distributors listed. Distributors offer measly discounts to booksellers, so you are welcome to order from us directly on more favourable terms. However, we do require upfront payment via Paypal, as we’re not in a position to extend credit. Much as we love to support the indies, we cannot do so if it incurs a loss for us. If you would like to place an order, please email Catherine. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept credit card payments over the phone.
- Why are your books quite expensive?
Our books are produced in small quantities and we are therefore unable to achieve any economies of scale. The unit cost to us is high, and the almost imperceptible profit achieved on each copy goes to fund the next title. We hope you find the high quality of our editions worth the extra pennies/cents.
- Can I edit a book for you?
Yes. Provided you can tell us a little about yourself, and also explain why you think a particular title is worthy of consideration. We’re generally looking for editors with a strong academic background (eg a PhD), but will also consider those with a demonstrable ability to write for an academic audience and boundless enthusiasm for their subject. Please read our guide for editors before submitting a proposal.
- I’ve written a novel, will you publish it?
Probably not. We generally find dead authors much easier to manage. However, if you’re the new Sarah Waters (or indeed Sarah Waters herself), we’ll certainly take a look.As mentioned above, we do now publish narrative non-fiction, particularly biographies. For this type of book we expect a formal book proposal (there are lots of guides out there) Publishing a book involves a lot of time and money, so please make it clear why your idea is worth the investment. For more information, please see our guide for authors.
- Are you able to offer a discount for bulk orders?
Yes. For orders of 10+ copies, we can calculate a discount for you. For smaller quantities, we are unlikely to be able to compete with Amazon’s free delivery offer. To find out more, please email us with the title and quantity. Upfront payment is required, as we can’t spare the elves to chase invoices.
- Do you accept requests to reprint specific titles?
Yes. We welcome all requests and suggestions, although we can’t promise to follow up on all of them. If you can suggest a potential editor, then that would significantly help your cause.
If we haven’t answered your question above, please email us.