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