Prices rises and general warnings

As of the 1 August, The Glasgow Grin will be going up in price from 99p/$0.99 to £2.99/$3.99. The lower price point has obviously assisted sales that are creeping towards the 3,000 barrier in the UK, and helped shift numerous copies of my other novels and novellas, but I feel now is the time to raise the price. I’ve been selling GG cheaply for far longer than I ever planned (it was originally only going to be 99p until the end of March), and all good things must come to an end.

Will this decision affect sales? Undoubtedly, and for the worse. However, I don’t think £2.99 is an unfair price to pay for several years of my life, and something that will give readers many hours of enjoyment (I hope). It will, I suspect, negatively impact sales of my other books, too. But I’ve been worrying more about my sales recently than I’ve been doing actual writing. I check my sales figures with depressing and monotonous regularity; in fact, I’d even go so far as to suggest that it has become a complusion. So, come August, I’ll be avoiding my sales figures like they’re some sort of life-threatening disease.

The other thing I plan to do is put bad language and violence warnings clearly within the product description/synopsis of my books. I’m getting tired of the prudish, and those of a weak disposition, giving me one-star reviews because they can’t handle bad language or sex or strong violence. Frankly, I’d rather warn them from the start that my work is hardcore crime fiction, so they don’t make the mistake of buying my stuff and complaining about it later. A clear warning (PROBABLY IN CAPS, SO THERE’S NO MISTAKE) at least gives readers a chance to make an informed decision about my work (although the current synopsis for my latest novel states clearly: The Glasgow Grin combines intense, fast-paced plotting, ferocious ultra-violence, snappy, foul-mouthed dialogue, and a rogue’s gallery of twisted villains…).

So there you have it!

The cover for The Greatest Show in Town

The cover for my new short collection - The Greatest Show in TownHere for anybody who cares to have a look is the cover for my upcoming short story collection The Greatest Show in Town and other shorts. It features a very nice photograph of the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough as its main image, along with a bit of photo layering and a touch of transparency effects to get something that I feel is quite evocative of the contents within.

It has a different look to The Gamblers and The Hunters, but that was intentional. I wanted to differentiate it, draw attention to the fact that it’s a short collection. The Stanton brothers books will all have a very similar visual theme  – following the look developed in The Hunters. And even though the brothers appear in quite a few of these shorts it isn’t strictly a collection about them. I wanted the cover to reflect that.

Anyway, enough waffle from me…

Let me know what y’all think. If it’s appealing, do tell. Similarly, if you think it’s a big bag o’ crap then kindly tell me why it offends you!

Deadline missed – director’s cut

They say you should never change more than one aspect of your life at any one time, or at the most two: job, relationship, home; they should be changed sparingly, otherwise your stress levels will go off the scale.

Well, I’ve changed all three in the space of a fortnight.

Me and my girlfriend decided to end our relationship after three years together for reasons I won’t go into on this blog (’cause it ain’t nobody’s business but ours). I made a big thing of travelling with her to south-east Asia in a few posts on here and had put in my notice at work (a post I’ve been in for over five years). But I realised, once the relationship had ended, that the only reason I was undertaking this big trip was because of our relationship and not because I wanted a four month trip. Although it’s amicable and we’re friends, I knew that a big trip to south-east Asia wasn’t for me, because I felt it wasn’t the right time and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. So I decided to try and retract my resignation.

Unfortunately for me, the organisation I work for decided to have a recruitment freeze on exactly the same day that I put in for a retraction. Obviously my retraction was denied. There’s nothing I can do about this – I either whine about it or accept it. I have chosen to accept it.

Then there’s the little matter of having nowhere to live. Me and my girlfriend decided to put in our notice on the lovely flat we lived in near Highgate once we made plans to go travelling. When I changed my mind I was left without a place to live. Well, I do have a place to live, but it isn’t London. It’s in Spain, where my parents have a holiday home, and that’s probably what I’ll be calling home for the next few weeks/months.

This is all a long-winded way of saying that I’ve missed my deadline.

I’ve had so much other stuff going on in my life that editing and correcting has been pushed to one side temporarily – at least until I can get a few moments of stability in my life.

Writing thrives on chaos, but my experience with The Gamblers tells me that editing works best with solitude, silence and stability. Spain will give me that, along with other benefits.

In addition to editing The Hunters and finalising the first draft of my second novel I intend to freelance as a graphic designer – specialising in covers and eBook layouts for self-published authors. But I won’t go into that here and now, because this is a post about missed deadlines.

The Hunters will now be released on Monday December 5, along with a short story collection called either The Beautiful Game or The Greatest Show in Town. Five of the stories feature the Stanton brothers, who will be the main focus of my work over the next year or so, but there are a few others in there too.

The December date gives me adequate time to edit, correct and create the eBook and cover (I do all this myself – one of the benefits of being a crayon-monkey, I guess) and not feel like I’m rushing like crazy. The last thing I want to do is write something I think works nicely and ruin it with a cack-handed editing job. I have enough self-respect and respect for my readers not to release something that is blatantly unfinished. So I’ll take my time and get it right.

December is also the perfect month to release new pieces of work. Santa’s bringing kids of all ages new Kindles, which if I do a decent marketing push gives my work a fair chance of making its way on to at least a few of them.

I apologise to those that expected to see The Hunters on October 1. Had things gone as planned that would have been the case. But, alas, things didn’t go as planned and I’m trying to deal with the situation as smoothly as I can.

But I WILL hit the December deadline, folks. You heard it here first, The Hunters goes on sale December 5 on Amazon for 99p and $0.99.

Take a gamble…

If you fancy a prime slice of gritty, urban noir and a fast-moving good read, then The Gamblers is still for sale. Imagine Ted Lewis crossed with Jim Thompson updated to the 21st century and you’re getting close to what The Gamblers is all about…

Get it on Kindle in the UK for 99p here: http://amzn.to/muNLwa

Get it on Kindle in the US for $1.99 here: http://amzn.to/liVZLs

For those who prefer their books printed rather than digital, get the paperback for 10% off at Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/pjbnn0

Go on, take a gamble…