The Christmas anthology is now open for submissions until November 30th. Any genre, as long as Christmas is a central part of the theme of the story. Stories should be roughly 2000 words, but this is not set in stone. A little under, or a lot over, is fine. Very short stories, under 1000 words, we can come to some arrangement on the payment. Short ones are not automativcally rejected.
Payment is £12 per story or equivalent in your local currency. Authors within the UK can opt to be paid in copies of the book (usually three copies, unless it happens to grow far more than usual). Unfortunately this isn’t currently feasible for authors outside the UK, since the postage costs and delays would reduce the number of books and it could take an unreasonably long time to arrive. Outside the UK, you’re better off taking the cash and ordering a copy locally. Or just spend it on beer, it’s your money after all.
The deadline has to be fairly firm in order to get the book assembled, formatted, all author contracts and payments done, and available in time for Christmas.
Finally, please don’t send any AI-generated text or images. This leads to copyright issues and will also cause Amazon to mark the entire book as AI-generated, which is unfair to the other authors.
It has cut very close to being to late this year, but despite multiple setbacks, the Halloween anthology, ‘A Day Off for Angels‘, is available just in time.
The print version has a bonus story at the end, partly because the print version costs five times as much as the eBook, but also because this book was a couple of pages shy of being thick enough to allow text on the spine. A blank spine looks dreadful on a bookshelf and anyone who has the previous 20 anthologies is going to be mightily disappointed if their shelf suddenly sports a blank one.
That story was lifted from ‘Fears of the Old and the New’ by H.K. Hillman, with permission of course (since it was my own book). It does not appear in the eBooks since they were already loaded when the few pages shortfall came to light – and there was no time to reload them. It
will be is now available online for those who feel cheated.
Next up is the Christmas anthology. Hopefully there will not be the mass of problems delaying that one too!
The Halloween anthology (UA21) has been dreadfully delayed by hospital stuff, which isn’t completely over yet. The worst is past, I think, but there will be more medical meddling in the coming weeks. It has taken them six decades to find something seriously wrong with me and they aren’t going to let go easily.
Both anthologies will go ahead regardless. The Halloween one will go straight to PDF for distribution to authors, with notes on what was edited, especially as almost all the stories needed nothing more than a few typos fixed. Authors can expect that PDF and their contracts in the next few days.
The Christmas anthology will open November 1st and close around the 30th. This one has a tighter time constraint because deliveries over Christmas are always subject to delays. I will also be dragged into surgery halfway through November, at least twice. Maybe on those occasions, it will indeed be the one day visit I was promised twice before and not some protracted stay where they take more blood samples than Dracula. Next time, I’m taking a full pack of cigarettes and maybe a hip flask…
Leg Iron Books is wounded but not dead. We’ll be back.
There’s been A Thing.
I will be getting a rather spectacular kidney stone removed on the 29th
April September [it was very late when I typed this] (I hope, it didn’t go so well last time). This means I’ll likely be a dazed mess after anaesthetics on the 30th, when the anthology is due to close. The stories sent in so far look like they really won’t need much editing so hopefully between RooBeeDoo and myself, most of the work will be done early.
However, if you send in a late entry on the 30th, it’s not likely to get attention right away. Therefore the deadline is extended to October 2nd (midnight, GMT). It can’t be any later than that if it’s going to be out for Halloween.
I will attempt to have all, or at least most, contracts and payments dealt with before the sawbones slice me up but please be patient if things don’t proceed as fast as usual.
Novel editing has been passed to RooBeeDoo, who, unlike me, isn’t retired and still has to work a proper job for a living. I’m afraid those will be slow too.
There is also some new madness that Amazon has installed, and that needs to be dealt with since it is likely to be the cause of the absolutely dire sales in the last quarter. Even though almost all of the books were published before the very recent AI rise to fame. Leg Iron Books will not use AI to generate books or covers, and any authors who do so will need to inform us of this on submission. It’ll have to be in future contracts too.
Once the stone is out I’m likely to be stuck in the house for a while. Which should, at least, improve the writing work output.
There have been many delays and problems in the background this year, some of them very serious indeed. We have lost another author – David Davis, whose book we were in the process of editing, has sadly passed away. That book remains in limbo until we can determine whether the family want us to proceed. It feels too early to intrude upon their grief.
In the last few years we have also lost Cade F.O.N Appolyon, Marsha Webb, and Dirk Vleugels/Justin Sanebridge to the Grim Reaper. Several others have become very quiet, we can only hope the list isn’t going to grow further.
Still, we must soldier on, and so the 21st Anthology, Halloween 2023, will open for submissions from August 24th to September 30th. It will be pretty tight to get it available for Halloween but there are further delays to come in August and Spetember that have to be taken into consideeration.
The stories should be in the 2000 word range. Longer stories are welcome, Very short ones (under 500 words) might not attract the full payment of £12 (UK money) but we are willing to negotiate on that. Many UK authors have opted to be paid in copies of the books, which is no problem. Overseas authors are better off taking the cash and buying copies locally, or just banking it, since postage charges will reduce the number of books they’d get if they are posted here.
The theme for this anthology is Halloween. It doesn’t have to be scary, but Halloween has to be an important component of the story. Basically, the story is happening at Halloween and there is a Halloween component that affects the story.
Well, when the first Underdog Anthology was published it seemed overly optimistic to call it Volume One. There might not have been a second. There are now twenty volumes out there and, fingers crossed, we’re still going.
All these disasters and delays can slow us down but they have so far failed to stop us.
I have just heard from Amazon that print book base prices are to rise on June 20th. It was bound to happen, costs are going up everywhere, but hopefully it won’t be by much. This should not affect eBooks at all. I hope.The book prices for print books include the costs of materials (paper, ink etc), the cost of getting someone to print it and put it all together, and postage. Yeah, postage is only free to the buyer. It’s in the price of the book. Leg Iron Books makes pennies in royalties on each book sold, most of it goes to Amazon. At the moment, with sales low, all the royalties go to the authors. I get the pennies from the anthologies and my own books, I don’t take a cut at all from other authors’ royalties. Everything is priced as low as possible while still leaving a little profit.So… all the print books are priced very close to the minimum. This inflationary increase means that, to keep the authors actually getting something, I will have to increase the prices. I will do this once I know what the cost increases are going to be. Around June 20th, all the books on sale are going to have to increase in price to keep the author royalties the same.I don’t want to do it. Amazon don’t want to do it. But inflation is running so high that neither of us have any choice. It is possible that the increases might send some books, especially the very tight margins on the anthologies, into zero royalties and that is not a good business model. As I wrote above, this should not affect eBooks although those have a ‘delivery’ charge too. There has been no mention of an increase in that so far. Fortunately, all our books are 6″ by 9″ format or smaller. Books over that size seem to be getting hit harder – we don’t have any of those here. So, it is likely that the price increases will be small but there will be increases. This does not affect just Leg Iron Books. It’s going to apply across the board on independent small publishers and self-publishers. If you’ve been eyeing up a book on Amazon and thinking about buying it, make that decision before June 20th. Of course, if you prefer eBooks, you probably have nothing to worry about. Yet.
At long last, this anthology is now available in print and eBook formats.
Amazon have a new system whereby the print book shows on the site but is marked ‘not available’ for a few days until the pricing shows up. I have no idea why, but it’s their site so I have to assume there’s a reason. It’s now showing as ‘available’ on both the US and UK sites so if it’s not available on yours, just check back in a few days.
Smashwords and Kindle versions show up very quickly, as normal.
Next anthology will be for Halloween, so there’s time to try to clear the backlog of other books first!
Underdog Anthology 20 will open for submissions throughout March. We can be a little flexible on the end date this time since this one isn’t themed – any genre (as long as it’s legal and not porn) is welcome. It would certainly have to close in the first week of April though.
So, we have come a long way since that optimistically titled ‘first volume’. It’s hard to believe we are now on the twentieth!
Stories should be around 2000 words as a general guide, this is not fixed in stone since we have taken much longer ones in previous anthologies. Payment is twelve proper British pounds per story or the equivalent in books if the author is in the UK and chooses that option. We cannot pay in books outside the UK, the postage rates would take far too much off the payments, but we can transfer money in most currencies.
Well, here we go. Again. As long as this one gets enough submissions, we’ll have made it to twenty.
It’s been a difficult year – although I don’t have to tell you that. It’s been a difficult three years and it doesn’t show signs of getting better.
This is why Leg Iron Books keeps prices as low as possible. We know there’s not much play money in most people’s pockets these days. This is especially true of the Underdog Anthologies – single author books need to make something for the authors, but the anthology authors are paid up front so the books don’t need to bring in more than a few pennies per copy. None have so far covered their initial outlay but they’re all still out there if anyone fancies a look at the past works.
The latest addition, ‘Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas‘ (Underdog Anthology 19) is no exception, and is now available on Amazon and Smashwords. Both sites allow a quick look inside before you decide whether it’s worth your time.
It’s a collection of tales that will, at least, take your mind off the current state of the world for a while.
Underdog Anthology 18 was due to close for submissions on September 20th. Due to Things Happening, that has been extended to October 4th.
There is still time.