About Leg Iron Books

Last updated: December 17th 2018

It all started with the germ of an idea in March 2016, and began in earnest with the publication of the first Underdog Anthology later that year. Calling it ‘First Volume’ seemed optimistic at the time but the series continues, now producing three volumes every year.

It soon became apparent that there is a lot of unrecognised writing talent out there. Some have tried publication and been turned away, some have never worked up the nerve to try.

Leg Iron Books is not, and never will be, a major publishing house. It will never develop a narrow focus on one genre nor on one writing style. It’s very unlikely to ever make anyone, author or publisher, outrageously wealthy. That is not the point of it at all.

The purpose of Leg Iron Books is to find that writing talent and publish it. The books published here are unlikely to make the best seller lists – well, not with this tiny publisher.

However, having at least one actually published book will give the authors something to show to an agent when they go for bigger things. Merely having the books in print allows for the chance of being noticed by the big guns. Last, and certainly not least, those authors who have sat on some brilliant stories for years, not daring to risk submitting them for publication, will get a confidence boost in seeing their books on sale. It might encourage them to write more.

This is not meant to be condescending. Every writer remembers that reticence to actually show their writings to others. Will they laugh? Will they scoff? Will they tell me I am wasting my time? It’s so much more secure to show them a finished book with a publisher logo on the back.

When you approach an agent, self-published books count for nothing. Anyone can do that. Vanity published books (where the author actually pays to see the book in print and nobody but the author will ever buy a copy) are a deal killer. Vanity publishing is not publishing. It’s a printing service– no editing or any other service is offered.

Self-published books can be very good indeed. There are some jewels out there but they are buried under a pile of turds. An agent will not read your self-published book, no matter how well polished it is, and without an agent you can’t get anywhere near the really big publishers who have the resources to advertise far and wide and get your books into High Street shops.

Although tiny so far, Leg Iron Books is a serious publisher. We do not publish any old crap. Expect editing, revisions, expect to be consulted on cover images, book descriptions, all of it. When we get a good story, we work on it and we expect the author to be involved at every stage. The published book will be the best it can be and it will bear the Leg Iron Books logo.

Leg Iron Books is unlikely to make anyone wealthy, although it’s not impossible. We can promise authors one thing though – it will not cost them a penny to try. No author is ever charged for anything here. Need editing? We’ll do that. Need a cover? We can do that too. Authors do not pay for these services.

Authors get paid. A flat rate for short stories for anthologies, royalties on sales of novels, single author story collections and nonfiction books. Oh they don’t get paid very much because we keep the book prices as low as possible, but the author royalties are 70% of the receipts from sales of the books.

With print books, most of the cost is in printing and delivery (Amazon’s free postage isn’t really free, it’s factored into the price) so we have a much bigger profit margin on eBooks, even though they are around half the price of the print copies.

eBooks are also distributed far wider than just Amazon – to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple’s iStore, Sony, and many more. Print copies are, for the moment, only available on Amazon although we are investigating getting print copies into other outlets.

In two years, that germ of an idea has grown into a lot of work. It’s time to take this business a lot more seriously. Hence this dedicated website rather than a few pages as an aside on a blog. It has been a steep learning curve, from adding live links and stable images into eBooks to working out how to make one piece wraparound covers for the print books. The learning process continues and is likely to continue for some time.

Meanwhile, the book catalogue expands every year. It is already reaching the point where sub-imprints might be necessary to differentiate the types of books in the catalogue.

Leg Iron Books, it seems, is here to stay. At least for the foreseeable future.