Produced my first banner advert







It might look a tad crappy, but it’s a start. I can’t upload the flash version because I don’t have the upgraded video facility, but, like I’ve said, it’s a start. It’s going on the website, hopefully at some point this week.

To be honest I did it rather quickly, so the design is very generic and Helvetica and my  Flash skills have pretty much atrophied after years of zero use, so it has bugger all functionality (it just kind of sits there and links back to Lulu). Still, some presence is better than no presence at all (although I’m sure there are those who’ll beg to differ).

I’ll probably actually sit and design a better one during the week and plan it, rather than improvise (which is not the designer’s way, or not this particular designer anyway).

Sub-dividing my time

I’m currently sub-dividing my free-time between my second novel (which is an unconventional murder-mystery thriller) and trying to generate publicity for The Gamblers.

It’s not an easy thing to do. Publicity for a self-published work relies on a lot more work for the author than it does for an author who is represented by a publishing house. Posters, leaflets, flyers, sample chapters etc., all need to be overseen or designed by the author. Then comes the legwork, putting posters and leaflets in pubs or cafes that will allow such things, finding other suitable locations for posters, putting professionally designed sample chapters in public places (where people might be tempted to pick them up). I’ve also got in touch with a few contacts who might be able to review the work, and others that I have agreed to write articles/reviews for in an attempt to generate sales.

If anybody can think of any novel (pardon the pun, ha ha) way of generating publicity then please do leave a comment below. I don’t necessarily guarantee I’ll do them all, but if you leave a good idea I may very well give it a go.

The second edition of The Gamblers is now available

I could go into the hundreds of minor and not so minor amends that went into the second edition of The Gamblers, but unless you’re academically inclined you’d probably be bored by it all. Some of the amends were purely typographical (correcting small spelling mistakes or grammatical errors that the various spellchecks didn’t pick up first and second time around); some shortened and refined sentences that were in terrible danger of tipping over because of the weight they were carrying; some corrected ambiguities that were kindly pointed out to me by previous readers; and others shortened or deleted paragraphs that either hindered pace or provided pointless repetition.

But the upshot is that the novel is now four pages shorter and a much better read, but considering previous readers have told me that it is already a bloody good crime thriller, I think you’ll find it very enjoyable.

It’s on sale at Lulu now for £10.99 and it should soon be up on Amazon too.
Oh, for those that want to taste before they buy, here’s the first 200 pages as a PDF. Enjoy!

The Gamblers p1-200

A brilliant idea

This is a fantastic idea. Even if only a quarter of the books given away are read then that will be fantastic. And if this gets people reading again or, better still, turns people into readers, then it is truly worth the time and effort. I only wish my book was one of the ones they were giving away. Oh well!

Still, mark the day in your calendars

On Writing

Not quite sure why I write, but I guess the closest I can get to a reason is that it’s a compulsion or obsession: The overwhelming urge to organise and compile an idea into a cohesive narrative with a decent structure, dialogue and characters.

Also, after a good writing session I’m sure my brain gives me a nice hit of dopamine – somehow I feel calmer, brighter, and generally more content.

Writing makes me feel happy. Even if nobody read what I wrote I would continue to write. The pleasure I get from a well-turned phrase, line of dialogue, or paragraph of description is immeasurable.

For me personally, writing isn’t a hobby (although it can be that) but a way of life. Ten, twenty years from now, even if I never publish or self-publish another thing, I will still be writing.