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Under Reconstruction

Just updating the website layout and look so forgive if things look a bit odd for a few hours…or days, depending how well this goes. Erm…make that a few weeks. It may change back and forth until I’ve chosen all the graphics…and I need to find the time, but it’s going to look much better.

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Available for pre-order

Ooooh. Waking up to the news that my steampunk book The Draco Eye is available for pre-order at:
Apple (all countries)
Amazon (all countries)
Google Books
Official release is 15th September. Of course, I always promote buying directly from publishers whenever possible. For anyone who likes steampunk and dragons.

In other news, I’m still editing an older work with a view to either re-releasing or putting it to bed. I’m hoping to get through the first pass of the older stuff within the next couple of weeks. It’ll need more than one pass of course, but I can then carry on with the third installment and see if there is in fact going to be a third and whether I want to give this project new life.

On the homefront–well, you can nip over to my blog to see what’s been happening there. Let’s say should I ever want to include house-hunting as a setting for a book, I’ve learned too much over the years. I’m not sure they’d get in answer to “What are you looking for?” my reply of ‘somewhere peaceful to write’.

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Feel a change coming on

Been playing around with separating my writing somewhat and then gave into temptation to look at themes. Feel a change coming on. Bit like clearing house, I’m starting to itch to give this place a makeover. A cleaner look website may be on its way in the next few weeks. Maybe sooner, but if later, I hope in time for the new year at least.

Writing wise, still trying to figure out an alternative title for a book I have in edits with Loose id. Goodness, is that a pain. I was only 90% happy with the title I chose, true, but I had thought of a secondary title in case I wanted to write a follow-up and now that title would also have to be scrapped. This is the side to writing no one writers think about. Things get change. Titles are rejected as not marketable or because the publisher already has a similar title on their books. In this case, they have a series using one of the words and they don’t want to confuse readers into thinking my book is part of that. Trouble is, I’m truly stumped for ideas. Often I cannot even begin to write until I know the title I’m going to use, but there’s always an exception and this was that time.

Also working on revamping another romance and expanding it into a trilogy, and looking forward to my next steampunk release. When I’m quiet, either life is getting in the way or I’m writing, but everyone who knows me can work that out.

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Why it helps writers to order from the publisher

Cat among the pigeons time.

Sales are down. Not just my sales. Author sales. Book sales. There’s been many recent reports indicating the average income for a writer to be around £11,000. And, Dear Reader, you thought writers were in this for the money.

What can help is in-house sales, but they are down the most. Print books…generally they go out to distribution, aka shops. I’ll be simplifying here so figures aren’t going to be accurate but to provide a basic idea, let’s say the author gets usually 7-10% but often that’s not even on the cover price. Not unless sold through the publisher. Books (print and electronic) pay this percentage on the income from the seller. So if a book sells at £5 and the shop takes £2, the profit shared by the publisher and writer is 90% to the publisher and 10% to the author of £3. My maths isn’t wonderful, but even I can guess that’s 30p. So, £2 to the store (possibly more), 30p to the writer, and £2.70 to the publisher. Doesn’t sound like much but what if we’re talking about a £18 hardback? These figures get a whole lot larger as does the discrepancy between them, and all three individuals have to pay taxes out of this.

I’m not saying don’t buy from bookshops. I’m saying do–for print. I’m one of those who hates the disappearance of the high street bookshop, and these shops may well take £6 or more of a £18 book but they have overheads and can’t discount the same way as supermarket chains.

On the other hand, electronic books generally earn the writer a larger cut, anything from 25 to 50% is average with some markets. Some books increase percentage after a number of sales so let’s say the author’s cut is at the highest end of the scale at 50%.

If sold in-house this means on a £5 book the writer and publisher split the price so a nice £2.50 each. Less for the publisher but a big difference for the writer from that 30p. Not all cuts are this high though. The split could be £1.25 to the writer and £3.75 to the publisher. Still a big difference to both. But if electronic books are sent out via a distributor they still take their cut just the same as any bookstore would, and this can vary tremendously.

And here is where it becomes necessary to point out to anyone who owns a reader that  suitable files are generally available direct from publishers now for all types of readers and tablets, and you get the ‘file’. You don’t rent it as when buying through certain online retailers. Please bear this in mind next time you reach for your reader and buy with a ‘click’ because as I said at the top of this, sales are down.

For writers. For their publishers. For some publishers in-house sales are a thing of the past. This means less profit for the writer and the publisher and is putting many at threat, especially on shorter and cheaper titles because one particular large well-known online retailer takes a far higher cut on those. FAR higher.

When you buy a book if you’re happy with a distributor taking 60% or more, and only 40% or less of the cover price being split between those who did the work then there’s probably nothing I can say to convince you. All I can say is that even if I weren’t writing, for all the authors I’ve ever loved (and no, not all of them are or ever will be ‘rich’) I know how this makes me feel on their behalf.

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My Writing Process Blog Tour

Pop by my blog to read my post for the Writing Process Blog Tour…and watch this space as I may be shuffling things up a bit to separate my writing genres a bit more. Otherwise, no real news except I’m writing and editing, and re-reading and re-editing things. Busy as always with life generally getting in the way a bit as it has done the last couple of years, but I’m busy working as always.

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Night to Dawn issue 26

Night to Dawn issue 26 available now. Contains my short story Night Train. Are a loving couple about to reach their final destination?

Night to Dawn 26

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Two Contracts Signed

I know a couple of people have been waiting to hear these announcements, which I released news of on Facebook first. Sorry about that. ;)

First, I have signed a contract to re-release Space, Man with Musa Publishing probably sometime next year. This is an interesting exercise for me. It was never sold out-of-house at Loose id, and when I came to edit it, I realised the writing was ‘almost there’ but not quite. My style understandably has changed. It’s an odd practise to look at your old work and to see it needs editing. It’s made me think about a few other earlier titles. Looking at them anew is painful, but also heartening — I can see where and how I’ve improved. So I sent in a re-edited version that Musa accepted and I am sure my editor, Helen, may have a few ideas to incorporate, too.

My second and maybe bigger announcement is that I’ve signed a contract for a new novel with Loose id. It’s called (unless it changes) Going Nowhere, and I can only describe it as a m/m paranormal detective erotic romance. Who said you can’t mix things up? *grin* No release schedule yet.

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So we’re all in it for the money

Writers are rich, right? It’s okay to steal books and therefore sales from them because publishers and writers are all ‘rolling in it’. They’ve got a cushy life, work from home, can roll out of bed when they want in the morning, type a few words on a page and their work for the day is done.

I won’t post a long discussion on how many ways these beliefs are so wrong when someone has already done it for me; check out this article:

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Here be Dragons!

I’ve appropriately returned from Cornwall, a well known county of legend. This week I’ve had the final edit for my next Space, 1889 offering, The Draco Eye, and one cannot get more legendary than the creature that inhabits Jupiter. Blurb coming soon, along with more writing news. In the meantime, enjoy my fabulous cover:


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