On Smashwords, on Read an Ebook Week (March 3 through 9), most of my books will be on sale at half-price. The rest will be free. What are you waiting for?
I would very much appreciate a few more reviews for Balance of Powers – while I realise that it is not the world’s greatest novel, and will never be in the running for a literary prize, there are still elements of the book that really pleased me when I re-read it recently. I find it hard to believe I’m the only one who likes it.
If you haven’t read it already, and wonder what a house for sale notice has to do with a thriller featuring a Colt 45 on the cover, read on …
From an article that was highlighted in an email newsletter I received from an editing service where I am registered as an editor:
Sensitivity readers review unpublished manuscripts with the express purpose of spotting cultural inaccuracies, representation issues, bias, stereotypes, or problematic language.
Seriously, do we need this?
Oops! Naughty me. Just discovered that I was meant to give a copy of all my books to the British Library within a month of their publication. Haven’t done that.
Wonder if they will adopt the Basil Fawlty method of dealing with recalcitrant publishers and cars?
So that’s actually 25 titles in hard copy format to go off (I can dropship them from the printers), and I must then look at what to do with the ebook-only titles.
This is one of my favourite books from the point of view of the physical design of the book. Originally, it was two separate paperback volumes, The Untime and The Untime Revisited (both of which are still available as ebooks – check them out here), but I decided to combine them into one print volume, since one is a very clear sequel to the other.
I had some designs which I’d used for the cover of the original, but I preferred to take a completely different tack on this, and to try to recreate the feeling of a 19th-century book using 21st century technology. Steampunk publishing, if you will. Continue reading “Making a steampunk book…”
Last year, our local writing group, the Lichfield Writers, decided to create a joint project for the second successive year and and The Lichfield Jigsaw Murders is now available. This book proved to be very interesting, not just in the writing stage, but also in the editing phases of production. I learned quite a lot about editing from this exercise. Continue reading “Working with others…”
I’m reprinting my Tokyo thriller, At the Sharpe End (it’s available as an ebook already). Strangely, my first two books (Beneath Gray Skies is the other) are the last ones that I have republished in print, following the demise of Inknbeans Press.
The book is about technocrime, fintech, and spies and agents insinuating their way into the lives of a very ordinary British expat scratching a living in Tokyo. It’s a little far-fetched in places, but there are some rather interesting predictions and coincidences in there.
However, looking through the text to reprint it, I’m still quite pleased with the adventures of the eponymous hero, Kenneth Sharpe. Tokyo is a strange place to live, and strange things do happen to those who choose to live and work there. I’m not saying that the exact interactions and events that happened to Sharpe also happened to me, but strange and bizarre things have happened in the past.
It was just over a year ago (in fact, it was about 1:30am on Christmas morning 2017) that I read an email from a friend informing me that my publisher, editor, and friend, Jo Lowe of Inknbeans Press, had died.
The news was not totally unexpected, but it hit me hard, and Christmas last year was very much a matter of smiling on the outside and grieving on the inside. Since then, I have had to pick up the pieces, not only of my emotional life (for I, like all who knew her, I think, was more than a little in love with this lady whom most of us had never met in person), but of my life as a writer.
Because piranhas live in the Amazon.
I’m looking for a way to sell more directly to you, my readers, and I think I’ve found the way to do it. If you have £1.41 to spend (this is the same price as Amazon), you may care to try my Tales of Old Japanese.
After my review of one of M.C.Beaton’s books, in which I basically trashed the story, the editing, and the characterisation, I read other reviews of the book on Amazon and discovered that Dead Ringer was atypical. So, being the generous soul that I am, I decided to try again.
…that is, if you live in or near Sutton Coldfield. I went to Waterstone’s today with some books, and talked to the manager about the possibility of doing a signing or reading event there. He seemed quite interested, and I left him with the Adventures of Sherlock Ferret, a Lichfield Murder, and two of Jim McGrath’s Collins and Clark Mysteries: A Death in Winter: 1963 and A Death in Summer: 1965.
If anything happens before Christmas, it’s likely to be ferret-related, but Jim and I may get a shot at a joint presentation in the New Year.
Watch this space.
As someone who has been asked to provide reviews of others’ books (and has sometimes failed to provide them – mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa), and also as someone who writes books and welcomes reviews, this is a subject about which I have opinions.
When I published my first book, Beneath Gray Skies, I was convinced, as are all new authors, that I had written a masterpiece, and that the hundreds of positive four- and five-star reviews it would garner would send it to the top of the best-seller lists.
By the way, this old promotional video uses an old URL – this site is now the place to be!
Continue reading “Do reviews matter?”