Because, I was told, Aztecs don’t sell.
Because, though Aztlan is an alternate history, it will confuse alternate-history readers who expect to see the immediate results of the historical turning point–in this case, the failure of Hernan Cortes to conquer the Aztecs, which eventually leads to the modern Aztec empire of Mexica stretching from the Arctic to what we call Tierra Del Fuego. In the Aztlan books, that turning point is hundreds of years in the past; it’s backdrop. Detective Maxtla Colhua doesn’t think about it on a daily basis any more than you or I think about the Pilgrims.
Because, though Aztlan is a mystery, it’s set in the kind of world mystery readers aren’t used to–one in which an Emperor makes all the rules, people still worship the Aztec pantheon, and slave brokers are honest businessmen.
A big problem was that retailers wouldn’t know where to put it in their stores. My suggestion, of course, was that retailers put it everywhere in their stores. That didn’t go over well.
So traditional publishing couldn’t offer Aztlan a home. But Crazy 8 Press? Heck, that’s why we invented the imprint in the first place: To give readers access to quality, passion-driven projects that traditional publishing can’t afford to take a chance on.
Aztlan: The Courts of Heaven, the second book in the Aztlan mystery series, is now available as a Kindle or Nook e-book. And a couple of weeks from now it’ll be a paperback, also available through Amazon.
I heartily recommend that you try Aztlan: The Last Sun, the first book in the series, to see how different a mystery can be. Then pick up Aztlan: The Courts of Heaven. And then tell your friends about it, because we’re all in this post-traditional publishing world together.