Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Indies, E-Books, and an Anthology Deal

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 27, 2014

TerraMechanicaCoverXchyler Publishing (pronounced “Skyler,” although they often just call themselves “The X“), is running a sale this week in honor of hitting 1700 likes on their Facebook page. And also in honor (or so I want to think) of the release of Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology, which contains my short story “Dots, Dashes, and Deceit.”

The Kindle editions of all of their older short-story anthologies are on sale this week for only $0.99!

Some of the authors from these previous books also appear in Terra Mechanica. My favorite – the one where I actually “discovered” Xchyler books – is Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology. That book contains a number of spiritual sequels, prequels, retellings, and spin-off stories based on classic literature of the Regency and Victorian eras — with a steampunk twist! You can find out what really happened to turn Ebeneezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley into the men that they were, or learn Victor Frankenstein’s wife’s dark secret, or what was really going on between Edward Rochester and his crazy wife. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. But hey, isn’t that what steampunk is supposed to be about?

Now, these are all Kindle editions – not the paperbacks. I was a little slow to adapt to e-books. After all, it took me a while to go “mobile,” with a tablet and smartphone. But when I finally got a tablet, one of the first apps I got for it was the Kindle App. I figured that if nothing else, this device took up less room in my luggage than several paperbacks. If I could only get used to reading on a mobile device instead of paper…

I still love paper, but several books later, I’m hooked. It’s a little dangerous to my wallet, though, as it’s incredibly easy to simply buy a book online and have it almost instantly delivered to my device, or to read it on my desktop. It probably helped that I found some great books to start with.

One of the things that made me delay as long as I did was the price of e-books. Several years ago, when e-books were still just ‘catching on’, I noticed that the price for e-books from most major publishers was very similar to that of the physical edition. What the heck? I don’t know about you, but I still kinda consider the physical version to be a superior version. The content (the important part) is combined with the medium in one package, whereas the digital e-book versions are just the content. It’s reliable technology. I have a few books in my library that were printed before I was born, and they still work just fine – all you need is a light source. I don’t have to worry about my books disappearing one day because the seller went out of business and I decided to upgrade my bookshelves.

Granted, there are some advantages to the e-book format, too, which I’m finding. But still – I thought it was stupid. I had a friend explain to me that for the major publishing companies, who own the printing presses and have optimized the ever-living crap out of the traditional print process, the cost to print and distribute physical book copies represents only pennies of the price. Most of the cost of a book is in the fixed, up-front costs: editing, marketing, design, layout, overhead, etc.  So – there’s really not much savings for the publisher for the digital version – they are really only saving pennies, and are passing the lack-of-savings on to you.

However – with the rise of the indie publisher (and, of course, self-publishing) – cue heroic music – that’s changed to the point where it makes sense. The indies are operating with a much lower overhead and budget — but they have a lot higher printing costs. That means that, in general, the indies are only able to sell the paperback, physical copies of books for around the same price as the big, legacy publishers.  But they can – and often will, but not always – offer a very reasonable price for their e-books.

And they can sometimes do what they are doing this week, and offer major sales even from there. Viva la indie!

Have fun!


Filed Under: Books, Deals - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Ottomobiehl said,

    I went ahead and bought it for my Kindle too. I have a Paper White and I like it that way. More “book-like”. I have to agree that it is dangerous for the wallet but I do dig reading so it’s worth it.

    I’ll try to get a review on Amazon in the next week or so after I finish reading it.


  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Heh – yeah, TM:SA is new, so it’s not part of the sale, but $4.99 is plenty reasonable. We haven’t “officially” launched the book yet – that’s Saturday – but it’s technically up at Amazon and selling. Also at other sites too, I think… Barnes & Noble, for sure… Smashwords… not sure where else.

    I guess since I’m between game releases, this will have to do. At least it won’t take 30 hours to read my short story… 🙂

  • McTeddy said,

    Oh I see how it is.

    We don’t get our Frayed Knights 2 because you are too busy being a writer! At least now we know where your priorities lie… *Sniffle*

    Congratulations. I’ll probably pick up soon-ish. Not much of a steampunk fan, but supporting the coyote’s new writing career seems admirable.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I wish I could tell you that writing had zero impact on FK2 development. But it’d be a lie. Especially this month. What I *can* say, however, is that I’ve greatly improved my writing skills over the last few months, which I hope will translate to improvements in FK2’s story.

    That really was my thought process last summer. “Maybe I should do this and get some better practice at this writing thing. Get some good criticism. Get an idea for what I could do better with my games.” I have received that in spades, so … yay.

    I do intend to keep working on both. My big task in front of me now is: How do I improve my productivity from here?

  • McTeddy said,

    Quit your day job!

    On second thought, that might not be the wisest course of action.