Saturday 28 June 2014

Barnaby thinks small

The British economist E F Schumacher used the phrase 'Small is Beautiful' as the title to a series of essays he published in 1973 (The phrase itself is credited to his tutor, Leopold Kohr). The phrase is usually used to champion small design solutions that are reckoned to empower people more.

Barnaby has been wondering how this philosophy translates to books, where it seems that 'bigger is better' is often assumed. A look in any book shop window will reveal the latest blockbuster novels which are often four, five, or even six hundred pages long. Indeed it appears that these books are sometimes sold by the kilo rather than by the quality of the writing. Does this mean that a long novel is, therefore, superior to a short story?

Happily not, for the truth is that it is ultimately the quality of the ideas and the writing that will win out. There is a place for both the long and the short. The long novel allows plots to be developed further and characters to be explored in more depth. The short story allows single ideas to be presented in novel ways and is sometimes the jumping off point to be developed further at some later date. Many times, though, the short story exists simply to provide a few minutes entertainment, or to provoke a new thought.

To this end, Barnaby has been creating short stories for the last couple of years in what he calls 'coffee break' sized pieces. Each can be read in about ten or fifteen minutes, just long enough to accompany your morning coffee. (Of course they work just as well in the bath, on the train, or in bed).

Each book in the Barnaby's Shorts series contains ten short stories in a wide variety of genres. To get you started, Volume One is entirely FREE! here and, as it is an ebook download, it doesn't even weigh a fraction of a kilo.

You can find more of Barnaby's books at

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Apple makes it easy for ebook downloading

Apple's New iOS 8 is Game-Changer for eBook Retailing
Yesterday Apple unveiled iOS 8, the new Apple operating system upgrade that will come out this fall.

Buried in a slide during the live demo event referenced as "iOS 8 features we didn’t have time to talk about" was an ebook retailing bombshell:  iBooks will come pre-installed on iOS 8.

The iBooks app is Apple's ebook store.  Inside that app are over 250,000 books from Smashwords authors.

This is a game-changer for ebook retailing.
iBooks will come pre-loaded on every device with iOS 8.
Image modified from original sourced from

According to the latest public information, there are over 800 million devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) running prior versions of Apple's iOS.

The new iOS will be available as a free upgrade to users of the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.

Prior to iOS 8, readers who wanted to shop iBooks were forced to click to the Apple App store, search for the iBooks app, sign in with their email address and password, and then install it.

The absence of a pre-installed app created unnecessary friction. It means only a fraction of Apple's customer base today has convenient access to your books (which makes the enormous success of iBooks all the more impressive).  Yesterday's news means iBooks will become ubiquitous.
It'll be like having a bookstore in nearly one billion pockets and purses.  It's not a stretch to speculate that within a couple years, the iBooks app will be ever-present on over one billion devices around the world.

Apple's brilliant move will place Barnaby's books just one or two clicks from being discovered by readers.
Meantime, if you can't wait for iOS8, you can find all Barnaby's books from whichever online store you prefer (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple and many others) by visiting including several FREE titles.

Monday 2 June 2014

Two new titles

The first three volumes of Mercedes Drew Mysteries are now available in a single volume - Mercedes Drew the collection. This anthology contains nine complete Mercedes Drew stories, plus a preview of volume four Smile for the Camera.

You can find out more about the motorcycling Mercedes Drew, her biker mates and her boyfriend, Inspector Desmond Flowers at

Flowers for Mercedes, Free Running and Flandra are also still available as single volumes as ebooks or print editions.

Also newly published is the latest title from the Top Writers Block group. Eight authors from around the world, with eight stories inspired around the theme PAIN.

As always, profits from sales of books by Top Writers Block will go to the charity Sea Shepherd.

For more information or to purchase the book click here
You can find all of Barnaby's books at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Smashwords and many other online ebook retailers.