Sunday was a happy day at Storm’s Gate when Mysticarium went live through Kindle Direct Publishing.
So, here’s the blurb:
Necromancy? Not in my graveyard.
When the big business of the Mysticarium changes technophobe Edlud’s town beyond recognition, he takes the fight to the witches and wizards responsible. Stretching the boundaries of reasonable action, Edlud enlists the help of his hippie brother-in-law, Lentil, to sabotage the Mysticarium’s grand creation, the Large Hag Collider.
Edlud battles through elementals, zombies and bureaucracy to restore his home, but are his efforts enough to stop the wheels of progress?
Mysticarium is a humorous fantasy novelette, a riotous exploration of modern business meeting irrational resistance in a magical fantasy world.
My writing group described it as a bit like Terry Pratchett and a bit like Douglas Adams. Heady praise as they’re two of my favourite authors. If I had half the genius of either, that would be something.
So, why the Kindle Direct route? Essentially, I wanted to try out the publishing process to better understand what’s involved. Since a much earlier version of Mysticarium had been online before, I couldn’t offer first-publishing rights to a traditional publisher so it became the ideal test piece.
Publishing Through Kindle
After mentioning on Twitter that it’s available, I had some questions regarding how to go about publishing on Kindle. It turns out to be a doddle.
I already had a finished manuscript to play with when I decided to try it out and, having commissioned illustrators before, I knew that getting cover art would be the longest lead time. That in mind, I headed over to DeviantArt and checked out the classifieds to see who was available. The great thing about that site is you can browse through the artist’s portfolio to see if you like their style. I knew I wanted something animated and fantastical so I commissioned the talented Renan Moraes. He came up with this:
The process of going from manuscript to eBook was straightforward enough. Amazon have a few contracts for you to sign – check what rights you are giving away here. Since Mysticarium is a novelette, and therefore short, I was happy to give exclusivity to Kindle and enrol it in the Select programme. That lets subscribers read it for free and the author receives royalties based on the number of readers. Again, as it’s short, I priced it at the lowest level possible of £0.99 which qualified me for the 35% royalties level. To get 70% royalties, the minimum price is £1.99 which struck me as a bit steep for something so short.
Formatting took next to no intervention when converting to eBook. I wrote the manuscript on Google Docs, using the Paragraph menu to deal with the formatting. When happy, I downloaded it as a .docx and uploaded to Amazon where it was converted to .mobi. It looked pretty good on the online preview but I sent the converted file to my own Kindle to check it. All was good so I got the cover image uploaded and pressed on through the process.
There really wasn’t much more to it than that. Within a couple of hours, Mysticarium was available to buy. In total, it was probably under an hour of effort to go through the publishing process.
I have a few projects in the pipeline. If Mysticarium is well received, I shall certainly write more in that setting as the notepad is already fit to bursting with story ideas around it. Most of my writing effort is going into the planning stages of a standalone adventure fantasy novel aimed at a younger audience (about 8+). I have some short stories and world building going on in my Fallen Times fantasy setting and I’ll sometimes dip into a Warhammer 40k story based on the Salamanders. I’m not under commission for that one – it’s all unofficial and just for fun, plus it gives me some more experience writing in that setting should the nice people at the Black Library ever want to speak to me! I’ve not long finished writing an Age of Sigmar novel starring the Knights of the Aurora Stormcast Eternals and had a blast doing it so would certainly do more.
Hopefully that’s been either mildly interesting or given some insight into the self publishing process. If you liked the sound of Mystcarium, you can get it for your Kindle here.