Category Archives: Anthropology

Apprenticeship: official launch of a new ebook

Having released my new ebook on August 29, and spent much of the last month patching and tweaking, I’m now happy with it – so consider this an official launch.

The book is available on Amazon as an ebook: here. Amazon gives me the opportunity to offer a print version, which I am considering. Many people do not read ebooks; but I worry about the quality of a self-published print book.

Here is a snapshot of my books on my Amazon author page. 

The last, of which I am a co-author, is a terrible book full of academic essays that should never have seen the light of day. But my two books on J.R.R. Tolkien contain scholarship of a higher quality even than my old Cambridge University Press book on the economist Alfred Marshall. Compare prices and you will see the benefits of turning from traditional publishers to self-published ebooks!

The prices for the two Tolkien books are now out of date because when I took this screenshot I was in the process of revising the units – the numbers stay the same, but I switched the unit from the Yankee Dollar to my native Great British Pound.

Of the cover price I am supposed to receive 70%. That is a large cut to Amazon for simply hosting, and yet such terms are massively more generous than anything found in the world of traditional publishing. In theory, writing these ebooks could fund my research, serving in place of a Patreon or other social media fund-raising campaign. However, this would require sales greater than the current average of 1 sale (of either ebook) every few weeks.

You may consider this post an official marketing campaign. But if it is not clear already, I’ll spell out that my experience launching the earlier ebook convinced me not to waste any time with marketing campaigns. By now I have worked out (see previous ‘index’ posts on this blog) that my scholarly approach to Tolkien rubs against the illusion fostered by Tolkien’s fantasy, and as such offers insights that most people who like Tolkien’s stories do not wish to receive.

Still, some people share my interests and obsessions. Like this blog, the ebooks are available, and if they are your cup of tea and you purchase one – well, beyond surprise, all I can express is a hope that reading it will blow your mind.