Kobo and WHSmiths Throwing the Baby Out With the Bath Water

In their haste to throw the baby out with the bath water, WHSmiths Online and Kobo have removed ALL indie titles. That includes mine. My work is not erotic, romantic, and neither does it blur the lines of legality that has caused this purge.

Although I fully back the removal of abusive titles, removing all indie titles is a step too far.

As such, I and TBFmedia will be boycotting Kobo and WHSmiths until further notice. Should they reinstate indie books on their platform, mine will be absent.

They will still be available from all GOOD retailers.

The Long Road

Book 2 of Lament for the Living is underway.  Still untitled, I’ve drafted the first couple of chapters and then realised that I’m going to need a bigger boat.

Yup, the story line (or lines) in book 2 are much larger than in book 1, and to fit everything in in order for it to all come together in the final book I’ve had to go native with a pencil and paper to flow chart and plot out what’s going on.

With a host of new characters entering the story, new locations and new motivations, things are going to get interesting.


Signed Copies Available

I’ve just created a new page on tbfmedia (the publisher site) for the purchase of signed copies of Lament for the Living.

I’m expecting a new stock of books on the 22nd of July, so this a pre-order service.  All signed copies are numbered and individually marked to ensure future traceability.

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy then pop over to: http://www.tbfmedia.com/lament-for-the-living/signed-copies/


I’m Sorry George…

I’m sorry George, but I mislike your breaking of fast.

Some of you are wondering what I’m on about, some of you may be wondering if my brains have finally unravelled, others will be kind of familiar with what I’ve referenced.

GAME OF THRONES…. dun dun dunnnnnnn.  Captialised for effect, and yes, I’m late to the party.

Okay, I enjoy the story even though having watched the series I’m prewarned that everybody dies.  But there are two things I don’t like, and they are minor foibles.  They’re like those things that, when you’ve known someone for a while, they do unconsciously that are, in themselves, totally innocent but fill you with ire.  You know, that friend you have that laughs after everything they say.  You wouldn’t trade them in for the world, but every time they do that little laugh you want to slap them upside the head?  Yeah, like that.

The first I thought was a typo, until it cropped up again: “mislike”.  The first instance was used in the narrative (hence me thinking it was a typo), but then it was used in dialogue as well.  Okay, so it’s a really olde worlde worde and George RR Martin has gone for the whole medieval thing (at which point ‘mislike’ had been out of common usage for three hundred years, but I digress), but it just felt wrong when I was reading it.

And then there’s the prose when people wake up and have their first meal of the day.  No, no, no, they’re not having breakfast dammit!  They break their fast with…. stuff.  This one is more technical, and you’ll have to bear with me on this one because my mind works in a peculiar factual, logical and literal way that causes me all kinds of problems.  So, the first meal of the day is called breakfast.  However, fasting is a conscious occupation; something that you choose to do.  When you sleep, you are not consciously fasting, you’re asleep.  Unless you’re one of a tiny percentage of humans who sleep eat, when you wake up and eat, you have ‘breakfast’, you don’t ‘break your fast’ (because you weren’t technically fasting).  Although the origin of the term related to the first meal eaten after a period of fasting (usually for religious reasons).

Again, it’s an etymology thing for me.  Unless everyone in… whatever the world of Game of Thrones is called (Westeros?), has been on a fast the day before they were written in (possible?) they’re just having breakfast.  No need to go all grandeloquent for the sake of it.  But that’s it.  Two minor things, and I know they’re minor, but I had to get it off my chest.

Sorry for wasting five minutes of your time….. but not sorry enough not to say:  Hey!  Buy my book: http://www.tbfmedia.com/lament-for-the-living/

The Books Arrived, and Then They Went Again

I finally received my box of books.  I say “finally” but they actually arrived on time, I was just being impatient.  And then they were all sold out, although I kept one back as my own personal copy.  I didn’t expect the demand to be so high, especially from my work colleagues, so I’ve ordered another ten that are due on the 22nd.


It’s a tricky business, this business, because I’m trying to keep my outlay as small as possible because, frankly, I’m not rolling in it, and don’t want to end up with a load of books that will sit for months before a copy makes its way out of the door.  On the flipside, I don’t want people to be stuck waiting for a copy either.

I also had to rethink my idea of selling the signed copies via Amazon due to their charging structure.  If you’ve ever sold anything on ebay you’ll be familiar with the triple whammy (yes, triple, not double whammy) where you pay to list your item, then have a cut of the final price taken AND then another cut to receive your money via PayPal (which is owned by ebay).  It’s a similar situation with Amazon.

They don’t actually mention charges at all, and it’s difficult to find any information on them until you’re just about to confirm your listing.  There’s a little tick box that says “I agree to the listing charges” or something like that.  And when you click the link (now I may be wrong here because I backed out when I saw the charges), but they wanted to charge €39 per month, PLUS take 15% of the sale price.  Considering that Createspace are owned by Amazon, I’d be effectively paying them three times, and wiping out any profit from any sales, unless I suddenly become really popular and can shift hundreds of books per week (working on that one).

So, any signed copies will be going direct from tbfmedia.com, using good old PayPal (gaahhhh).

What’s that?  You want to know where you can buy my books?  Okay, just go here for a full list: http://www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography/

Still Waiting on my Books

It seems that I’m the only person who doesn’t have a physical copy of ‘Lament for the Living’, and with only three days to the estimated delivery date of the box of books I ordered it feels like it’s never going to happen.

When I ordered the proof copy, which is now in the hands of someone who truly deserves it, it arrived about five days short of the estimate.  I was very pleased.

As the delivery date edges closer and closer I have some nightmare scenarios flying around, mainly involving UK Customs & Excise.

These range from them drilling a hole through every book because they think they’re being used to smuggle drugs, to slapping a massive amount of import duty on them because….. they can.

These scenarios are caused by one issue alone: the UK is shit for entrepeneurial endeavours.  Services are expensive and service providers think we’re all ignorant dolts who enjoy paying money for old rope.  And any time someone says “But why is service X 50-75% more in the UK than the US?”  The answer can pretty much be guaranteed to be: “Well, it costs more to do business in the UK.”

Now that may, or may not be true.  But that doesn’t explain why even if the cost of doing business is more expensive the range of services is still lacking, and the level of customer service frankly appalling.

I’d love to buy British, but it’s not possible.  PoD services operating from the UK charge so much for copies that I’d either need to charge about £30 per book, or move my family and furniture out of the house to accommodate the boxes of copies that I’d need to buy to make them affordable (and then not have the retail network to shift them).

And when I do buy British I find the service slow, and the customer service incredibly dire (and then I won’t use those companies again).  Now this simple post about waiting for my books has become a sort of British business rant so I suppose I had better qualify my statements about British Business, especially customer service.

I’ve worked for nearly twenty years in customer facing and customer service roles.  I’ve worked for some of the best companies in Britain, a handful of the worst, and some that tried their best, but didn’t quite understand the nature of customer service.

And the thing that most companies fail to realise is that giving excellent customer service doesn’t cost anything.

Anyway, where are my books?

And while we’re at it – BUY MY BOOKS: http://www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography

Have a nice day, and y’all come back now real soon.

The Cardboard Has Arrived

Book Boxes

In preparation for the signed copies of ‘Lament for the Living‘ being despatched (July 4th) the book boxes have arrived, ready, and waiting.  They weren’t due until tomorrow, so it was a surprise, but a pleasant one.  Now I just have to resist the urge to wrap random books just for the hell of it.

Keeping Track of Signed Copies

Should I ever become proper successful at writing good (unpossible?) I’ve come up with an ingenious way of ensuring that signed copies don’t end up being bootlegged.  The impetus to put measures in place was after I saw that someone had, on Amazon, put a second hand copy of ‘Lament for the Living’ for sale for £15.  That just seemed stupid to me since you can buy a brand new copy for £6.50!  Anyhoo, I came to the conclusion that what this person was actually doing was this:  When someone buys their copy for the ludicrously inflated price, they then buy a copy and send that on to their buyer and make £6 profit.

And when I say “I’ve come up with an ingenious way” I mean that my glorious other half thought of it.

Now I’ve got no problem with someone making a profit, but that is ridiculous when I only make pennies from each paperback sale.  It’s okay, put your violins and hankies away, I always knew that would be the case.  But it got me thinking, how can I limit similar “profiteering” on signed copies – especially when you can get a signed copy direct from me at a reasonable price.

Initially I’d decided to number the copies.  Buy then there’s the issue of counterfeiting.  What’s to stop an unscrupulous person from simply getting hold of a copy, signing it and numbering it?  Nothing, that’s what.  What are the chances of someone going that far?  Fairly slim.  But I like to futureproof the things I do.

So as well as the copy number, I’ll also be putting a small doodle on a random page.  Those two details will ensure that any copy that falls into your hands at some future date will be 100% totally legit and verifiable.

Cool eh?

Oh, and while we’re here…. BUY MY BOOK!  http://www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography/

Proof Copy Received – Lament for the Living

I received the physical proof copy of ‘Lament for the Living’ today.  And here it is:


I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

If you’d like to get your very own paperback copy then you can get it from here: http://www.createspace.com/4248918

For all other ebook formats then check out the official publisher’s page: http://www.tbfmedia.com/lament-for-the-living/

For those new to the party:  Lament for the Living is a post-zombie-apocalypse story of the survivors.  If you’ve had enough of special forces bad asses using their massive arsenal of weapons to battle their way through hordes of undead, then this is the book for you.  It’s all about the normal people and their struggles with survival in this new dystopian world.

Paperback is out, and Word of Mouth

lftlthumbIt’s finally here!  ‘Lament for the Living’ is now available in paperback:

Lament for the Living in paperback

There are a couple of differences between the ebook copy and the print version.  No changes in the story, but some formatting details had to be omitted from the digital version.  As minor as they are, the print version is the actual vision I had for the book.

The changes are:

  • The ‘proper’ verso pages
  • Names with special characters are correctly included
  • The diary entry is handwritten

For those who like a nice physical book, then this is for you.  Ebooks are convenient, but I still like being able to flick pages (and be able to drop the book while reading in the bath…).

Also, word of mouth.  I’m sure that there are other people out there who have read my works via word of mouth, but yesterday I contacted a reader who had left some nice reviews of both ‘Lament for the Living’ and ‘The Deluge of Elias’.  I thanked him for taking the time to review my books, and asked him if one had lead to the other.

He replied that ‘The Deluge of Elias’ had been recommended to him via an online group, and that as it had been free that weekend, he downloaded it.  From there he read the included chapters of ‘Lament for the Living’ and proceeded to buy a copy.

How cool is that?

The Proof is in the Pudding

And by pudding I mean post, and by post I mean mail.

Yes, the physical proof of ‘Lament for the Living‘ has been despatched and is winging its way to me. It should arrive by the 13th of June.

When I submitted the files the ‘experts’ tweaked the cover art because there were “live elements” that were outside of the trim zone, and the spine was too wide. Which was odd, because in a previous career life I was a printer. That means that I know how to set up artwork, and definitely know how to set up bleed.


The above is the digital proof and on closer inspection I can see that the eye no longer runs off the side of the cover, there’s a bout 2mm of white space so I’ll have to check what the physical proof looks like (it was fine when the bleed was there….). One thing that I will need to adjust though is that the main title is not centred correctly. That will be corrected prior to publication.

In the meantime, Lament for the Living, Hannibal House, and The Deluge of Elias are all available in ebook formats. For more information go here: http://www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography/