Monthly Archives June 2011

Smashwords – an update

June 29, 2011 SmashwordsThe Docks

After a brief email exchange, I got a note saying that Smashwords have updated meatgrinder. I retried my file (the same one I'd submitted already) and it went through, validating correctly in epub. No more added navigation links or NCX problems. This morning I was told it had gone into the premium distribution catalogue.The Docks is shortly going to be available in Apple, B&N, and multiple other places. For anyone who is impatient, it is already up at Smashwords in those formats (here). Even without premium distribution, it has over 100 downloads, so it can't be that bad. I just need the confidence to send it out for review.The sequel is coming nicely into shape, although it seems to be getting longer during editing which is a little unusual. Unfortunately I have one opinion on it

Read More

A blurred line – fact and fiction

June 24, 2011 Articles and Opinions

The line between fiction and non-fiction can sometimes get rather blurred."Your book would make a great film" is nice to hear. "I know where this happened" is less so, particularly when you invented the story. I've had three different people tell me they know where Brooke's Vale is and where these events happened. Notably, all three set it in different countries.There seems to be a drive to assume that where a fictional story is engaging or well-researched, it must in fact be true. This also happens with movies - the scriptwriter for Titanic invented the name "Jack Dawson" without knowing about "J. Dawson" who was a crewman on the ship. It hasn't stopped fans leaving flowers on his grave. In a less benevolent case, actor Andrew Robinson received death threats after playing Scorpio in

Read More

A Smashwords problem, and a paperback question

June 21, 2011 SmashwordsThe Docks

Three hours of problems with Smashwords.To boil this down to a summary: - I was notified by Smashwords that the epub file for the Docks was broken. - The epub navigation had an extra link on the end. - I checked.- The epub file passes epubcheck.Investigation results- The Word file did not contain hidden or malformed bookmarks.- The error only occurred in epub format.- The previous three file versions did not have the problem, and had identical bookmarks.- All epub files pass epubcheckResolution attempt: - I nuked the file - copied into Notepad, stripped the formatting and links and rebuilt them. - I checked the file: were no hidden bookmarks, malformed bookmarks etc. - I uploaded the new file.The same error occurred. The new epub file passes epubcheck.I think this one is at their end... I

Read More

SampleSunday – The Docks (Free Father’s Day coupon)

June 19, 2011 SampleSunday

Get The Docks free on Smashwords with this coupon: CK45G valid until 21st JuneFather's Day Offer : CK45GHarry's in more trouble than he knows, and he knows he's in a lot.His freedom depends on covering his tracks, and uncovering the truth before the police do. One person holds all the pieces. Unfortunately Harry killed him last night.Murder, manslaughter or self-defence? When Harry agreed to a light spot of arson, he didn't know what was really planned. Then the bomb went off. Now he's confessed to burglary, could be on the hook for murder and is desperately trying to dodge a terrorism charge. On his side, a bunch of crooks and the solicitor he's dubbed Ms. Pitbull. Against him are his former accomplices, the police, and the inspector who sent him down for ten years.Chapter

Read More

The Docks: Father’s Day offer

June 18, 2011 Uncategorized

Get The Docks free on Smashwords with this coupon: CK45G valid until 21st JuneFather's Day Offer : CK45GNow on to the update: The Docks is out for premium distribution, as well as on Smashwords and Amazon, and I should be sending copies out for review. Unfortunately, I'm a little cautious for a few reasons.Spoilers are one: spoilers in a review for a crime story would be a much bigger problem than spoilers for action/adventure.The real problem is the main character. Harry is not a likeable character. He is sympathetic, but only because he's in over his head and he is only in trouble because of his own faint sense of ethics (at least he has one - his accomplices don't). The Docks has an unreliable narrator, in the sense that he's not just deceiving the reader, he's deceiving

Read More

Reviews and writing

June 16, 2011 The Docks

"Well written and suspenseful this novel is an absorbing read."Book'd OutA nice way to start the week, with another good review of Fire Season. This one is from "Book'd out" a well-known reviewer on Amazon and Goodreads. I also just received my sales reports for May and June. Kindle sales have remained at the same level, despite the price increase after the launch offer ended. I've a few things coming up: more reviews, and an indie book lounge interview due in July, so hopefully it will help me reach more readers. "The Docks" is also being offered in the Great Summer giveaway on the Coffeemugged blog (details here)."Conflict of Interest" is at 12,000 words. Its target release date might slip to August, as the plot has just gone in an unexpected direction. At the moment, this is the

Read More

Author headshots

June 10, 2011 Uncategorized

One of the issues linked to pen names is the author headshot. If you are using a penname, how do you deal with the demand for a photograph? If you're using a penname for privacy reasons this is almost impossible. The increase in social media is making it more difficult. In the old days Charlotte Bronte signed her name Currer Bell and that was enough. Now you have to worry about photos, videos, interviews and more and that's all before you start to sell books. This has lead to some authors having to go to extremes. There is an anecdotal tale of a female thriller writer who hired a male actor to manage signings and stand in for photo shoots, or the male romance author who added his photo only after the first books had sold.Now, I am honestly not sure why this is. If I am buying a book I am

Read More

Updates and progress

June 6, 2011 Uncategorized

My main project right now is the sequel to The Docks. The manuscript is over 10,000 words, the outline is complete and the cover's being designed. The problem is that the more time I spend writing, the less I have for promotion, and my sales figures for the month so far reflect this. To try to correct this over the next few months there are a couple more interviews scheduled, and blog features booked, as well as some upcoming reviews for Fire Season.I should be sending The Docks off to reviewers in the next few weeks, as bloggers let me know they have gaps in their schedule. Meanwhile, I'll be back to writing the sequel.

Read More