My book is now in the tender hands of Amazon’s self-publishing department. I’ve been told it will be available for purchase within the next two or three business days. They want to make sure I’m not violating their terms and services, and I’m sure I’ll have a happy announcement to make very soon.
In the meantime, I want to walk back an earlier statement I made: My original intention was to put this out for 99¢. An e-book is a different animal than a traditionally published work, and I was willing to keep the price down to the minimum above giving it away for free. While going through the process of actually uploading the book I was informed that the 70% royalty that is a major argument in favour of e-publishing is only available to works priced between $2.99 and $9.99. If I price my book at 99¢, I will only receive 35% of the proceeds of my work.
I’ve given up the idea of doing this for the money. There’s no advance in e-publishing, and there isn’t a marketing department at a major publishing house driving sales. My book is not going to pay my rent. If I’m lucky, it’ll keep me in coffee money from month to month. That said, 34¢ a book is a lot less than the 69¢ I was expecting. I have therefore decided to price my book at $2.99: The minimum that gets me the royalty my research told me to expect. I hope this doesn’t come across as overreaching. Some rough math says that every one sale I’m going to make at this new price will net me the equivalent of six sales at my original intention, and I can’t pass that up.
For anyone who made up their mind to humour me at 99¢, I’d like to make the plug that $2.99 is still a great price. I am an avid reader, and my favourite genre is historical fiction. I’ve weaved a great story through true events that very few people have ever heard of before. There isn’t another novel that covers the Inca this way, and when I’m done no one will lump the Inca in with the Aztecs and the Maya ever again. While it’s not fair to mention another author and say you’ve produced an equivalent work, my heroes are James Clavell, Gary Jennings, Colleen McCullough, Sharon Kay Penman, Bernard Cornwell, James Michener, Gore Vidal, Lindsay Davis, Wallace Breem, and Wilbur Smith for his first three decades of brilliant work. I have done my best to honour their precedent, and I’m proud of the book I’m offering for your enjoyment.
Inca includes a map, two glossaries, a prologue, eighteen chapters, an epilogue, and an historical note. If I had kept better track of my research resources my bibliography would easily exceed a hundred monographs both from the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library and from my own personal collection. I started this book in 2000, and I’ve been working on it in one way or another ever since. In the weeks and months to come you can look forward to essays on this blog that will further enhance the experience of reading this book.
It’s worth $2.99. In a hypothetical world where the publishing industry existed today as it was when I was a kid, my one-time agent would have found my book a home and it would have been available in bookstores for around $30 two years ago. Instead we find it here, and I’m just as comfortable asking for $2.99 as 99¢.
I look forward to sharing my work with you soon. It will cost a little more than I originally mentioned, but it will be a steal at thrice the price.