Wednesday 28 March 2012

Barnaby catches up with the news

Anyone following this blog who might have been worried about the state of Barnaby's drains following the previous post, can now sleep soundly. Following an extensive rodding and cleaning operation at the weekend everything is now flowing fast and smelling sweet.

Alas, the same improvement cannot yet be seen in Barnaby's juggling.  The previous best high score has yet to be matched or beaten. However, following the dictum that practice makes perfect, Barnaby is continuing to practice every day, though he is more optimistic of making it as an author than a juggler, it has to be said.

The weather has been so good this week that the spring flowers outside Barnaby's office window are probably now just about at their best.  A mixture of blue muscari, yellow daffodils and, well, primrose primroses. Temperatures are eight to ten degrees above normal for this time of year.

The new book which is being co-written by five independent authors is nearing completion.  The title is probably going to be 'The Trouble With Thorndyke'.  It will be published as an ebook with any profits going to charity. Details will be posted in this blog when the book is published.  Meanwhile Barnaby's books are, of course, still available via Amazon or Smashwords.  Visit for more information.

Friday 23 March 2012

Barnaby jumps in at the deep end

Today there is blue sky and full sunshine.  It feels more like summer than winter and the garden is blooming with spring flowers.

Unfortunately, Barnaby has discovered that his sewer pipe is blocked and the inspection pit is full to the top with dirty water.  So he has spent a couple of hours lying on his front over a smelly inspection pit trying to unblock the drain using the only tools he had nearby, namely a hosepipe and his own two hands, whilst at the same time trying not to fall in.  All to no avail.  It appears that tree roots have invaded the drain and it will require heavier duty tools to unblock it.

Of course, Barnaby could simply call a drain clearance specialist, sit back and write a cheque. Job done, but he would no more admit defeat at this early stage than he would pay a ghost writer to compose his poems.  Next step - buy a set of drain cleaning rods.

Disappointingly Barnaby used to own a set of drain cleaning rods, but lent them to someone (he can't remember who) and they were never returned.

Of course you don't have to return his FREE ebooks.  They are yours to keep and enjoy for ever.  All he asks is that you tell your friends to visit where they will find out all they need to know about Barnaby Wilde.  If you feel that's too easy, then you could always write a review if you enjoyed the books, or download another one.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Barnaby gets involved

It's a cut throat place, the world of independent publishing.  Every author out for himself, desperate for publicity at any price.  Willing to ride rough shod over any other author in order to get attention.

Except that isn't like that at all. One of Barnaby's happy discoveries is that there is a worldwide community of would be authors out there eager to communicate and share with each other with just as much enthusiasm as they have for communicating with their hoped for readers.

Whether that is reading and reviewing another author's book, helping with a formatting problem, or sharing ways to improve publicity, there are a lot of passionate people out there keen to help one another.

And now Barnaby has joined with the other authors who are promoting their works under the banner of Suzybazaar (see previous post) to write a cooperative novella.  The process is for each chapter to be written by a different author who is free to take the story in whichever direction he or she wishes, provided continuity is maintained, writing in the author's own style.  The result is a lot of fun for the authors, an unpredictable storyline and, it's hoped, a book that will eventually be published to raise money for charity.

Barnaby can't tell you when the book will be finished because it is still being written.  He can promise that it will make you smile and maybe laugh out loud, but there may also be pathos, romance, violence, mystery?  Who knows?  It's still evolving.

Keep reading the blog for updates on progress.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Barnaby wonders why?

Reading the author's bulletin boards at Amazon and elsewhere, it is apparent that some authors number the downloads of their ebooks in the thousands, some in the hundreds and the majority in the ones. Barnaby can't help wondering what it is that prompts readers to download a book by an unknown author.

Genre is obviously important.  Some folks will never read Science Fiction, for example, while others may seek out only Humour.  Quality of writing ought to be high up amongst the reasons, but Barnaby isn't entirely convinced that this is as much of a number driver as one might think.  Certainly there are many fine writers out there who have yet to be discovered.  Many of them better writers than some of the most downloaded.  Price will be a feature.  Many people will never pay for an ebook, believing that all internet content should be FREE.  There is a huge volume of work in ebooks which is FREE, but even among the FREE body of work there is a huge difference between the numbers downloaded for one author compared to another.

Reviews are an important driver, especially 4 and 5 star reviews, which is one reason why all authors crave good reviews.  (The other, of course, is that they just want the reassurance that their work has pleased somebody.  In fact, most authors probably value the reward of a good review far more than the monetary reward, if indeed there is one).

The biggest driver, though, is always going to be publicity.  Advertising, if you like.  And the best advertising is the 'word of mouth' recommendations from people who have read and enjoyed a particular ebook.  It is reported by many successful independent authors that the biggest driver of sales or downloads for them is the ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter.

Barnaby is a bit old fashioned in this respect and much as he would like you to click on the Facebook button on his website he'd be even happier if you just told your friends how much you'd enjoyed one of his books.  And, of course, if you could post a review as well, it would make his day.  Go on, you know you want to.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Unexpected Consequences

One of the unexpected and pleasant consequences of publishing ebooks is to make the acquaintance of other ebook authors.  Barnaby has exchanged messages with authors from as far afield as New Zealand, America and also nearer to home in France and the UK.  He has also had ebook sales in Germany and Spain.

He has been invited to join a group of Independent Authors who are promoting their books via a website operated by Suzy Stewart Dubot, who writes mainly Regency period novels.  The other authors cover a wide range of genres including science fiction, humour, poetry, and literary novels.  Many of the works featured are available for FREE download and you can check out the website and all the recommended authors by clicking on the following link.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Barnaby blows his own cover

Barnaby has decided to put up a new cover for his book 'A Question of Alignment'.  The previous cover, whilst relevant to the story, was a little dull.  The new cover picture is based on an image by  the photographer Tambako, who has generously made this image Public Domain.

You may of course be wondering how a set of cellar stairs, a pile of lottery balls, talking cats and an orangutan could possibly be related (and we haven't even mentioned a small white lacy thong or interdimensional travel), but in Tom Fletcher's world anything is possible.

If you want to find out more, you'll just have to take a look at the book.  You can see a FREE sample at Smashwords in the ebook format of your choice by clicking on the link. 'A Question of Alignment'

Despite the colourful new cover, there is no increase in price and of course the 'FREE' titles are also still there to explore.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Barnaby goes a little wild (for one week only).

March 4th to March 10th is 'Read an e-book week' at Smashwords with many authors offering substantial discounts on their books for one week only.  Not wishing to be left behind, Barnaby has discounted his two novels 'A Question of Alignment' and 'I Keep Thinking it's Tuesday' by 50% for the week.  This means that both books are available for the astonishingly low price of 99c each (about 62 pence) or the amazing bargain price of $1.98 for two.

Most of Barnaby's books are available 'FREE' and much as he would like to discount them further he is sadly unable to oblige.

To obtain the 50% discount  for either 'A Question of Alignment' or 'I Keep Thinking it's Tuesday' click on the following link 50% discount on Barnaby Wilde, select the book you wish to download and enter the coupon code  REW50 at the appropriate point in the transaction.

Barnaby hopes you will enjoy his books and, if you do, perhaps you would like to leave him a review. (For details of how to leave a review see earlier posts)

Happy reading.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Barnaby wonders how much 'FREE' is worth

It is ironic that folk seem to place a higher value on something that they've paid for than if that same item were 'FREE'.  Many independent authors give away some or all of their work 'FREE' in order to publicise their writing.  Most do not expect to become rich or famous, (though we can all dream), but hope that some if not all of their readers will enjoy reading what they have spent many hours, days, weeks, sometimes years, writing.  Being able to publish e-books via a platform such as Smashwords or Amazon has given hundreds of aspiring writers the opportunity, hitherto denied them, to present their work to a wider audience and many will give away their books, or some of them, 'FREE' in order to be recognised.
Initially it is gratifying simply to see one's work published at all.  Seeing the 'FREE' downloads accumulate is the second small gratification.  What the author really wants, though, is feedback.
Feedback for an author normally means Reviews.
Now it is a strange fact that people who download books for 'FREE' are much less likely to do the author the courtesy of posting a Review than those who have paid for the book.  Reviews reward the good author with positive feedback and inform if there are things that can be improved.  They also help other readers judge whether a book is likely to be of interest to them.  Of course we all want to have good reviews, and there is never a reason to post a destructive or insulting review, but all honest, constructive reviews are welcomed.
So, Barnaby's thought for the day is 'Posting reviews of an e-book you have just read is easy.'  Just go to the place that you downloaded the book from and you will find a button marked Review.  The rest is up to you. 
Happy posting!