[Turn page to The Legends Art Gallery]

[page back to epilog]

Here ends the first book of The Fall of the Atlantean Empire! I've had a lot of fun writing this novel -- and I've learned a lot, which I'm about to share with you. There are two more novels to finish out the whole project, and readers who're enjoying this will be asking, where are they, when will they be available?

To answer this, we have to go right back to the beginning of what was, and is, an experiment!

I set up Legends fully "monetized," to see if readers would be supportive enough of this novel for it to earn some decent funds through the medium of advertising. There's a $1 PayPal donation button; there's Google ads that could be clicked by a reader who spied something interesting; there's links through to for any kind of shopping you can imagine, including your groceries. There's software that's been thoroughly test-driven by either myself or my associates at DreamCraft. And there are Amazon buttons where readers could actually invest in a book!

In other ways, loads of ways for readers to support Legends, making it financially feasible for Keegan to keep up with it, as a free online gay novel.

So, to what extent are readers supporting this?

Well, it's been two months since the first segments went up, and I can tell you, in eight weeks we've had about 8,000 page loads -- about 60 regular readers, in countries as diverse as the US, UK, Aus, NZ, Japan, Poland, Norway, China, Russia, Canada, Germany, Brazil ... and lots more. We get visitors sent to us by my own blogs and sites, plus those of Aricia Gavriel, plus Live Journal, and WebFictionGuide, Aarin Fantasy, and Online Novels. (In the months to come, I'll be working to expand the number of places that link to Legends; but to come this far in eight weeks is pretty darned good.)

But have readers supported the concept of "free fiction that pays for itself via the advertising?"

Yes and no. If I were waiting for clicks on the $1 PayPal donation button, I'd have been rather perturbed. We had 7 such clicks, three of which came from the same person, who understood perfectly how this was supposed to work ... and I'm very grateful for this. Thank you muchly -- you know who you are! We had around 100 clicks on Google Ads, of which Ma Goog allowed only about 50% to go through as "valid clicks," and these paid anywhere from .01c each to 35c each, raising about $25 total, over the eight weeks. Half a dozen people went shopping at Amazon, starting from the Legends page, with purchases providing about another $12.

And four Mel Keegan paperbacks were purchased from Amazon, directly from the Legends page, which is obviously where the author makes the most handsome sum. Thanks, guys ... this was great.

So, incomes via the advertising parked on Legends is a bit thin on the ground, but --

I can also tell you that in the two months since the novel started going up serially, there's been an astonishing "uptick" in sales across the board. Everything has been selling regularly, and well, at Payloadz and Kindle, at Amazon and Lulu. So it would be absolutely true to say that Legends has worked wonders for Keegan's overall bread-and-butter.

Not only this, but so far, over 100 people have checked out my "landing page," which is fantastic. The landing page is the "Who the hell is Mel?" page, designed for folks who have absolutely no idea who Keegan is. So, through Legends, there's 100 potential customers out there who know who MK is now. This also is terrific. You'd happily pay a hundred bucks for this kind of exposure!

The feedback on the format in which this novel was published as been varied indeed:

  • 25% of people were blissfully happy to swing by every day or few days, and get a free hit.
  • 25% of readers said, "I can't read this in bits -- tell me when it's finished, I'll download it all together."
  • 10% of readers said, "I can't read this much on screen. Tell me when a paperback comes out, I'd be happy to buy it."
  • 10% said, "I don't have the time to deal with little bits of reading. I want a properly formatted ebook, even if you charge for it."
  • 15% of readers said, "I like the concept of a free serial novel, but I don't care for fantasy. Tell me when you bring out an SF or thriller novel."
  • 10% of readers said, "I like ebooks, but I can't stand serials (I hate cliffhangers). Tell me when the whole thing's finished.
  • 5% of readers said, "I like fantasy, and serials are okay. but I like my gay fantasy red-hot sexy. Can I get an uncut version of Legends? Would be happy to pay for an ebook.
It's great to have some firm data. So we're doing a newsletter this afternoon, informing people that (drum roll)...
  • the first book of the trilogy is finished (download it all of a piece, if this is what you needed);
  • and a properly structured ebook is being prepared;
  • there can also be a Legends Uncut version, for those who wanted this;
  • and a stunning cover is being put around this novel; it'll be available as a paperback in a few weeks.

This seems to cover everything, and leaves everyone happy.

So, one question remains: when and how will the rest of the trilogy be done?!

At the moment, advertising incomes off the Legends pages won't support the investment of time in the project. This can change at a moment's notice, if word of the novel spreads and readers cotton on to how it's supposed to work. So, at the moment Legends is going onto hiatus while Keegan finishes out the whole Hellgate series. Done by Christmas 2009 -- and that's a firm date. DreamCraft is waiting for the books; their "appointment with design destiny" is Nov/Dec this year. So I need to commit to the project and get it done. Then --

2010: Legends will be finished too.

Will it be done as a free upload?

This depends entirely on how cooperative readers are. A few readers have been thoughtful; most have swung through, downloaded 60 posts of free fiction as fast as the pages would load and save, and zapped out without leaving a "thank you." This can change -- and if it does, I would be very happy to upload Books II and III in the same format as this work.

On the other hand, if 85% of readers aren't even going to say "thanks," I'll zip the novels into ebooks and park the "buy now" buttons on the bottom of the last page of Legends as it exists at this moment. If readers want the rest -- hey, shout me a few dollars. The books can be done as a "web special" for folks who've read the first novel online ... say, a $3 pricetag, which is a nice bonus, since the Kindle (etc.) price would have to be several times higher.

And of course, for those readers who are virtually allergic to ebooks (and you might not believe how many such people there are!) there will be paperbacks with glorious jackets.

So: Legends is on hiatus for '09, while Keegan finishes Hellgate. Look for the rest in early-mid 2010; and with any luck there'll be an upturn in the ad patronage this page receives ... meaning, I'll be able to upload the rest free, too. That would be nice.

Oh, last word here: quite a few readers said they liked the concept, could live with serial fiction, but were not partial to fantasy. Would I be interested in doing another novel this way, on an SF, thriller, or SF-thriller topic? Yes, I would. And it could easily be Crystal Genesis.

As the saying goes, stay tuned! (Be on my mailing list, and we'll keep you posted.)

Cheers to all,
Mel Keegan
Adelaide, April 2009

Turn page to The Legends Art Gallery...

Return to the Start of the book...

About Legends...

This story has its roots in the 1980s. About the time I signed with GMP, I was kicking around the idea for a massive novel -- the problem being, I had no time to develop it. At the time, one of my "literary friends" was Lane Ingram, who passed away some years ago. When Lane volunteered to develop the narrative from my storyline, I was surprised and very agreeable; and a version of it was circulated on a small scale, to a very appreciative audience!

Lane had no aspirations to be a professional novelist, which meant writing was fun, and remained fun, while I did battle with "style" and "technique." And then one day Lane was gone, without leaving much of anything to mark the place in the world which had once bee occupied by an individual who was large in every sense of the word.

Let's change that. I'm bringing LEGENDS "to the screen" in a form which preserves as much of Lane's input as I possibly can, while at the same time properly developing it, bringing it up to full professional standard ... cutting and trimming, correcting the errant, though enthusiastic, amateur ... polishing it to the professional sparkle you've come to expect from Mel Keegan.

LEGENDS will be Lane's memorial. Here's to you, kiddo, wherever you are: enjoy.

Ebook screenreaders:

Downloading LEGENDS and reading from the computer screen? Join the club! Most people are stuck in the same situation ... and it's a right-royal pain. At this time, MK also is still trying to make the transition to one of the ebook screenreaders. The price of most of them is still high, but in the course of shopping around, Mel has found two that are coming under extremely close scrutiny. The Bebook and the Sony look like being the best deals at this time. In due course, we'll be reviewing them right here. Mel Keegan has decided it's going to be one of these two -- but they're very comparable, so ... take your pick. Either one would be perfect for reading LEGENDS, or other digital novels.

Aricia's Gay Book Shoppe

Aricia's Gay Book Shoppe
Every title hand picked, many of them already reviewed AG's Gay Book Blog -- hundreds of books and movies spanning a couple of decades, celebrating gay publishing and filmmaking!


The art appearing on this site, illustrating elements of this novel, is by Jade, my cover artist from DreamCraft.

Soon you'll be able to order prints, treeshirts, mugs, mousepads and a lot more, featuring this artwork and manufactured in the US by

The portfolio is still growing, and a gallery is online. Return to this page now and then to see new addition...

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The NARC novels are now at Amazon!

Research Tales

A great deal of research for this novel was done, and subjects Atlantean most often begun with a study of the Trojan wars.

Why? Because the iLiad is one of the very oldest bodies of writing which is also extensive enough to be useful. The problem with the iLiad is -- unless you're fluent in Ancient Green (and who is?) you'll be working from the translations ... and the "disagreement" between them is counfounding for one who's not a Homerian scholar!

The solution? Track down a book that translates the translations -- gets them out of the rich, ripe, flowery language of poetry and into a solid historical context. And in this, MK lucked out. Such a book exists: The Trojan War by Barry Strauss. It reads like a novel, and if you wanted something to get your teeth into ... perhaps after watching the movie, Troy, or after reading Legends -- this is the book you've been looking for.

There's another very scholarly work, The Flood From Heaven by Eberhard Zanger, which "deciphers the evidence" and places Atlantis at Troy! Now, Legends is about five thousand miles from Zanger's work (literally -- due west!) but having said that, Zanger is to Plato what Strauss is to Homer, and the work was extremely helpful.

Now, working even further back through time, you want a "scholar" (and note the quotation marks on that word) who spent a lifetime researching (ouch!) Atlantis. And again, MK lucked out, because there is such a man. A very brilliant man by the name of Ignatius Donnelly, whose "pop-science" book, dating from 1882, is still in print today, in several editions! It's thorough, it's astonishing, and it makes ... quite a case for Atlantis. Not that anyone believes in such things. Right?

There are also some good documentaries on DVD, if this is altogether far too much reading!

And of course, if you want to get into the spirit of the thing (!) you can always put on Troy and let Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and company provide the inspiration! Speaking of which, have you seen the director's cut? Highly recommended.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Legends is copyright 2009 by Mel Keegan. Please do download the whole novel, which is in HTML format, compatible with your screenreader, PC or Mac. However ... please don't gift it to your friends. Instead, give them the url of this page and recommend that they download it for themselves. The reason is simple: author's income is earned via the adverting on these pages. If they're not loaded, nothing is earned. MK has bills to pay too, and for your cooperation ... thank you kindly!

Note that Legends is NOT covered by the "Creative Commons." This work is the intellectual property of Mel Keegan. If you would like to use parts of it elsewhere, please contact MK via this blog.

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