Monthly Archives August 2011

Conflict of Interest – Sneak Preview

August 31, 2011 Uncategorized  No comments

There is now a trial version of Conflict of Interest working its way through Smashwords.
This version still has one proofing pass to complete, but is up so we can identify formatting errors, anything that would prevent it going to distribution (which takes three days), get the ISBN assigned, the listing and tags ready and so on. The aim is to get the final version live this weekend.
For anyone looking for a preview, here's the link.
Conflict of Interest on SmashwordsThis is a draft, but if you can't wait and buy this version to find out what happens, don't worry. If you pick up the draft, once the final version is up you can download a copy of it from Smashwords free of charge.

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Amazon again.

August 31, 2011 Uncategorized  No comments

I will apologise in advance for the tone of this entry, but I am tired, annoyed and lacking sleep.
I was up until 2:48 am last night trying to get this fixed, then up again at six a.m. to call their US office. The operator saw the issue and escalated it, which does not explain why the broken page is still live or the two contacts today who didn't believe the page is broken because they hadn't read the ticket. This is no longer even vaguely funny.
Recovery plan:
1) Add a link to "The Docks" website in the comment section of any feature.
2) Don't launch Conflict of Interest on Amazon Kindle: it will just annoy more readers when they can't get The Docks.
3) Keep chasing Amazon.
4) Suggest to the publisher they get Fire Season onto a different format.
Finally: If it's not fixed by the end of

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An Amazon update

August 31, 2011 Amazon  No comments

A breakdown of last night: Amazon don't think there is anything wrong with the listing. So far their support people have all taken one look and escalated it, only for me to get a email back from the technical team this morning that the listing is "fine". My thoughts were unprintable.
Not shown as an ebook, not in the Kindle store, and you can't purchase it. That's not fine.
I phoned Amazon.com (£2 a minute - ouch). They could see the response, and the still-broken product page. The support operator was very helpful and is escalating it along with a note that the first response was wrong.
Unfortunately it will still be broken when the book is featured on 1st September, because the department that should have fixed it yesterday is closed. Republishing won't fix it because the problem is

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Good news and bad…

August 30, 2011 Amazon  No comments

The good news is that I got another review for "The Docks", a good four stars courtesy of the Gathering Leaves blog
"I definitely recommend The Docks for a fast, entertaining read!"
Gathering Leaves (full review)
My new author website is up: http://www.vhfolland.com/, leaving only Fire Season's site to be reskinned, and I have a lot of promotion set up for September, including a sequel to The Docks.
The bad news is really bad: There's a problem with the Amazon.com listing for The Docks and it can't currently be purchased from there. I have flagged this up with Amazon and am waiting to hear back.
Meanwhile, if you would like to get a copy, please use:
SmashwordsAmazon.co.ukUpdate (9.30pm): I raised this with Amazon at 16:00, who responded and unfortunately made the problem worse. They are

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Conflict of Interest rewrite

August 23, 2011 Uncategorized  No comments

I took a risk at the start of the month, pulling an edited and ready-to-be-released version of Conflict of Interest back because I had a sudden idea. Yesterday I showed the first revised draft of the new version to the beta readers. They like it. Specifically, from the feedback I got, they liked it enough to read in one sitting and forgot to eat their pringles while reading.
Looks like the risk paid off.
Going from 'good' to 'gripping' makes it worth the delay and rewrite. It will be a while yet before it is ready to come out (Q3 instead of August) but I'm a lot happier with it.
The slightly embarrassing thing is that the sample I released last month is part of the book that hit the cutting room floor. Please look at it as bonus content.
I'd also like to say thanks to Marvin on

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New websites & Riot Relief

August 19, 2011 Off-topic  No comments

A small marketing update. Rather than the basic website (a Google site) that is currently up, a set of new sites under the VHFolland.com URL are being put up.
The first two are now live:
The DocksConflictFire Season and my own site will be moving under this setup soon. As always feedback would be welcome.


On the topic of riot relief, the Reeves family have set up a fund to rebuild the Reeves corner area. It isn't just their own 150 year old business, but all the small businesses and houses that were affected (twenty-eight families lost their homes and possessions).
The fund accepts Paypal, as well as credit cards or cheques. For anyone who pledged to Mark Thompson's campaign, this is where you can redeem the pledge.

Rebuild Reeves Corner

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A general update and appeal

August 12, 2011 Off-topic  No comments

I haven't posted here, or much anywhere else, this week. For those of you following events in London, you can probably guess why. The end of the week was spent cleaning up the fallout, something which has been delayed by the fact that many sites are still crime scenes or outright unsafe.
If you would like to help, please view #riotcleanup or follow @riotcleanup for details of planned cleanups.For more ongoing relief efforts, the Evening Standard has details here.
An Appeal
Which brings me to a local tragedy: the destruction of Reeves Corner and House of Reeves. Founded in 1867, the House of Reeves store has been a landmark in Croydon for longer than living memory, run by five generations of the same family. It was completely destroyed on Monday night by the looters.
More than

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Pen names

August 2, 2011 Articles and Opinions  No comments

One of the most common questions that comes up is about the use of pennames. Recently, the arguments over the use of real names on Google+ and Facebook which include several authors losing profiles because they are listed under their pennames, have really brought attention to this.Several people assume that aliases or pennames must be used to be evasive or commit fraud, and yet this is not the case at all. This is a brief summary of some of the reasons why authors may use a penname, and a few known examples.Ghost writing or work for hire, I am leaving off this: in those cases the author has taken the decision to write work that will be released under someone else's name, where they often surrender most or all rights and may not receive royalties. This is not the same as a conscious choice

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