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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

I’ve already wished everyone a happy new year - at the time of the Solstice - but of course we celebrated the turning of the calendar year too: with family, and a bottle of champagne. (Any excuse.) So, may I take this opportunity of wishing a conventional Happy New Year to all my readers.

I have high hopes for 2012. There’s only a month or so to go before I part company with this latest manuscript - I’ve just re-written the first of thirteen chapters to include a few procedural points - and crack on with one or two projects of my own. First will be putting the narrative of my Nebraska trip online as an e-book, hopefully by late February. I’ve no idea what kind of a task that’ll be, nor how easy it will be to include the photos, and perhaps a few audio clips. I am also wondering whether there’s any money at all to be made in such a venture, but frankly speaking, I don’t really care. I’ve talked before about the abysmal rate received by authors compared with the price that appears on a book’s cover, but so far the Mike Pannett books are selling well enough to keep me afloat, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted from life: sufficient money to live on, and plenty of free time in which to express myself.

I had a new insight into author payments over the holiday period. (Perhaps I should explain to readers from overseas that in the UK we more or less shut down for ten days around the turning of the year; through much of the building trade, for example, work has stopped from just before Christmas until Monday the 9th January.) After amazon.co.uk decided to slash the price of the kindle download of Now Then, Lad, it shot up their books charts and has settled at around the 60 mark, rubbing shoulders with a number of Christmas celebrity blockbusters. The great thing about having a series of books out there is that any reader who downloads Book 1 and likes it will have a look at the next three. So all four are selling well just now. Hot on the heels of this development, I fished out a copy of the contract from Hodder. Aha! I soon found what I wanted on p. 7 of 11. Out of 99 pence a copy, Mike and I can look forward to around 10 pence each. So 5000 sales will net us £500. Better than a slap in the face with a wet cod, as we say. And the exposure is invaluable. I’ll be interested to see where we settle once the price returns to normal. As to floating my other work on amazon, I see that I could get in the region of 70% of the cover price if I did it myself. It’s quite an incentive. All I have to do is sell; and sell; and sell. 

Anyway, for your interest - and on the understanding that there’s no pressure to buy - here’s the link to the kindle version of the book:


Amazon has all kinds of book categories, of course, and in ‘Police’ we seem to be taking over the world. The various forms of our books occupy eight of the top twenty slots:


More impressively, I think, we are around number ten in ‘Biography’, just behind  superstar croonerAdele and The King’s Speech, and - at the time of writing this - just ahead of Michael McIntyre and James Corden (neither of whose names mean a thing to me - but I understand they are ‘big’.)

Okay, enough puff for the books. May I now draw your attention to my new website, which has been up and running for a couple of days now. It’s at www.alan-wilkinson.com (Press Control and ‘click’.) I’d appreciate any comments on it - and apologise if you receive an email from me over the next day or so pushing it once more. That’s my next job this wild and windy afternoon.

Waves at Dunstanburgh, Boxing Day