Tag Archives: ebook sales

The Waking Fire – Ebook on Sale for £1.99 on Amazon UK

I’m happy to report that The Waking Fire (Book One of the Draconis Memoria) has been chosen by amazon.co.uk as part of their ’12 days of Kindle’ promotion. This means that from now until 3rd January 2018 the kindle version will be available at £1.99.

Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

Sorry Americans and other non-Brits, but this is a UK only promotion.

Slab City Blues on Ereadernews & Day Job Quitting News

Thanks to the folks at Ereadernews for listing Slab City Blues: A Hymn to Gods Long Dead. Also listed on their Facebook page. Tell your friends and watch out for the next instalment in the series next year.

I’d also like to say a heart-felt thank you to everyone who helped me get to the point where I’ve quit the day job and will be writing full-time from now on. I really couldn’t have done it without you. Merry Xmas, secular holiday and New Year to one and all.

Blood Song news

Penguin have advised me they’ll be uploading their edition of the ebook version of Blood Song tomorrow priced at $4.99. Just to be clear this is identical to the current version, it’s just being sold by Penguin rather than me. Due to the nature of digital publishing there’ll be a transitionary period of a few days where my version and Penguin’s will both be available. The Book Page links will be updated when mine disappears.

My version will also continue to be available via the non-US Amazon sites until such time as in-country publishers take it over. So far rights have been sold in the UK, Germany, Bulgaria and Brazil – more news as I hear it.

I can also advise that work on the hardcover edition of Blood Song continues towards a projected release in July 2013. Updates to follow as and when I receive them.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to demonstrate their continued support might consider that an e-reader will make a perfect gift for a loved one (or anyone else) this Wintertide season.

Tower Lord Milestone #6

I completed the first draft of Tower Lord approximately ten minutes ago. The word count runs at just over 237,000, which means it’ll probably shrink to the 230k mark after rewrites. On the whole I’m happy with it; no unsightly gaps that need filling or superfluous characters (I hope) but, inevitably, there are some things that need fixing before it’s ready for delivery – plot conflicts, prose-tyding, deciding if I’ve killed off enough characters, that kind of thing.

Currently feeling the anticlimactic fugue state that tends to set in after I finish something. Hopefully it’ll wear off tomorrow. I’ll be taking a break from Tower Lord for the rest of September, Dead Space 2 won’t play itself after all, and it’s usually a good idea to get some distance from a draft before starting rewrites. There won’t be any more updates until I’ve actually finished and delivered to my editor,  probably in December, so please accept the following answers to some likely questions:

– No, I don’t know when it’ll be released.

– No, I don’t know when Blood Song will be available in print either.

– Sorry, but I don’t need alpha, beta or proof readers but thanks for the offer.

Oh, must dash, someone’s calling. I think it might be my much-missed friend sleep.

PS. online sales of Blood Song passed the 30,000 mark last weekend. By the souls of the Departed I swear undying gratitude to you all.

SFF Mania Interview

Thanks to Chris W at SFF Mania for hosting my lastest interview, you can read it here:


And, just for the record, I’m not an MI6 ninja.

The Number 10,000

Just recently I’ve become preoccupied with the number 10,000. It’s a nice big round number, isn’t it? Not huge, not small, just about within range of the human mind’s ability to visualise, the number of people you can get into the average football stadium in fact.

The number 10,000 also has a tendency to crop up in history (terrible Roland Emmerich films notwithstanding). The size of Xenephon’s army during his famous march across Persia in 399 BC? 10,000 men. The length of the Vietnam war (from a US perspective)? 10,000 days.

It’s also the number of neurons each individual neuron in your brain is connected to, and roughly the complement of a modern army division or even a Roman legion (including auxiliaries and support elements). It also has a name, the Myriad, and when expressed in Roman numerals it comes out as a pleasingly contemplative MMMMMMMMMM.

Another reason for this present fascination is that I’m currently reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, a study of the various elements that make for a human success story. It transpires from numerous psychological studies that developing the muscle memory and experience needed to become truly proficient at a given task requires a lot of practice. How much you ask? About 10,000 hours. In my previous post about the Secret to E-Book Self-Publishing Success I estimated that it had taken me about 100,000 words before I felt myself reasonably proficient at writing prose. However, after reading Gladwell’s chapter on the importance of practice, I did a rough calculation of the actual amount of time those 100,000 words represented: I’ve been writing fairly regularly since the age of fourteen, despite some lapses, and my usual writing stint, up until recently, lasted about one to two hours. So, adding it all up to the point where I’d started on the first draft of Blood Song, accounting for occasional periods of inactivity, take away the number I first thought of… carry the two… The  answer? About 10,000 hours. How about that?

The number 10,000 is also of considerable significance in the publishing industry. The average advance for a single book? $10,000 (maybe a little less these days). The average number of copies an individual title will sell before it goes out of print? 10,000.

But perhaps the most salient reason for my current preoccupation with this  seemingly magical number is the fact that, as of this morning, l sold over 10,000 copies of Blood Song (10,042 to be exact).

I know cynics may look on the above post as just a contrived way of boasting about selling 10,000 books, and they’d be absolutely right.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who bought a book, left a review or told their friends. I literally couldn’t have done it without you, or those 10,000 hours.

The Secret to E-book Self-Publishing Success

As it’s been about five months since I published Blood Song in which time I’ve sold over 2000 books (admittedly most of them this month). So I thought it might be time to reveal the secret of self-publishing an e-book that sells. Don’t waste your time and money on how-to books or webinars, for I have the answer right here for free. Ready? OK, here goes:

Write a good book.

That’s it. There’s no mystery, no short-cuts and no substitute. If you want to write a book that sells, make it a good one. The advent of e-books has certainly opened the flood-gates to an enormous amount of unreadable dross, but it’s also brought about a new meritocracy in publishing. Put simply, if it’s good it will sell. If it’s not, it won’t and no amount of publicity will magically turn it into the bestseller you want it to be.

If you’re going to do this thing, accept the fact that you exist in a meritocracy, a real one. Not the pretend meritocracies of the corporate world where success is largely a matter of fooling gullible management into believing how great you are (read Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test if you don’t believe me). In a real meritocracy all that matters is ability. Not popularity, not inter-personal skills, not a facility for spewing jargon and buzz-words. Just being good at what you do, and being good at something requires work.

Writing is hard and it takes a long time to do it well. I estimate it took me about 100,000 words before I got to a point where I wasn’t embarrassed to show people my work, and another 100,000 before I felt confident enough to publish it. So if you want to do this, get writing. Write every day, whenever you can. And, if you’ve never written before, accept the fact that you’ll probably write crap for the first 100,000 words or more. But having written 100,000 words you will definitely be a better writer than when you started. Writing is a craft and you can learn it, but learning requires doing, and no one is going to do it for you.

Worry about the mechanics of publishing when you’ve written something worth publishing. As you can learn to write you can learn to format a word file correctly, you can learn the basics of graphic design to produce your own covers, you can learn to write a blurb, you can learn to set up a blog or a website. But do it after you’ve actually written a book that’s worth someone’s time and money. And most of all, be honest with yourself. Deep down, you will know if the book you’ve written is ready for publication. Listen to that voice and don’t publish before you’re ready. Canvas second opinions from people you know will give you an honest critique and listen to what they tell you. If it’s not ready, don’t publish it. I’m eternally grateful for the fact that e-books came along after I’d gotten most of the dross out of my system, otherwise I might well have been tempted to publish it, with potentially ruinous results. Most pro-writers will have an anecdote about the terrible novel they stupidly sent out to publishers and subsequently burned so no one else would ever see it. You may have spent years on a novel only to find it’s just not very good – I did, more than once. Does that mean all that time was wasted? No, because I learned from it, I got better.

As writers we exist in a true meritocracy now. Publication is now open to all, but success is dependent on ability. It’s just about writing good books.


Like most self-published ebook authors I’m constantly engaged in a struggle against an obsessive need to check my sale stats – or clockwatching as I call it. I strive to avoid checking more than once a week since my mood can crash if I fail to sell anything in a 24 hour period. Nuerosis comes with the territory when you’re endeavouring to write stuff for which people may actually part with money so logging in to my sales report every five minutes really isn’t healthy. However, during my last permitted period of obsession I sat down to calculate just how many books I would have to publish in order to generate enough income at the current rate of sale to keep myself in the luxuriant style to which I’m accustomed. Turns out, once taxes are factored in, I need to publish 30 books. Pshaw! Easy you might think. However, it took me the best part of six and a half years to write my first book. At that rate I should make it to full time writer status by the age of 237.

To anyone worried that the above post means the sequel to Blood Song won’t be out for another six and a half years – all I can say is I intend to be writing pretty much every day from 1st April to 31st July after which I may have a first draft, if I don’t die in the attempt. If you like my work and want the sequel to appear as quickly as possible, I will be spurred to greater efforts by good reviews on Amazon or your bookseller of choice – and of course more sales, despite the fact that I’ll only be checking once a week (or once a month if I can manage it).