This really is the death knell for publishers

This really is the death knell for publishers

Some thoughts about Amazon etal…


My apologies. This is a blog from an astonishingly angry author.


Today the Bookseller announced that Amazon is having a great new sales campaign. In an October Kindle promotion, they will be aiming to sell vast numbers of books.

This is brilliant news, isn’t it?

Amazon will do what they do best, push huge numbers of books at a massive discount. Book sales will shoot up.

Not mine. Because I don’t have many as ebooks yet. And do you know what? I am exceedingly glad.

Yes. I am glad to miss out on the opportunity of selling books.

Read this article: – yes, the clue’s in the title.

I have banged on a little in the past about the asinine pricing which publishers are agreeing to. When shops in the High Street were allowed books at a massive 30-40% discount, authors were allowed a 7.5% royalty. In effect…

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Which is more important to you?

Another oldie but goody of mine…

Have We Had Help?

Think back to when you were a child opening your Christmas or Birthday presents. What mattered to you the most? Was it the packaging, or was it the content? If your preference was for the packaging, you need some serious one to one time with a psychiatrist!!!

Click to buy from Fishpond

As a typical example of packaging, the above cover for Matthew Wright’s – The New Zealand Wars – A Brief History, could hardly be said to be attractive to the eye. What sells the book to students of New Zealand’s history is its content and Wright’s reputation as a serious writer, not what the cover looks like.

I don’t know how many times I have to say it – forever it seems, but far too many of today’s writers become totally obsessed with relying on the literary equivalent of packaging, believing that somehow or other it will sell their book on its own…

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Why Is It That Total Rubbish Always Sells?

One of mine from 2015…

Have We Had Help?


When it comes to book sales, more ofen than not, total rubbish sells to the detriment of quality? Of all my books, the quality ones from my point of view stand apart from the rest as evidenced by the four and five star reviews they attracted. Yet for some inexplicable reason they simply fail to appeal to the majority of readers. Why is that I wonder?

I freely admit that my best seller to date is total rubbish. Why? Because it was written quickly with little editing! As a consequence many reviewers quite rightly condemned it. Despite that, it exceeded my wildest dreams when it comes to sales. It still appeals in America to this day. What does that say about readers? Not a lot…

Meanwhile, two titles I am proud of, Goblin Talesand Cataclysmsimply fail to attract readers, even though in the main, they both have excellent reviews…

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Publishing Contract Red Flag: When a Publisher Claims Copyright on Edits – ‘Writer Beware’-Blog

Publishing Contract Red Flag: When a Publisher Claims Copyright on Edits – ‘Writer Beware’-Blog

A word of warning from A.J…

Writer's Treasure Chest

End of February Victoria Strauss of the ‘Writer Beware’ blog published an informative and interesting warning about the copyright claiming on edits by a publisher. Thank you very much, Victoria, for all your hard work, your research and your willingness to share all these red flags with us!

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

It’s not super-common, but I do see it from time to time in contracts that I review, primarily from smaller presses: a publisher explicitly claiming ownership of the editing it provides, or making the claim implicitly by reverting rights only to the original manuscript submitted by the author.

Are there legal grounds for such a claim? One would think that by printing a copyright notice inside a published book, and registering copyright in the author’s name or encouraging the author to do so, publishers are implicitly acknowledging that there is not. It’s hard to know…

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Let’s face facts – these days many people simply can’t be bothered to read a book, especially here in the UK, particularly if its an e-book!

Another prophetic post of mine from days of yore.

Have We Had Help?


There is an old saying – “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” The same applies when it comes to asking people to read your books, especially here in the UK where e-books still take a back seat to their paperback and hard cover cousins.

The one thing you can never do is force someone to read your book. All you can hope for is to make them aware of its existence by using all of the social media sites as well as word of mouth and emails to advertise its existence. Why is that? Because the numbers currently waiting to be read is quite literally in the millions. So, don’t be too surprised if after all your hard work writing it, plus spending money having it edited and marketed, that apart from the few taken for free on promotions by the growing number…

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Objective Correlative

More from my beautiful friend in Italy – Stephanie…


As far as we know the term “objective correlative” was first coined by the American painter and poet Washington Allston and only later introduced by T.S.Eliot into his essay “Hamlet and His Problems”.   Eliot regarded “Hamlet ” as a sort of “artistic failure”, because Shakespeare, according to him, had not succeeded in making the audience feel properly Hamlet’s overwhelming emotions. The bard had not gone beyond describing the Prince of Denmark’s emotional state through the play’s dialogue, rather than stirring minds and souls to feelas he did, and this could have happened only through a skilful use of images, actions and characters:

The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an “objective correlative”; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which…

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Why do writers write…

Good point – why do we write????

Have We Had Help?


J.K Rowling

…when they know that there are bitter and twisted individuals who don’t want you to succeed. Those who can’t wait to attack your book(s)!!!

You may as well ask why do painters paint, or sculptors sculpt. Like them, we  writers have a burning desire within us to produce something for posterity. In our case, for your reading pleasure. The serious writer isn’t in it for the money, only the story. Nor are we attempting to become famous during our lifetimes, just to be read.

Sculptors use chisels and other tools to release that statue trapped inside the block of marble. Painters use brushes, palette knives and all manner of paints and pigments to produce that painting which you admire so much in an art gallery. Whereas we use words to paint a picture for your imagination to feast upon.

By its very nature, writing is a solitary occupation…

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