Earlier this month I uploaded a post asking the question as to how small a book could be. In it I discussed dabbling in looking at the process of KDP: Kindle Direct Publishing. In the space of an hour it is now possible for a person to upload an article, design a cover, and have it ready for public consumption via Amazon. In many ways, this is a self-publishing revolution, and provides more of a democratic voice to those who want to air their views and academic work. On the flip-side, it is also means that there is far more garbage on the internet than ever before. But it is a price worth paying.
Previously I toyed with the idea of uploading a collection of previous academic articles, but I found agreeing on a common theme difficult. I then considered uploading a single article, such as a more recent one about the siege of St. Michael’s Mount in 1473-74 which comprises an odd chapter in the wider history of the Wars of the Roses. However, I then developed cold feet with the idea of simply releasing 4,000 words as one “book” (but as the earlier post discussed, how small is a “book”?!). My thoughts – and attention – went on researching and writing a much more substantial history on the earls of Cornwall. A draft of this history is now complete, and my aim is to put it online via Amazon. But I had a hankering of toying with the process of actually putting an ebook up online.
And so, I’m back to the idea of the siege of St. Michael’s Mount. I spent a couple of hours figuring out the right file to upload (straight from Microsoft Word), added some account details, and then picked a cover that seemed suitable enough. And viola: here is an ebook:
The Oddity of the Siege at St. Michael’s Mount is an article that I wrote back in 2017 that outlines the attempt of the Earl of Oxford in capturing the Mount. He held it for a handful of months, before being retaken by the Yorkist regime. I initially chose this for an area of research because I hadn’t come across it before: it is, in many ways, a forgotten history. This appealed to me, and so the article was researched, written, and finished. But the ebook allows it to live on.
I’m happy to have gone through the process, especially because I’m looking at getting the more substantial history of the earls of Cornwall on Amazon by the end of the year. 99 pence is the lowest price I could possibly set: this gives 35% to the author, and the remainder to Amazon. However, if set above £1.99 the lion’s share then goes to the author, which is a beneficial arrangement to those who can sell their material. The digital revolution has led to greater autonomy for authors; hail the academic revolution!