Novels and Kindle.

Hope springs eternal, especially in the hearts of mid-listers. This week my novels ‘In Southern Waters’ and ‘The Battle for Dole Acre’ are republished for the Kindle, and hope insists that maybe this time they’ll go viral. It’s not the money, though that is always acceptable; it’s the readers I’d like.

‘In Southern Waters’ did alright, at least well enough that I got to have another crack at a novel, but ‘Dole Acre’ vanished without trace, has still yet to sell a thousand copies, and never made the transition from trade to mass-market paperback. It’s hard to understand why. One reason, I guess, is that my editor left Weidenfeld and Nicholson just before ‘Dole Acre’ came out, so it never really had a supporter within the firm. I’m not sure it does even now; I sent ’em an e-mail, to ask if I could add an appendix (the stuff that you can find here on the website), and nobody took the time to reply. Nobody has been in contact to update my biographical blurb, and you can bet your sweet ass that there will be no publicity other than this. And yet still this damned hope.

If you haven’t read them, and you have a Kindle, I honestly think they’re worth a go at £4.49. ‘Dole Acre’ in particular needs readers; few things hurt more than a book which nobody reads, and I think the pace will suit the Kindle. If you look on the tabs at the top of the website under My Books, and click on ‘Dole Acre’ rather than the pop ups ‘Curious Survivals’ or the ‘Pancester Plough Monday Play’, you can read me bleating on about it.

I was always unsure about the titles. I can’t pronounce ‘The Battle for Dole Acre’, and I always advise writers that at the very least that should be able to tell people what their book is called. ‘In Southern Waters’ was a working title, because it’s the title of the unpublishable history of Antarctic exploration that Blossom is writing in the book. I always assumed that publishing houses would have vast and efficient marketing departments who would come up with a great title. I was young (-ish). I was optimistic. I didn’t know that publishing houses regard marketing as alright for Martina Cole et al, but vulgar for everyone else.

In the meantime, I must try and live with the hope. Don’t worry. Give it a few weeks, and I’m sure it will have evaporated.

10 Responses

  1. Duncan says:

    Not just Kindle! Dutifully downloaded from Google Play onto my shiny new Nexus 7. Love your non-fiction work, and looking forward to next trip away, which will give me the excuse to get stuck in. Anyway, here’s a bit of advice…

  2. Graham says:

    yes Ian. I’m back in the saddle. I only needed a little nudge.

  3. Catherine says:

    I loved ‘In Southern Waters’ – so glad it’s on my Kindle. I have also ordered a ‘real’ version, (but not for 40p), for a Brighton friend.

  4. Catherine says:

    Ian, I have uploaded, downloaded, or whatever type of loaded it is, ‘In Southern Waters’ to my Kindle.
    According to Amazon I could have got a pre-loved one for 40p plus a bit of postage – I admit I was sorely tempted. But I’m running out of shelf space – so I didn’t.
    Kind regards,
    Catherine x

  5. Graham says:

    My goodness me, Ian I’m shocked. I can’t believe that Dole Acre sold less than 1,000 copies. Would it help if I re-read mine for the second time, which I suppose means reading it for the third time?
    Fingers crossed for the Kindle edition. But I suspect that many books downloaded to eReaders end up like the Special Features disc included with the Saudi edition of the Debbie does Dallas DVD, and languish unperused in a strange and terrible form of digital purgatory.

    You may have noticed that I abandoned blogging a few months back. I’m currently languishing in a strange and not so terrible state of digital indifference, but things may change.


  6. Dan says:

    Not got a kindle I’m afriad which is a shame as they sound well worth a read.

    However, I did buy another copy of Longest Crawl a couple of days back to give as a gift, buying the last one my local w-stones had in stock. I hope they get some more in.

  7. Ian Marchant says:

    Mac, it’s only a collectors edition because I push the price up by buying the 1p ones. And ‘Southern Waters’ is also very much available for download….

  8. Mac says:

    I honestly think that Southern Waters was the better book, but I happily recommend Dole Acre to friends. My (apparently collector’s edition) copy is currently sitting next to my girlfriend’s bed.

  9. Ian Marchant says:

    Yeah, weirdly, W and N are ‘publishing’ it. ie. uploading my keystrokes. But, gift horse in mouth and all that.

  10. Nick Walker says:

    I’ll give it a crack, I’ve got a Kindle. So how did it come about that they got on there in the first place? Did W and N do it?

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