Saturday, 4 January 2014

Projects on Hold…

Dear all,

This blog isn’t being brought on by the ‘resolutions’ business we all get involved in over New Year (whether admitting it or not) but rather I wanted to quickly tell you all the things I’ll be putting on hold in 2014…this isn’t a list of all the things I am giving up on, or have got bored with or anything like that. It’s just that, as per my previous blogs have told you, I am going on away this year and as much as I am looking forward to it and the opportunity it will give me to focus on writing, it does mean some of the projects I am working on I simply won’t be around for. It’s a shame in a way, because I was really enjoying them and as with all things it takes a bit of time to build up steam, to get the ball rolling as they say. So to put the brakes on now feels unfortunate but it is definitely not the end, it is merely an interruption for all the right reasons.


If any of you have had the chance to visit my YouTube channel: you will see that there are half a dozen videos uploaded. My intention was there would be a few more by now, but it takes a bit of work you know! I didn’t quite grasp how much at first. The idea was to create a channel whereby I could interview people from all creative walks in life and discuss how their artistic passions are linked to writing in some way, influences, techniques, etc. It was a platform I could use to further my interest in the art world and hopefully create some interesting content that people would enjoy. As you all know, there is no shortage of videos online, and to create something new and individual is hard, but all I had in mind is creating content that I would find fun but would be educational and insightful, and if I did that, then I was sure people would enjoy it too. Over the course of this year I have spoken to several people who were interested in being involved, I was lucky enough to be able to get some completed, Alfred Duff, Rufus Garlic and Brian Bowers and I really enjoyed them and was busily planning more. I had sculptors, painters, musicians, actors, directors and others all lined up to take part at some point, it was just a matter of organizing dates and times. However, as I won’t be here this year it will have to go on hold. Thank you so much to everyone who was in discussions with me, I’ll be calling you up the minute I am in a position to get the camera rolling again!

I want to take this opportunity to thank Dan Li of The Captured Picture Company ( for all of his hard work filming and editing these videos, I’ll be back for more I promise and please don’t show anyone the outtakes!!!

Nook and other eReaders

There is a lot of debate about the amount of time, energy and focus independent people should put on being on multiple platforms. I won’t go into that here but for various reasons I have taken the decision to sell on eReaders other than just Kindle. Perhaps I’ll blog on this topic another time. However, for now, I have a presence on Kobo, Google Books and Scribd. Nook, Sony and others I’m not on yet and there are issues to do with having a US residence/bank account to be able to sell on there but I intend on working on that at some point. Either way, what I haven’t spent as much time on this year as I wanted to was ensuring that I knew the formatting issues for these other platforms as well as I know the Kindle. It’s not that straightforward getting to grips with the technical side, it’s not outrageously difficult either, it’s just about spending enough time on it, that’s all.  I will be keeping this important task very near the top of my to-do list.

New Pinterest Shared Boards & Vine

For a long time now I have had several ideas on some marketing projects I want to get started. I don’t want to discuss them too much here (that would be telling wouldn’t it!) but it’s a real shame I didn’t get them underway this year. Vine is a video-sharing platform for quick 6 second films. I wanted to create lots of these on specific book/writing related projects but will have to wait until 2015 I think because of the internet connection situation and also most of the ideas I had were for London although of course I am willing to adapt! The same goes for Pinterest, I have a few secret boards that I wanted to get up and running, on what I think are very interesting literary related themes…I’m looking forward to getting back to that and getting you involved in them too…


It was never an initial aim of mine to use a print on demand service, I was only interested in eBooks, and I pretty much still am. However, it has become easier and easier to use these services and also, several people have asked me about it, so I thought why not. I’ve added it to my to-do list (erm, business plan) but it’s not top priority, I will see how things go next year and try to get it going if I can.

Social Media Advertising and Development

There are a thousand and one things I wanted to learn, a thousand of which I had no idea about before I started the company, and I’ve had both fun and frustration getting to grips with the basics. As I’ve talked about before they are absolutely essential for any independent person to understand and develop their business. There is a lot of stuff on Google to work on, analytics and optimization, paid advertising campaigns to consider, and importantly, linking all of my online presence together so that I can have the mindset of working as a ‘brand’ that has specific goals and targets. I am lucky in that I have friends who work in social media and if any of you are reading this, I will be emotionally blackmailing you into giving me some of your time and expertise soon enough, don’t think you have got away with it!

A couple of thoughts on going away…

Before I go, I was watching a couple of online videos this week and wanted to share them with you. I leave in a few days and I will do my best to remember Philip Roth’s advice when, without doubt, the panic sets in and I start to wonder what the hell I have done:

The Book Review Show: Philip Roth
Watch: 02:12 - 02:59

And what I will do my absolute best to do is prove John Braine wrong (nothing personal of course John Braine fans, there are some other very interesting points made in the film…and some nonsense too though) as the timing of me watching this just a few days before I am ‘going abroad’ really made me laugh…(click on the title below to watch, not the image)

Watch: 12:03 – 12:45 14:20 – 15:38

BBC Writers Archive: John Braine 
Love and best wishes,


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