After much deliberation I have been forced to come to a single, unhappy conclusion. I am currently contracted to write two more books for Pen and Sword, the first of which is on Constantius III. However, after completing these books I will not be writing any more.

This may seem a drastic decision, given that there are many more subjects which could be covered – the Third century, the Early Republic, the Constantinian Dynasty, Theodosius I – the list goes on. The trouble is that the financial rewards for the months/years of work that goes into writing one book makes it no longer worthwhile.

Possibly the main reason is the rise of the ‘E-book’. Although cheaper to produce and easier to store than print books, and therefore of greater appeal to the public, the net result is that the poor author receives pennies in royalties for these books.

Please don’t mistake my comments here: I can fully understand why people buy e-books rather than hardbacks or paperbacks, not least the cost. I may prefer ‘real’ books to e-books, but I do have quite a few of the latter as I have begun to run out of room in the house. And as money is tight, they are the most affordable version to get.

For the author, that is small comfort. For example, in the last royalties statement I found that I was being paid two-and-a-half pence per book for one of the publications. Strangely, this is not enough to justify the work and commitment needed to write a full manuscript.

As a result, I have recently resumed my career in Education – though on a lesser scale than previously – where I can earn more in one week than I earn in royalties for six months. Hopefully, readers can understand this decision and will accept that paying the bills must come before the vanity of seeing my name in print.

This does not mean, however, that I will now immediately stop posting here or responding to queries and comments. I still have two more years of writing before me, so will be around for a time yet!