Monday 28 October 2013

Barnaby thinks about value for money.

Barnaby likes to think of himself as a shrewd shopper who knows the difference between 'value for money' and 'buying the cheapest'. The difference, of course, is all tied up in the specification, or 'quality', if you prefer.

Barnaby's 2nd Big Book of Shorts
 is now available at Amazon
Sometimes, the specification is simply a matter of buying the cheapest available, but more often it is a question of finding the item which meets a particular set of requirements, be they functionality, size, colour, quality of construction, whatever. Having found the item that meets the specification, then Barnaby's view is that it is worth spending a little time finding out where to buy that item at the lowest price, provided that any saving is commensurate with any inconvenience incurred.
Of course, there is always a subjective element to this process. Part of the specification is defined by aesthetics and this will often override any purely functional requirement.
There is also a place, occasionally, for the entirely spontaneous or frivolous purchase, though Barnaby tends to resist these on the whole.
Pricing of e-books raises a whole bunch of questions about value for money. How does an e-book rank against a printed book in terms of perceived value? Should a book be priced by the number of words it contains or by the quality of the writing? Can a book be priced too low?
Barnaby has attempted to address the issue of 'value for money' in his own books by offering a range of purchase options. For example, Barnaby's Shorts, his series of short story collections are available in volumes of ten stories, collections of thirty or forty stories and in e-book or print editions in a variety of prices. For the ultra cautious reader, or shrewd shopper, some of his books are also available as FREE downloads. It goes without saying, that the quality is equally high in all versions.
You can find out more about the books, the author and the prices by visiting

Monday 21 October 2013

Barnaby thinks about his first million

There is a theory that no one becomes an expert at anything until they have invested ten thousand hours in it. Crudely speaking, that equates to writing something like a million words for an author.

Now Barnaby had never previously counted the number of words he'd written or the number of hours he'd spent doing it, so he wasn't sure how far along the road to becoming an expert he might be. Some might say, not far! Fortunately there are others who disagree.

To date, Barnaby now finds he has published eighteen e-books, totalling around six hundred thousand words, so he has a way to go to reach his first million. This includes his Quirky Verse, his Mercedes Drew detective stories, The Tom Fletcher stories and the anthologies of short stories. (There is another anthology of short stories about to be published, volume six).

Of course there is another school of thought entirely which says 'never mind the width, feel the quality'.

So, whether you subscribe to the theory that width is preferable to length, or prefer the opposite, or maybe even like a bit of both, Barnaby hopes that you will find something to satisfy you at

And for those who would like to check out how big Barnaby really is down under, you might like to check out this copy of The Australian Times Poetry magazine

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Is it the knees?

Barnaby has been disappointed this week to discover that all his e-book titles have disappeared from the Kobo online store, along with thousands of titles from other Indie authors. The reason for this appears to be a row with the UK book retailer W.H.Smith who complained of finding explicit 'erotic' titles displayed online alongside children's literature.

Now, Barnaby would be one of the first to agree that children should not be exposed to sexually explicit books and that this situation should be resolved quickly. However, the indiscriminate removal of all independently published e-book titles seems an unnecessarily crude method to resolve the problem.

Barnaby's books could not in any way be described as erotic, unless it is the pictures on the front covers of his collections of short stories that are disturbing people. He feels compelled, for the record, to state that any knees displayed on the book covers of his short story collections are wholly his own and that no sexual association should be inferred. The picture is merely a punning reference to the word 'short' in 'short stories'.

Fortunately, all five volumes of short stories are still available on other retailers websites and links to these can be found on the author's website at

For those of a delicate disposition, Barnaby directs your attention to his other works, including collections of quirky verse and detective fiction (The Mercedes Drew Mysteries) where there is no sign of his knees, or any other part of his anatomy.

Monday 7 October 2013

Barnaby wonders if size matters?

An Indie Author friend set a challenge recently to write a piece of Flash Fiction in 200 words. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Barnaby duly wrote a piece in 200 words, but this set him thinking. Would it have been as good, or better even, in any other length?
Here then is the 200 word version of his story, plus a 100 word version, a 140 character (tweet length) version and a headline version (5 words). Each tells essentially the same tale, but something is added (or is it?) as the length increases. Barnaby is currently considering expanding this story to something between 3,000 and 4,000 words, but will that add anything significant to what's already been said? You can judge. Here are the first 4 versions.

Headline (5 words)
Marketplace bomb kills Afghan girl.

Tweet (140 characters including spaces)
Suicide truck bomb in huge marketplace blast at Afghan army checkpoint kills two soldiers and local girl, who was shopping for pomegranates.

100 word story (excluding title)
Collateral Damage

Farrukh adjusted her niqab, re-examined her shopping list and studied the fruit, while the stallholder halfheartedly dusted the pomegranates. Her mother would be cross if she bought poor quality or paid too much.

Neither of them noticed the approaching truck.

Two soldiers, rifles slung nonchalantly, leaned against the wall.

There was gunfire and the cry "Allahu akbar" as the truck slammed into them, before the world exploded.

Farrukh's eyes flickered open as she lay on the ground, revealing a severed arm lying amongst the smoking debris, still clutching a shopping list.

She felt no pain as her world went black.

200 word story (excluding title)
Collateral Damage

Farrukh adjusted her niqab and studied the indifferent fruit piled on the market stall in front of her. The fat stallholder halfheartedly flicked dust off the pomegranates and oranges and wiped his hands on his grubby, grey kameez. She glanced at the heavily creased shopping list in her hand. Her mother would be cross if she bought poor quality, or paid too much.

Neither of them noticed the dust cloud from the approaching truck.

Two soldiers leaned on the wall next to the fruit stall, smoking and laughing loudly, rifles slung nonchalantly across their shoulders.

"Are you buying, or just looking?"

She bowed her head with embarrassment at the stallholder's brusque interrogation.

There was a loud squeal of tyres, a burst of gunfire and the cry of "Allahu akbar" as the truck slammed the soldiers into the wall before the world around her exploded with sound and light.

Farrukh's eyes flickered open momentarily as she lay on the ground, a spreading pool of blood surrounding her head. She saw in the distance, lying amongst the smoking debris and other scattered body parts, a severed arm, still clutching a shopping list. She felt no pain as her world went irreversibly black.

Barnaby Wilde  (Sept 2013)
You can find more Barnaby Wilde in a mixture of genres and lengths at  including FREE downloads of several of his e-books.