Realmgolds is Published

Realmgolds, the first Gryphon Clerks novel, is now available in the Kindle Store.

Linda Dean, who reviewed it before publication, had this to say:

Realmgolds is one of those books that is an unexpected pleasure... The first chapter leaves you with a puzzled, intrigued sense of interest. These characters draw you in with their personable natures...

This first book of the Gryphon Clerks is a delightful peek into a new world by Mike Reeves-McMillan. I'll be waiting for the next book. Don't miss this!

I'm going to be approaching a lot more people for reviews in the next few weeks, and I hope their verdicts will be similar.

I've already done an interview for a book website (not out yet, so I can't link to it) that's made me think, once again, about the advantages of indie publishing, and how fortunate we are to be living in these times. One of the questions was about how long it took me from start to finish to publish the book. It was sixteen months, including a couple of months working with my editor, Kathleen Dale.

The total cost of publishing Realmgolds was in the region of $1000 (New Zealand dollars; less in USD). That covered getting a professional editor to work with me on development, and having the cover created (to my specifications). Now, I was fortunate to work with the cover illustrator before he became popular - he's put his prices up now, and even so they're very cheap for how good he is - but even so, that's a reasonable figure to have in mind. A thousand dollars. I paid more than that for a sea kayak and some associated gear. If you're just scraping by, finding a thousand dollars is a big ask, but if you're in a well-paid job it's not an enormous amount of money for something you care about.

So working with two other people, on a budget that's barely four figures, in a timeframe of less than a year and a half, I've published a novel.

Bear in mind that if you're going the traditional publishing path, it can easily take that long (or longer) to find an agent. And then that long (or longer) to find a publisher. And then that long (or longer) for the publisher to actually publish the book. And with all their staff, and all that delay, at least one traditional publisher (coughHarperCollinscough) still manages to produce poorly-edited books with crappy covers. For which their authors receive a small proportion of the cover price, not the 70-odd percent that I'll be getting. And they don't get to influence the cover design.

The price we pay for this wonderful new world, of course, is that a lot of crap gets published. Any yahoo can slap the unedited first draft of their NaNoWriMo "novel" up on Amazon without spending a cent: free word processor, free stock photos, free photomanipulation software, no upfront costs to publish. When there's no filter, you get all kinds of crud coming through the pipe.

We have met the filter, though, and they are us.

As well as being a writer, I'm also a reviewer. I review indie books. So do lots of other people, and I'll be approaching many of them and asking them to review mine. These are genuine reviewers, as I am, who don't accept any inducement apart from, possibly, a free book in exchange for their reviews. (I buy most of mine, in fact.)

Yes, there are "review farms" that will give you a five-star review for a price. Yes, you can "sock puppet" reviews under a fake name and say how wonderful a work of genius your own book is, and what crap your competitors' books are. In the end, though, people who do that get found out, one way or another. They get found out by, among others, honest reviewers who call it like they see it.

If you're a regular reviewer and would like to review Realmgolds, leave a comment. That'll give me your email address, and I'll send you a free copy (and no other inducement), and you can say whatever you think about it. I don't hold back from saying publicly, under my own name, what I think about other people's books. I expect no less from people who review mine.

(That link again: Realmgolds in the Kindle store.)

Spread the word

Mike Reeves-McMillan lives in Auckland, New Zealand, the setting of his Auckland Allies contemporary urban fantasy series; and also in his head, where the weather is more reliable, and there are a lot more wizards. He also writes the Gryphon Clerks series (steampunk/magepunk), the Hand of the Trickster series (sword-and-sorcery heist capers), and short stories which have appeared in venues such as Compelling Science Fiction and Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.

10 thoughts on “Realmgolds is Published

  1. I’d love to review your book, and I’d happily pay the $5 you have it priced at for Kindle, if I had the means to pay for it right now. I’ve added you to my wish list, and look forward to reading it at some point. Let me know if you want to comp me a copy. I am not a professional reviewer, but have read regularly for over 30 years and can and have posted reviews when moved to do so. I’d be happy to give an unbiased (as always) review.

  2. Congratulations on the release of your book. I’ve recently started reviewing indie books in the hopes of finding some of the better works amidst the… rougher… pieces out there. I agree with you, self-publishing is a great thing, with the downside that anyone can, and does, publish without much regard to editing and the like. I don’t view this as a necessarily bad thing (what I think is crap another person might think is great, and more power to them), I just think we need more people out there, finding the good amongst the bad, and I’d like to do my part.

    As I’ve only just started reviewing books, I’m not a “regular” reviewer, per se, but I’d like to be. So, if you’d be interested in having this newbie have a crack at your book, I’d be glad to give my honest review of it.

    Congratulations again, and I wish you the best on your new novel. 🙂

  3. Very interesting approach. It never occurred to me to approach reviewers as you’ve done.
    I know how frustrating and exhausting the publishing route can become. My first book was published (without an agent) by a very early ebook publishing house DPD Publishing which went defunct several months later. I republished it via Lulu and Amazon and have had some success without advertising or getting any reviews except those of readers. My second book (a YA novella) is being represented by a New York agency but the process of editing and publishing seems to be taking forever. Best of luck with getting reviewers. I’ll be following your progress.

  4. Congratulations on the new novel. I’m really looking forward to reading it. I loved The Windknowers Story and I’m hoping this is more of the same fantastic stuff.

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