Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The death of Authors.

Authors earnings are being squeezed ever more by the advent of digital publishing. With companies like Amazon squeezing earnings more and more to give ebooks away as cheaply as possible, writing for a living is becoming a dead dream. In a recent report, a professional writers average earnings was shown to be around twelve thousand pounds a year. Not enough to live on. There are a few writers who make a fortune, but that is the exception, not the rule. 

I don't write for a living. I work for a living and write for fun. But what is a hobby to me is a living for others. Is the rise of the hobby writer killing the industry and polluting it. It is something I worry about. In the hurry to get more and more cheap offerings for its customers companies like Amazon are killing the writer. Will we see any more Stephen Kings, Ruth Rendall, Michael Crichton or Jules Verne. - Or are we rushing into a world were our stories will be the equivalent of mass produced clothes created in Sweat shop somewhere. The same plots, characters and stories, tweaked out and pumped out in volume for pennies. Quantity over quality. Think hard before you buy that next ebook for a pound. 

 Comments please.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Double the trouble

In recent months I have been toying with the idea of a combined format. Let me explain. For most of my life I have been a computer programmer. For some of that time I was a games programmer. This may seem strange, but both disciplines - writing and programming - are surprisingly similar. Both require a creative mine and both require a good grasp of syntax and word order.  I would like to combine both of these in one project. My idea is to write a story that is a book in its own right, but to create a phone app in the form of a game that did played as you read the book opens up new aspects and information about the main character in the book, hopefully, adding depth and interest in the story.

So far, this is at the ideas stage and I am struggling with how this would work in reality. I would value any feedback any of  you have on this.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The most powerful computer

I often am amazed that in this day and age books are still so popular. When you think about it they were the first form of escapism. Then along came cinema, but books remained. Then along came radio and tv, but books still remained. Then along came the home computer, consoles and tablets, books adapted to ebooks and remained.

Why? Why with all these other forms of entertainment do books still enthral us? My theory is because books utilise our own imagination. We create the images in our heads when we read the books and these use the most powerful computer on the planet - the human brain. That's the secret of books.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November and December giveaways

Over the next couple of months I will be having free days on amazon of my books. This is to see what people think of my books and also to get some interest going in my writing prior to my next novel coming out. If you have kindly downloaded one of my free books would you be kind enough to leave me a review on amazon, or leave me a comment on here and tell me what you think.

Friday, 6 September 2013

An offer to my followers

I am having a little offer for the next few weeks. If you buy a copy of my book, 'Six of Hearts' in either paperback or ebook format from Amazon. If you buy the book and leave me an honest review I will email you an ebook copy of my book 'Killer in Mind.'

This offer is for September 2013 only, so don't miss out on a bargain.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Character interactions

The inspiration for characters might come from many different sources, people in your life, people you have briefly met even the tv - but have you ever considered reality television. I know what many of you might be thinking, why would anyone watch that drivel? But cast your eye over an episode of a reality tv series and you will see that it is about character interactions. How does contestant A get on with contestant B. What does A say about B to their face and behind their back. How does their relationship develope and change over time and when conflict is introduced into their environment. It really is a great place to study humanity, and when you really think about it, isn't that what writers do?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Death of books

It may be a strange point at first, but why do we still have books? When radio started taking off people predicted that it would cause the death of the printed word. Why would you go to the effort of reading when you could listen instead. The same was said about cinema, tv and more recently computer games. But we still have books. The sales might not be as high as they once was but we still have them none the less. But why?

From my point of view I think the main reason is people like the tactile sensation of holding a book. They like putting a bit of time aside for reading. They also like the more immersive feeling that the book gives you. Tv, cinema and computers are fine but the most creative thing on planet earth is the human brain and with books the words make you create an image I. Your own mind which is far more detailed than a screen could ever create. Lastly I think they like the individuality of it. Everyone's experience of a story in a book is slightly different. I have had readers of my short stories write to me and tell me things about my stories that I hadn't realised. They had read my stories and seen something different in it, something from their own experience that had echoed in the story to them. These are some of the reasons that I think that the written word is still with us and, I think, will be for many years to come.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The power of an agent

How important is it in this cut throat business to have an agent? I have talked to many of my friends about this and have heard as many different views. The advantages are the experience they bring to the table. The contacts they have and the knowledge of marketing. The downside is the cut they take and they might push you in a direction that is more marketable, but ultimately not the way you wanted to go. Of course this is all rather moot when you consider it might be as difficult getting an agent as it is getting a publishing deal.

The longer I look at writing for profit rather than fun, the more hurdles I find. It is one if the reasons that only a few writers make a living out of their art.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

I'm not a waitress, I'm an out of work actor

Isn't it funny how we tag and view ourselves. Are you your job, or is it just something you do to pay the bills? Currently I work as a bus driver and a part time soldier, but I still consider myself a writer. The reality is that I haven't written a sentence in about six months. That's mainly because my other two jobs, my family and gym visits eat away at my time until there is nothing left for my passion. That is the pity of modern life. It demands more and more of us each year. Think back to your grandparents and how much time they had. Sundays at church or sat around doing little, night times in front of the telly. What happened to all that time? My writing is my passion and I am going to make a concerted effort to finally get my new book finished. In truth I could do with an agent, someone to kick me up the back side to get it completed. Any offers?

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New web site

As stated earlier, I have been working on my new Author page. It is now up and running. It will be added to, but the bones are in place. My books can also be purchased from this site and all the latest news about my new book will be put on there. Please feel free to log in and have a look. Any views or comments are always welcome.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Updates to my Author Page

I will be updating my Author page in the next few days. I will be having a new section for each book. There will be information on there on the book concerned. I will have things like Character Bios, pictures of the character. Background and history of the character. Some information and sub plots that didn't make it into the final book. Also information like how I got the idea for the story etc. A little like extras on a DVD. There will also be links to news articles and you can buy my books on there.

My Author site can be found here :- Author Site.

On top of this I will be putting updates and release information on my latest book on twitter. Just #PrimevilSoup for information.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Primeval Soup Book Cover Part Two

After comments from people on my blog as well as some wonderful people on Amazon, I have had my cover designed from scratch again. I like this one. I like the simplicity and less is more approach. It really appeals to me. But, as always, I would love to hear peoples thoughts. The more opinions I get, the better my work gets. For that I thank you in advance.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Primeval Soup Book Cover

In preparation for the release of my next book I have had a Cover designed. This is the latest design for the cover. The idea is that it is supposed to be a bamboo matting with reminders attached. I think it is good, but I am slightly biased and I would dearly appreciate some feedback on this please. Thank you in advance for any comments or opinions.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Busses, barbells, and books

It doesn't matter how old you are, getting the work life balance right is a challenge.

I recently changed my day time job and became a bus driver. An interesting and rewarding job. I meet a large group of largely friendly people on a daily basis. A nice cross section of life. However, I work strange shifts that are never the same. On top of this I am a Reservist. I'm a part time infantry soldier. This requires large chunks of time for continuous training, to make sure I am good to go at a moments notice. In order to stay fit enough for my military role I go to the gym at least four times a week, usually after work. On top of that I am a father of four and I also love to write books. Now you can see why my latest book is running late. Trying to find the balance between all these different parts of my life is challenging and I'm not sure if I have found it yet.

Starting this week I am going to push the author side of my life to a higher part of my balance. It's a side I enjoy and gives me a lot of satisfaction. I hope I achieve this but only time will tell. Who knows, I might be writing another article about rebalancing my military side in a few months. Lol. Time will tell.