I am still generally circumspect about self-publishing, however. Book by book, all other issues excluded, the terms of sales royalties might be more advantageous for self-publishers than those meagre percentages offered in standard contracts by publishing houses. But publishers give an author many other things besides royalty agreements: expertise and experience; advances on proposed books; the support of often massive and longstanding institutions who will strengthen a book’s success through editing, scheduling, advertising, marketing, press tours and the placing of review copies; controlled and supported career longevity through carefully negotiated multiple book deals; promotion and representation in bookshops, the media (from submissions to Radio 4’s Book of the Week to serialisation rights in newspapers) and on Amazon; an international network of established contacts and colleagues including an author’s agent and various foreign and translation rights holders – and much more.
They had passed towns and villages of mice and voles, the boating communities in the brooks and streams, the bats and birds working the telegraph service, the tunnels that led to the underground cities of what Kyrie referred to darkly as ‘the dogs’ but which Greta understood to mean foxes and badgers. When asked this, Kyrie had just spat and said how all dogs were just one big pain to her.
In a great, fun passage the warrior cat Kyrie Mi-ke recounts her adventures from sub-continental jungles to African plains to New York and Hollywood via the neon of Tokyo. The final word goes to this finest of felines:
Kyrie smiled and bowed her beautiful head. “Your Highness. A good warrior always knows when to return to her land.”