Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Twelve months, five books, two websites

A year ago today I wrote a post about my conversion to e-books. I think it’s fair to say that in the intervening twelve months, a great deal has happened.

First, I published Gone Bad, a collection of short crime fiction. It has had some great reviews and appeared in Grift Magazine's Reader survey: best books of 2011. It’s also currently on a Goodreads Best Noir of the 21st Century list. Not too shabby a start.

Next up was debut novel Convictions, which also got a mention at Grift (see above) and appeared on a number of end of year favourites lists over at Guilty Conscience (see December 2011 in the archives), as well as being one of Crime Fiction Lover’s top 5 books of 2011.

After that came Heartbreaker, my second novel and a raucous tale of rock ‘n’ roll. Once more, reviews have been very encouraging.

Another collection of short stories, The Writing on the Wall, followed. This time rather than crime, the genre was horror/weird fiction, and again, the reviews have been positive.

Finally, just before Christmas last year, Show No Mercy, a second collection of short crime stories, was published. With this one, I tried a new Amazon programme — KDP Select. With that, you commit to publishing your book in digital format exclusively with Amazon for a period of 90 days. When the time is up, you can opt in for another 90 days, or not, as you please. (There’s more to it than just that and there are definite pros and cons. Many people hold an opinion as to whether it’s a good idea. Google it if you want to know more.) I’m sufficiently encouraged to want to try the programme with a novel, as opposed to a collection of short crime fiction. Consequently I have unpublished Convictions at Smashwords — my gateway to wider digital distibution — and am now waiting for it to be removed from sale in the various stores where it can currently be bought.

As you can imagine, Steven and I have learned a great deal about e-books over the course of the year. We were already working as freelance writers, editors and proofreaders, but we have now added e-book formatting and — in Steven’s case — e-book cover design to our skills. And now that we have three of the books in print with Lulu as well, print-book formatting and wrap around cover design. Those are services that we now offer to authors through our writing services website, which was also developed during the last twelve months.

Another major development this year was the creation of my author website. This is Steven’s hard work and I think he has done a fantastic job.

All in all, it’s been quite a year. Not that we’re resting on our laurels.

The two non-fiction titles I mentioned last year have had to fight hard for their share of the time we have available to work on such things, but each is now fully drafted and in the process of being edited and proofread. We have plans to produce more titles in the series. Another novel will shortly be published, and the first in a planned trilogy will be next to be worked on after that.

Of course, this all has to be fitted in around work for paying clients and we really are being kept busy there, too. If you’re interested in knowing more about any of the services we offer, feel free to get in touch via the website.

Here's to another great year for all of us. I hope it's as eventful and productive as the last one has been!


  1. Great success story! I think e-books are truly the future of publishing, and although there is a certain amount of prestige in finding your book as a hard cover or paperback on a bookstore shelf, it's all about getting distribution to an audience and e-books are that vehicle. I recently finished a book/novella as part of an on-going series (shameless plug: Fight Card by "Jack Tunney"). I turned the book in on a Sunday, within two days we had a cover and within a week we had scheduled publication for a date within 45-60 days....can't find that kind of speed to market through legacy publishers.

    Keep rocking with the short stories and novels! Hope this coming year is filled with even more success!

  2. BTW- all that being said, you still have to WRITE, and you've done a great job at writing some killer stories and books!

  3. Kevin, you're right, traditional publishing can't touch that kind of speed. And for the most part, there's no reason why not! Yes, a book has to be edited and proofed, but we do that with our books, too, and in a fraction of the time.

    Good luck with 'Fight Card' - the Jack Tunney series looks like great fun. (And ta very much for the kind words!)