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.
It looks good, but we did hit a newbie error. The frames given for the cover suggest that the outer edge would wrap around completely into the interior but we didn’t account for the thickness of the cover boards, so the first lot will have a tiny bit of yellow at the edges. It’s easily fixed and, well, lesson learned.
Existing books will gradually appear in hardback editions and all future books will have this option. The pricing means they aren’t likely to sell many copies but it’s not that much effort so it’s worth adding the option for those who want it.
The next book released is Mark Ellott’s ‘Renegade’, a tale of piracy in which many buckles are suitably swashed. It should have been out a long time ago, as should several others in the queue. This also marks the first attempt at the new Amazon option of a hardcover version for us, and it seems to have worked out okay, There is one on order to see if that’s true. There are still books in the queue but the matters that have caused delays seem to be easing and we’re catching up.
It seems likely that previous books could also develop hardcover versions and future ones (single author books) definitely will. They are about double the price of the paperbacks so probably won’t sell many copies but it costs nothing to try.
It’s not likely that the Underdog Anthologies will appear in hardback since they are meant to be as low-priced as possible, although the much vaunted but not so far delivered omnibus editions might be. It’s a matter for the future, there is still this backlog to deal with first.
The ‘spring’ anthology was delayed because an idiot (me) typed May instead of March as the deadline. It wasn’t such a bad thing. It helped move the backlog at least a little and it means authors can submit short stories up to the end of May. So it was allowed to stand. Underdog Anthology 17 closes for submissions at the end of this month.
Also at the end of this month is the quarterly payments to authors. So far it’s not looking good – but then rampant inflation, huge fuel and energy price increases and a general worry about the bottomless pit humanity seems to be diving into all have a generally depressing effect on sales. Of anything.
Publishing is going ahead anyway here. If there’s a recession we’re just going to wait it out.
It’s that time again. We have not looked at sales too hard since this winter’s Great Disconnection where even the mobile phones were out. Hopefully there will be some good sales to report but with the world distracted by one thing after another, that cannot be promised.
The Spring Anthology (any genre) will open for submissions on February 15th. The closing date is March 31st but this anthology can be a little more flexible on the deadline than the others. It’s not tied to a particular event, it’s just the Spring one.
Edit: The deadline will be extended to the end of May. It’ll be later than usual for this anthology but the longer deadline will help with clearing the backlog of other work. This also gives authors more time to come up with stories.
Leg Iron Books has had limited internet access the past few months. This is because the storm that hit Scotland last November took down many, many trees and quite a lot of power and phone lines. Including ours. The telephone engineers could not immediately reconnect the cable because of the continuing foul weather and because there were so many fallen trees in the way. They did manage a Heath Robinson style temporary fix after a couple of weeks but a subsequent storm took that out too. Hopefully we will be reconnected properly on Monday 14th, weather permitting, now that the fallen trees have been cleared. Otherwise, we are using a 4G phone that does not have the greatest reception, but is mostly serviceable. We hope to be back to full connection in a few days.
With this in mind, please note that responses might be a little slower than usual. We do have quite a backlog now.
There is some good news, especially for novel and single-author anthology authors. We currently publish on Amazon in print and Kindle, and through Smashwords in all eBook formats to other outlets – but those are eBook only. The only way to get a print copy is currently through Amazon.
Smashwords is being acquired by Draft2Digital. Reading the press releases, it seems little, if anything, will change from the former Smashwords although there will be one major difference. Draft2Digital have developed a print book service, so once this merger is complete, there will be a second source of print versions of the books, outside Amazon. It is not yet clear whether these print books will be available through retailers or just direct from Draft2Digital but having a wider distribution of the print books can only be a good thing.
Hopefully after Monday we will have decent internet access once more and can get back to the job of reducing that ever increasing backlog! There may be a few sleepless nights ahead…
The latest Halloween anthology is now available in print and eBook formats. This is Underdog Anthology 15, ‘The Darkness at the End of October‘, and as with all these anthologies, is set at a bargain price.
The Christmas anthology is now open for submissions, but there’s no hurry. Due to a backlog of work we won’t begin editing until the beginning of November. Submissions are open until November 25th – this one needs to be ready to order in time for Christmas, and this year, it does look like there will be delivery delays. So it will need to be published fast, at least in the first week of December.
As always, the theme for this next anthology is Christmas but you can do with that what you will. A jolly tale, a hopeful tale, a tale with a smile, or a tale of destruction and despair. Any genre as long as it happens at Christmas.
Before that, of course, we have Halloween and our most recent anthology, with some carefully crafted tales for the darkening evenings.
The Halloween anthology is now closed to submissions, although there are two promised stories that could still appear in time. Not much time because the Christmas anthology opens for submissions on October 15th, until November 30th. The rule is the same as always: it doesn’t matter what genre, it just has to be Christmas themed.
Editing on the Halloween stories is under way and already well advanced, contracts and then payments will go out shortly. It just needs a title…
We are still in the throes of Covid, but life must go on and so must we.
The Halloween anthology is now open for submissions until midnight (UK time) on September 30th. Sorry it’s a bit tight but the Christmas anthology will follow this one very closely so it has to be fast.
As always, the stories don’t need to be horrifying, they just need Halloween as a central theme. Looking for around 2000 words per story, longer is welcome, shorter is okay, very short and we’ll come to some arrangement on payment.
In other news, one author has pointed out that some of his friends and family can’t access the print books on Amazon. We have avoided using Lulu.com so far, they have pretty steep postage charges and their book trim sizes are slightly different so the books and covers will need to be reformatted. However, there is some resistance to Amazon from increasing numbers of people, therefore we will need another outlet in addition to that one.
The eBooks already appear on smashwords.com and most make it through their distribution rules and appear on Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc, but so far the print books have only been on Amazon. Leg Iron Books will begin adding them to Lulu.com. It won’t be fast, there are still books in the editing queue, but it will happen. Single author books will be first and the anthologies will likely go in as three-book compilations. That will be faster than putting them all in individually.
Links will appear on the appropriate book pages as the books go live.
Meanwhile, Halloween is coming. If you have a good story, we’ll buy* it.
Note that Leg Iron Books only buys the right to use the story in the anthology. Copyright always remains with the author and the author can re-use the story in any way they please once the anthology goes live.
There have been some issues that have delayed and distracted from the business – none of them covid related but serious nonetheless. However, we are gradually getting back into the swing of things.
The next book should have been Wandra Nomad’s novel but there was a request from an author who is seriously ill, and it was a request that could be answered quickly. He wanted a very short collection of his Christmas stories in print so he could give them to his family, just in case…
The stories in question were all in previous Underdog Anthologies so were already edited, it was simply a matter of formatting and working on a cover. That collection is currently loading on Amazon and is already available as an eBook on Smashwords. It’s short, and the price reflects that.
It will be added to the site when all versions are available.