Saturday, 14 June 2014

I am the Great Horse - the serial

My Alexander the Great novel I am the Great Horse just refuses to lie down!

If you're already a fan of Bucephalas' account of Alexander the Great's conquests, this probably won't surprise you very much. But for those who have not come across this book yet, all you need to know at this stage is that it's a lo-o-o-ng story (over 150,000 words), and proved difficult to market on its original children's list, eventually finding a readership across all generations, particularly readers with an interest in horses. (If you want to know more, there's a series of past posts you can explore by clicking the "I am the Great Horse" tab at the top of this blog.)

The book is currently out of print, but is available as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and from Apple itunes. You might also still be able to find secondhand copies of the original print edition in both hardcover and paperback - though, be warned, these can be pricey!

So far so good. I'm delighted that the cost-effective publication of ebooks has enabled me to keep this novel alive, and also delighted to report that it is currently my best-seller in digital format. But the complete ebook edition is probably more of an adult read than a children's book, so this year I am making the book available in serial format for younger readers who might not know as much of the background history.

The first part Prince of Macedonia has just been been released for Kindle (it will be available through other ebook channels too from October, and possibly as print on demand).


In this title, the bold black stallion Bucephalas arrives in Macedonia with a shipload of horses intended for King Philip's army, but is so wild that none of the king's horsemen can stay on his back. The king orders him taken away in disgrace. But the 12-year old Prince Alexander bets his father he can ride the great horse... Alexander not only tames Bucephalas, he then rides him to victory in his debut battle on the Thracian border. In this episode, you'll also meet Bucephalas' groom, Charmeia, who pretends to be a boy so that she can look after the big stallion all the other grooms are afraid to touch.

The book includes bite-sized historical facts at the end of each chapter, plus a bonus story by Petasios - the mount of Alexander's best friend Hephaestion, who accompanied him to the edge of the world.

I carried Alexander's friend Hephaestion all the way to India!
Part 2 "Treachery at Thebes" is due out later this month, where Bucephalas recounts what happens when Alexander becomes king after his father is assassinated and the Greeks rebel.

There will be ten episodes to collect altogether. Each title in the serial will be around 15,000 words, and I'm aiming to get them all out by Christmas, so wish me luck...

2 comments:

Susan Price said...

Great idea, to put Great Horse out as a serial for younger readers.
It is a fantastic book.

Katherine Roberts said...

Thank you, Sue! I think they would work quite well in print as illustrated titles, but for now ebooks are the only cost-effective way for me to publish them. The advantage is that they are easy to update, so I might add some detailed maps when I have the time to do some more painting...

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