Retired

Hi all,

I have been absent for quite a while, so it may be a shock me turning up again out of the blue. Anyway, the sad news is that I have given up writing so Fred Tench will have to make do with the three books I wrote around him.

There are several reasons why I have decided to give up on writing. Firstly, I am suffering with a bit of carpal tunnel syndrome, so typing for any length of time plays havoc with the condition. It is not to bad while I’m actually typing but if I’ve been overdoing it I wake up in the night with chronic pins and needles in my hand. It actually feels as if my hand has been replaced with a lobster’s claw.

The second reason is lack of time. I have passed the official retirement age and once that happened I began to ponder the length of time I have left on this earth and I had to decide how it would be best spent. Anybody who has written a book will tell you it is a very time consuming business, so  with so many other things I like to vying for my attention I decided to knock the writing on the head.

The last reason is that financially it isn’t worth the effort. With so many free books on offer I think that most authors are struggling to make any money at all. I suppose it isn’t all about the money, but if I was to do it for free, reason two would still win out.

So what am I going to do with my time now that I’m not writing. Well a few months ago I decided to have a go at woodturning. I’d never touched a lathe before, even at school, but I’d always fancied having a go.

I turned a few small lidded boxes and then discovered pen turning. Here is one I did recently.

pen27It is a cracking little hobby and I’m even going to have a go a selling some just to cover the cost of the materials. If you are interested please follow me on my pen making journey.

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The Reluctant Pom

Hi, Sorry it’s been so long between posts but things are about to get better. I have had a very difficult 12 months due to moving into a new bungalow. When I say new it’s actually about 30 years old and, to be honest, when we moved in it was a bit of a tip. It had been empty for 18 months and if it had been like that for much longer I think nature would have reclaimed it. Anyway, I have been so busy with the renovation work that I have had very little time for writing. Most of the work is now done so hopefully I can get down to some proper work. Towards the end of last year I did manage to get a little bit of time off from painting due to the fact that my wife said the fumes were killing her. It was too cold to have the windows open so the paint brush was put away for a couple of months during which time I managed to publish, The Reluctant Pom.

pommie

The Reluctant Pom tells about how I was dragged off to Australia by my parents in 1967 when I was an impressionable 16 years old. I thought I’d better get my memories down before it gets to late. If you buy a copy I hope you enjoy it because although I wrote it to put the record straight I also had entertainment in mind. Actually, writing The Reluctant Pom proved to be an emotional experience because, although I was pleased to have returned to England after 2 years down under, I found myself wondering what would it have been like if I stayed in Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong, I love England and I proud to be British, but it isn’t what it used to be. If we could have today’s technology and mix it with the standards and attitude of the fifties and sixties we’d a place that was second to none. That’s it for now folks, in my next post I’ll tell you about the new fishing book I’m working on.

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Flash Fiction 2

Hi All,
Those of you who are following the antics of Fred Tench in The Fishing Detectives series, will be pleased to know that book 3 is well underway. In fact, I would say that I am about two-thirds of the way into completing it. The plot of the book centres around some metal thieves and Fred’s team taking part in the Police National Fishing Championship. Although Fred and his colleagues are essentially pleasure anglers, Fred has another reason for needing to do well in the match and he pulls out all the stops.

I am also getting quite hooked on writing short fiction so I though I’d let you have a couple of new examples to read.

Modern Art
Wendy hadn’t expected to be thrust into the limelight. She respected great art, so it came as a big surprise when the art experts did cartwheels after seeing the abstracts she’d done for amusement.
Sitting in the TV studio, listening to the famous host introduce her was embarrassing on a scale that she never thought possible.
“And tonight ladies and gentlemen, I have the pleasure of introducing Wendy Taylor, who has wowed the world with her brilliant use of colour. Perhaps Wendy, you could explain to the art world how you do it.”
“Yes, it’s pretty easy really, I’m colour Blind.”

Quick Thinking
The light aircraft was falling slowly from the sky, but the pilot remained calm and joined his terrified passengers. One was well dressed, while the other was obviously a backpacker.
“I’ve got bad news,” said the pilot, “there are only two parachutes.”
“Well I’m a captain of industry and I make quick decisions, so I’m having one and you two can fight over the other,” said the man in the suit as he grabbed a chute and jumped.
“I’m sorry,” said the Pilot
“We’ll be alright,” said the backpacker, “the captain of industry has just jumped out with my rucksack.”

If you enjoyed these bits of short fiction, you may also enjoy my book of short stories, “No Fishing In Here: Just Short Stories” which is available on amazon.
Please click here to go to my website for details and the link. click here

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Flash Fiction

Hi all,

Although I like short stories, I’ve never really been a fan of flash fiction, especially when the word count is limited to 100 words. However,  I recently started subsribing to an indie author newsletter which features what they call a, ‘drabble’ at the end of each issue.

I enjoy reading the newsletter, but they always seem to be short of 100 word stories and put out a call for more. The upshot is that the reward for supplying the stories is a link in the newsletter which takes the reader to the author’s web page at Amazon. Anyway, I’m always on the look out for ways to promote my books and though I’d give it a whirl. The first one was difficult because it is hard to condense any story down to that number of words, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Below are my first two flash fiction stories.

Title:  Rock On

Robbie loved rock music and his Walkman was his constant companion. The bass throbbed in his earphones as he moved along quickly with the rhythm of the music matching his footfall.

He especially liked Bon Jovi and was enjoying ‘Living On A Prayer’ when the gate came in sight. Robbie also like freedom and hated it when any kind of barrier was put in his way. Still this one represented no problem; he took it in his stride and vaulted it with ease.

The train was doing about 120 miles per hour when it smeared Robbie along the track.

Title:  Stage Fright

Anxiety was getting the better of him, it brought a lump to his throat and he could feel his shoulders shake as he walked towards the wooden stage. As he climbed the steps, with his small entourage following him, he could hear the crowd cheering. His pulse was racing and he knew he wouldn’t disappoint them.

With weakening knees he was almost there, he took a deep breath and took several steps forward. This was it; he’d entered the arena for what would be his last performance.

“Stick yer head in there, lad, it’ll soon be over,” said the hangman.

I hope you enjoyed first attempts at flash fiction and if you have any comments I’d love to hear them. 

Meanwhile, if you are interested in the indie author newsletter I was telling you about here is the link. http://www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk

 

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Free Book Bonanza

Giving books away might have seemed an odd thing to do a couple of years ago, but those who adopted this strategy reaped good rewards. However, the low hanging fruit have now been picked so the rewards are dwindling rapidly.

Giving away free books no longer guarantees more readers, but why? The answer is of course that so many authors and publishing houses have now jumped on the bandwagon that the free book market is saturated.

I guess the emergence of Amazon’s KDP select has had a lot to do with the popularity of giving away books because it gave authors the tools to control the price of their book very tightly over a given period. Every book that is enrolled into KDP select, is given 5 free days promotion for the period of  enrollment which is 90 days. That means that authors partaking can give their books away over 15 times per year.

So, is it any wonder that there are thousands of books going for free every day of the year? There is no doubt about it, giving books away is not nearly as effective as it used to be. So it’s no wonder that a lot of authors are taking their books out of KDP select. Giving books away for free is okay if it gains more readers, but if they are just downloading freebies, what’s the point.

The other issue is that many of the free books on offer every day are poor in terms of quality, content and size. The notion that everybody has a free book inside them and the ease at which books can be self-published has led to a free for all which isn’t good for serious Indie Authors like myself. Many established Indie Authors have taken a look at what has become a free-for-all and are distancing themselves from it. And who could blame them because the whole thing is swamped in a pool of desperation.

My view of the future is as follows. The number of books offered for free will decline over the next couple of years as authors find that it is ineffective. I also believe that the explosion of people writing books is also over. Many will have spent hours working on their first book only to find that the excitement that came from publishing it soon disappeared with the lack of sales. When, even offering a book for free doesn’t attract any readers, many of these new authors will soon be navigating a path that leads to getting rich quick. Yes I know there are many more waiting in the wings to have a go at being an author, but I expect it will be less than those that we are losing after writing their one book that failed.

That will leave a band of serious Indie Authors who are in it for the long term. These writers will have several books published in both electronic and paperback formats. They will have also maximised their distribution channels by using Amazon and Smashwords. They will probably also put books in and out of KDP select and will, where appropriate, take advantage of the coupons system on Smashwords.

It is also true that the vast majority will never get rich from writing their books, but they will carry on doing it because writing is in their soul.

More information on my books can be found on my website

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Free Books

Hi, I saw a comment on a forum this morning that was trying to get authors to stop offering their books for free.

The reason that anybody would want to trying and stop the freebies is easy to understand and it is something I can sympathise with. The market is awash with free books and readers are becoming conditioned to reading them. After all, why would they want to buy books when every day of the week they have thousand of free books to choose from.

I suppose I’ll have to make a confession here and will admit that I am quite partial to a free book or two myself. You might think this is a bit sad, especially with me being an author, but I can’t help it. The only saving grace in our house is that my wife turns her nose up at freebies; in fact, she will have no qualms about parting with a fiver for a book that she dumps half way through.

So why are there so many free books and why are authors giving their hard work away? The answer is simple, advances in self-publishing have made it easy for anybody to publish a book. The number of indie authors has increased dramatically over the past few years and so competition has increased sharply. The only way authors can hope to find more readers in this over saturated market is to give some of their books away for free.

This was a very successful ploy to begin with, but now that more and more authors are jumping on the bandwagon the effects of offering free books is reduced.

So what can authors do about it? The person who made the comment on the forum I visited this morning thinks that if all authors stopped offering their books for free then everything would be alright.

I have to say that I like the notion, but the chances of it happening are a big fat zero. Those who stop offering their books for free will be just missing out.

I believe that this is a stage that the publishing industry is going through. Those who were offering free books and acquiring rave reviews in the past reaped the benefits. It was a bit like a gold rush, those who were in the right place at the right time got rich. By the time the rest of us picked up our picks and shovels all the best claims had been staked.

For authors, the best days of the freebies are over, but free books will be here to stay. A lot of the new indie authors will get fed up when the book they have sweated over for months sells less than a dozen copies and they will move onto other ways to “easy” money. However, for every one that throws his pen in the fire another will take is place, so get used to free books they aren’t going away soon.

By the way, I often have free books on offer, to take advantage

click here

 

 

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Two Old Farmers

It was down in deepest Somerset that two old farmers were leaning on a gate. One was chewing on a grass straw and the other sucking on a briar pipe.

“It be fine weather for tatoes,”  says farmer George.

“You be right there,” his friend Bert replies, “it do be fine weather for tatoes.”

“Dust thee remember when thee cow were eel?” asks George.

“I remembers it well,” replies Bert.

“What say they gi thy cow when it were eel?” asks George.

“I gi it some turtentine.”

“Turtentine?”

“Hi turtentine.”

A week later, the two old farmers were once again leaning on the gate; one sucking on a pipe and the other chewing on a stalk of straw.

“It be fine weather for beet,” says farmer George.

“Hi it be fine weather for beet,” replies farmer Bert.

“Dust thee remember when thee cow were eel?” asks George.

“I remembers it well,” replies Bert.

“What say they gi thy cow when it were eel?” asks George.

“I gi it some turtentine.”

“I thought that’s what thee said. Well I gave my cow some turtentine and it died.

“Hi,” replied Bert, “my cow died too.

 

 

 

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