(All Hail) Creation · Books · dragonnovel

Psst, Paperback Edition of The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes Available Now!

Surprise! My baby is now available in corporeal form. A few weeks ago I asked on social media how people feel about audiobooks versus physical books (you guys were unanimous, physical it is). I’ve been wanting to test the waters for a print copy for a while, not least because my Ultimate Dream is to have a iridescent, map-on-the-front-pages, probably-linen-bound hardcover. With a little ribbon for keeping your place. You know the type of book I mean: the type that is a work of art.

Anyway, those are expensive and since I’m self published, I’d have to figure out some sort of pre-order system to gauge demand before committing to a print run. I don’t fancy being stuck with books I can’t sell, even if they are linen bound with a ribbon. So I thought, let’s do the smart thing and have a sort of soft opening using Amazon’s print on demand system.

I’m pretty sure I’ve bitched about Amazon on here before, but if I haven’t: it’s an unholy trinity of bad packaging, ethically questionable business processes and is at least partially responsible for the devaluation of the book industry.

Unfortunately for the high street but fortunately for my bank balance, Amazon does print on demand really well. It took me about half an hour to upload my files, less than 72 hours for Amazon to check the details and tah-dahhh. You can now order a paperback of the world’s best YA fairy tale. It cost me zero pounds, because I downloaded a Photoshop trial to design a back cover and spine. The book is priced exactly as the ebook at £7.99 (well, it is until Bezos discounts it to 89p). I will make about £2 on each copy, assuming they sell at full price, so I need to sell about a thousand copies to afford a posh hardback. Less if I’m willing to put all the money toward the hardback, but I’m quite invested in earning a wage. This is probably a good time to mention that after 11.5 years of blogging, I’ve joined the Amazon Affiliate programme with the strict goal of scraping every last penny from this paperback as I can… the links in this post are all affiliated. I think a lot of you would have to click and buy for me to hit the minimum payment threshold of £25, though, ha.

Anyway, I am already in profit, because a few members of the No. 1 Readers’ Club have bought some copies (this is why you should join the No. 1 Readers’ Club). I haven’t forgotten about doing a quarterly income round up, by the way! The last quarter ended a few weeks ago but I have diploma work to finish, so I’ll probably get the post done in a month or so. My ebook royalties aren’t in, so it’ll be a short post.

As with the ebook, I’ll be paying it forward with three copies: if you or someone you know wants a copy but cannot afford it, hit me up and I’ll order you a copy to to your mailing address. I’m also doing a giveaway right here on this very blog! To win a signed copy of The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes, comment on this post and tell me your favourite fairy tale or folk tale. Mine changes all the time, but Femlore Pod recently did an episode on Lieutenant Nun, who is fascinating. The contest ends on 30th April at 11:59pm BST, it’s open internationally, and I’ll pick a winner at random the next day.

Oh, one last thing:

If and when a hardcover run becomes a reality, I may pull this particular paperback. Ideally, one day I’d like this book to have a permanent home with a publishing house that can do hardcover, paperback, audiobook et al and handle all the logistics (and ensure that Amazon is not the only paperback retailer). That would mean a different ISBN, different blurb and spine and whatnot. So there’s a distinct possibility that in twenty years’ time, this particular Amazon offering will be like first printings of MCR’s first record: rare and sold on eBay for inflated prices. That’s actually already happening to an extent; the book’s been live for a week and someone’s already selling ‘used’ copies at a premium. What they’re actually doing is drop shipping: buying new copies and sending them straight to the customer, because they are [censored because it’s too rude even for this blog]. Anyway, if you’d like to be a part of history, just saying, the book is here.

ebook and paperback mockup for 'The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes' by Francesca Astraea
Much love to my cousin Ellen for taking The Princess and the Dragon‘s first ever shelfie!

Want to support this blog and/or enjoy exclusive access to stories and chatter from me? Join the No. 1 Reader’s Club on Patreon! Alternatively, use the button below for one-off support of as much or as little as you’d like (if you’d prefer, you can use PayPal or Ko-fi). If you’re into fairy tales and/or want a brief respite from reality, you can also buy my bookThe Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes, from most ebook retailers and as a paperback from Amazon. (That link’s an affiliate. Gotta scrape every penny from Bezos, you know?)


11 thoughts on “Psst, Paperback Edition of The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes Available Now!

  1. I would LOVE to see this in a swish luxury hard back!

    One of my favourite fairy tales is heckingly obscure, and involves a soldier watching a group of princesses each night to try and work out why they’re always exhausted, and it involves a magic door, sleep dancing, ruined shoes, and is just one of the many earlier stories which used to be collected alongside Snow White etc, but fell out of fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Twelve Dancing Princesses? Yesss I remember reading it as a child! I loved that the princesses just wanted to go for a dance. I think Femlore Pod did an episode on them. I think the princesses are the Cyndi Laupers of their day.

      (Okay we’re at, like, four votes for a fancy hardback. RRP at those numbers is at £128.99 but we’ll regroup in a few months and reassess.)


  2. Letting me win that competition, would be a bad deal for you, since shipping is crazy expensive, but I’ll tell you my favorite fairytale anyway: it’s a Norwegian one, called
    Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon, and it’s about a bear that’s actually a prince, and the pictures painted for it is by a Norwegian painter who lived close to my parents cabin, and they are so so beautiful!! You should google them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am Googling RIGHT NOW

      I have Googled. What a ride! It reminds me a bit of Cupid and Psyche, and Psyche isn’t allowed to look at Cupid but she does and it all goes to hell. The photos I’ve see are so lovely. I feel like central and northern Europe are very much the heartlands of the ‘traditional western, Disney-fied’ fairy tale. You’re so lucky to have a connection with the artist!

      (As you’re currently the only entrant I can’t say that you won’t win but for the record, I am glad you entered anyway, postage be damned.)


      1. YES. Is it bad that the first thing I think of when someone says Pinocchio is that bit in Shrek 2 when he lies about wearing lingerie?



        1. I don’t know if it counts but definitely Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are my favourite, I can read those books one hounded times and I won’t be tired of it


          1. I reckon they count. I mean, maybe not technically, but they’ve spawned enough lore of their own so for the purposes of this Very Official competition… they count.


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