Thanks to a recommendation from someone in the Jane Austen Fan Fiction group on Facebook, I read the biography Sister Novelists by Devoney Looser (who is an Austen scholar. It is a well-told story of two sisters–Jane Porter and Anna Maria Porter–who wrote in the late-18th and early-19th Century. They were very popular and were innovative with respect to the historical novel.
I decided to see if I could read one. Turns out, they are either not in print or the versions one can buy on, say, Amazon, are very inadequate. I found “The Scottish Chiefs,” by Jane Porter (it tells a somewhat fictionalized tale of William Wallace of Braveheart fame (and was apparently the source of some of the fictionalized parts of that movie)) at Project Gutenberg.
Thanks to figuring out how to use macros on Word, I discovered that I could convert the Gutenberg version into one I could save on Word as a PDF and publish on Amazon’s KDP and get a copy at cost that way. Which is what I did.
Discovering that trick, I thought about publishing a systematic group of classics to make it simple to get a nicely produced version of Austen, (some) Dickens, etc.
Hence Dermody House’s “Classics.” Each is in the public domain (no later than 1926–on January 1, 2023, books published in 1927 in the US enter the public domain) and I formatted them uniformly. For some large ones, I had to shrink the font to make them doable (hence not doing some Dickens, such as Bleak House).
So there we have it. Twenty-five volumes available in paperback (with some in hardcover too) priced close to the minimum KDP allows. (Insofar as there are proceeds, they’ll go to Project Gutenberg.)
That’s all six Austens, both of Anne Brontë’s, and moving to Wharton, Woolf, and Fitzgerald.
Next up: My journey to get the covers.