It’s not a huge secret. We started Ring of Fire Press to publish the overflow from the 1632 Universe, the Ring of Fire Universe. It is overflow because Baen Books, the publisher of the mainline Ring of Fire books has only so many book slots with its distributor, Simon and Schuster, in a year. Eric Flint and the other authors writing in the Ring of Fire Universe, were putting out too many books and it would have overwhelmed Baen’s operation. These were great books, fully publishable professionally written books. There was just no room at Baen.

So we started publishing them at Ring of Fire Press.

In 2016, Joy Ward and I took over the day to day running of Ring of Fire Press and it has grown a lot since then. We’ve added people, too, because Joy and I can’t do everything needed to run a full sized publishing operation. Eric is the publisher, with his wife, Lucille. Joy and I handle the editing, including developmental editing when we see somebody with talent who isn’t quite ready for prime time. The redoubtable Gorg Huff and Jeff Carrico do the operations end. Griffin Barber is working on producing Audio Books. Bjorn Hasseler and Garrett Vance help me produce the Grantville Gazette. Our main cover artist is Laura Givens.

In 2018, we decided that we could provide a service to authors, and actually make money from it. With the consolidation of publishing into five or six conglomerates, many publishing houses were dropping midlist authors like flies. It wasn’t that their books weren’t good—they were. It wasn’t that they didn’t sell and make money—they did. It was that they didn’t sell as well as a big blockbuster from Brandon Sanderson or someone like that. So there were a lot of midlist authors sitting there in mid career, suddenly with a backlist and no publisher.

At Ring of Fire Press we started to publish them, and we have continued to do so.

The other thing we noticed is that there were a lot of unknowns looking for publishers who didn’t want to go through the self-publishing route. We could offer them a way to publication (if they were up to our standards) that didn’t make them spend thousands on covers, book production, editing, and all the other tasks that draw a self-published author away from writing the next book.

We have been extremely lucky with this, having put together a stable of excellent new authors. Over the next few blog posts I am going to feature some of them, and their books we have published.

The Hadley Directive

by J. Dharma Windham

“What would happen if history could be rewritten as casually as erasing a blackboard? Our past would be like the shifting sands at the seashore, constantly blown this way or that by the slightest breeze.”—Michio Kaku