Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

I’m thinking of entering ‘Lament for the Living’ into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award thingy.  What is that? I hear you ask. Well my friend, I’ll tell you….

I don’t really know. I think it’s a lot of self promotion and blah blah blahing with some sort of prize at the end that may or may not result in fulfilling my wildest dreams. No, wait, thinking about it that was winning the lottery and becoming uncontested ruler of the world, which I think is outside the scope of the Breakthrough Novel Award.

Considering that the Amazon best sellers list ranges from romance to literary porn I don’t really see ‘Lament for the Living’ making much of an impact, but let’s give it a go anyway.

This is where you come in, oh faithful reader and confidante. I have to include an excerpt of the book in the application. So from you I would like suggestions of which section you enjoyed the most, what part had the biggest impact on you, what scene really gripped you?

You don’t need to remember what chapter, paragraph, line etc., just drop a comment saying something like “The bit where…..” and I’ll know what you’re on about.

Thanks for your input and your continued support.

All the best


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, 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:

Nook – I R Disappoint

My wife has a Kindle. When I wrote my first stories I formatted them for the .mobi scheme used by Kindle. But I was keen to branch out so at Christmas Santa brought me a Nook (from the Barnes&Noble stable) and my mother had a Kobo from …. erm, not sure where they come from but they’re kind of affiliated with WHSmith here in the UK.

Anyhoo, Kindle = .mobi. Kobo, Nook and pretty much everything else is .epub. They’re fairly similar, but the .epub format needs extra tags and things that at the time were too much work for me to get my head around.

Now, on the brink of releasing ‘Lament for the Living’ I had intended to publish it to Kindle, and also to the Nook via pubit/nookpress. That was until I discovered that I can’t.

Why? WHY!? Why can’t I publish to these other services? Because I’m not American, or rather, because I don’t live in the USA.

I contacted Nook UK customer support asking them when/if they would be allowing UK authors to use their service but the speedy (but unhelpful) reply was to contact B&N directly. So I emailed them…. no reply so far.

So it looks like Amazon are cornering the market in more ways than one, and for UK authors they seem to be the only real option (except for publishing through Smashwords and having them propagate through to B&N and others – but why should we?!).

On a side note, so far I have bought zero books for the Nook. Yes, that nada, nil, not a sausage, and while they continue to exploit and ignore the UK market I’ll not be buying any for it either.

Should have bought a Kindle 😦