Well, I can see why Faber and Faber went into publishing – it’s jolly exciting. (Actually, there was ever only one Faber, but he thought it sounded more respectable and reliable in the plural. Imagine the CDD questions. “But what about this other Faber chap?” “Well, that’s me as well.” “Ah.”) I have survived the nit-picking part of it, which consisted mainly of removing all the lovely formatting from my manuscript (note publisher’s term – it’s a Word document, but that doesn’t sound special enough) and making it as plain as possible. Apparently the conversion software that turns a manuscript in a .mobi file (for publication on the Kindle platform) takes exception to fancy fonts, and goes almost apoplectic at the sight of a tab mark. So I stripped poor Edward back to basics, and moved onto the fun part: uploading him to the Kindle publishing platform. (I chose Kindle as my first foray into e-publishing, as it’s reputed to be the simplest – if demand is there, I will gird my loins and attempt other platforms.)
I had my title and cover all ready (ask any author: they’ve had those in mind since the beginning), and all I really had to decide on was the price. I know, I know: Edward’s price, as a virtuous MLRO, is beyond rubies. But in the real world, where books are bought with money rather than rubies, I had to fix on something concrete. I had already decided to publish Edward’s adventures in serialised form. I have written twelve chapters so far (each of about 2,000 words), so it seemed sensible to have four parts of three chapters each. So, how much would a compliance keenie pay for 6,000 words detailing the adventures of an MLRO, which seek to illustrate the problems of the role and perhaps suggest some solutions? I decided to plunge in at £2. (Yes, I know I should go for £1.99 in the hope that readers will think it’s way cheaper than £2, but I like to think you’re smarter than that.) Interestingly, e-books are subject to VAT at 15%, so I had to factor that in, and the base currency for Kindle is the US dollar, which involved lots of conversions to get near to the £2.
And I am delighted to report that I have hit it on the nose! Yes, dear reader, my e-book is published! Click here to see it in glorious Technicolor™! I am now feverishly checking my Kindle “dashboard” to see how many copies are racing off the e-shelves (so far: 0). To be honest, I’m not expecting to retire on the proceeds. I have done this for two reasons: (a) I want to learn more about e-books and e-publishing, as it’s just so darned interesting, and (b) I think Edward deserves more friends. Readers of Money Laundering Bulletin tell me that they enjoy his company, and if his trials and tribulations help a real-life MLRO or compliance officer cope with a crisis, I will be so very, very pleased.