Anthology 11

Should I call it ‘Legiron’s 11’ I wonder? Or maybe just ‘Quarantine’. I’m really just getting into the editing after the events of the past month or so. Just to add to the mix, my uncle (Dad’s brother) has been diagnosed with cancer. It hasn’t spread, so normally it could be excised, but it’s a big operation and the risk of catching the Coronavirus in hospital is pretty high. So he has to endure radiotherapy.

I have to get back to real life. We’re going to be locked down until the end of April at least. Lifting the restrictions too soon will just make the thing surge again. I’m still seeing ‘oh but the flu kills more people’ coming up online and yes, it (so far) does. But it is not about the kill rate.

I don’t know if this is an escaped bioweapon, but if it is, it’s a good one. The kill rate is just enough to be scary, but its real damage is to infrastructure. You can be spreading it for up to 14 days before you know you have it. Everyone you infect will do the same. Unlike flu, which does hospitalise and kill a lot of people over a period of months, this one can lead to a massive surge in hospitalisations in a week. So businesses are shut down and everyone is scared of each other. People are afraid to leave their homes. Economies collapse, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. It’s the perfect Blind Assassin.

It still could have arisen by chance, but I think China is going to suffer for this either way.

My uncle cannot now get that surgery because of the virus. Many, many others cannot get treatment for a wide range of other illnesses because of the virus. All GP surgeries are closed here, this is no time to get sick with anything at all. You will not be listed as being killed by the virus but you may well die as a result of its existence.

Forget the bloody kill rate of the virus. It is much more serious than just some body bag numbers. If it spikes like in Italy, you won’t get treatment for anything at all because if you have an underlying condition this thing could finish you off.

Take it seriously. It is not a hoax. It is not a game. It is not, in itself, a power grab although every vested interest out there is using it to try for one. It probably won’t kill you. 80% of cases don’t even need to go to hospital. But if you’re involved in an accident or have a stroke or heart attack, the fast response you need is not going to be available – and that may very well kill you.

But back to the point. I am getting myself motivated again. The official closing date for Anthology 11 is Tuesday and I have enough stories in to make it worthwhile – and there is still time for more. I will have to check with authors that I have received everything they sent and haven’t lost anything because of the chaos in February and March. Publication is still set for mid April.

I have also reduced the price of all 10 anthologies to 99p/99 cents. Just waiting for Amazon to update them all before spreading the word. Parity is because the pound is low against the dollar and the remaining difference is removed because the UK has a tax on eBooks while the USA doesn’t. Non-US prices might change, but 99-cents is the base price. They will stay that way throughout lockdown.

I will price the next one the same, even though at £12 per story it’s going to leave quite a hole to fill. There’s no point trying to break even on these when everyone has all the time in the world to read books but no money to buy them. If it gets the Leg Iron Books site noticed and sells some of the other authors’ books too, it’s worth it.

There is, still, the omnibus edition of last year’s anthologies. I’ll still do it but while the originals are 99p it really doesn’t make much difference. So that’s not a priority.

I’m considering doing the same for my own eBooks. It won’t make me any money but it might get the books noticed. If any of the other authors are reading, would you consider it too? I’m not dropping any prices without author consent.

I cannot cut prices on print books. Those are already to the bone. I can cut them on eBooks but it does mean pennies per eBook for any author who agrees to it. It would be until the end of lockdown, likely to be until the summer the way things are looking. I will contact all the authors who don’t respond here over the next week and see how they feel about it.

Back to work. It’s not like I can do much else, is it?

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