1) Steampunk is a slow growing readership.
2) Your story needs to stand out.
Learning these two things changed the direction of my story. Despite the popularity of Steampunk, the readership isn't there...WHAT? Don't readers know I have a story they will love? Maybe steampunk fans are a skeptical lot, and don't want to take a chance on a new auther.
Maybe they like all the books written before they read them. I had one book plotted not two. Apparently Steampunk fans need series. This changed my concept of writing the novel. I always write strong secondary characters in order to create series because I've found that readers like going back to worlds created. However, that being said I watch my sales to see which books are doing better and put books selling better on a faster timetable than those that do not. Clearly if I wrote this novel I would have to change my way of thinking.
I pitched my story and setting to an editor who was clearly confused and realized that my story wasn't unique enough. I set it in London and it was clearly not standing out enough so I changed the location to Istanbul. I also took the time to plot out all the changes to my altered timeline and came up with a second story idea, which changed my title from "Gunns, Cleaver & Brass Pacaderms" to "The Courtesan of Constantinople" Here's the two blurbs, tell me which one you like better: