Merry Kindle (*or insert the name of any other generic e-reader here) Christmas!

Wow! What a year 2011 has been for digital publishing and the growth of the digital/ebook!

I am not going to start sprouting stats and figures and predicting 2012/2013 growth (Mark does that here), we all know what possibilities 2012 will bring and can pretty much put money on the continued upward trend of digital outpacing paper. No, what I want to talk about is a bit more fun than that.

As a writer, you often have little visions/images/scenes/films running in your head; you all know what I am talking about. We’ve all had that character sashaying their way into your imagination whilst in the middle of Tesco.  My co-writer, Mark, takes it one step further and has full-blown night visits (but that’s a story for another day). Anyway, you get my drift.

If you’re a reader visiting this blog, then you may not know what I mean, but any fiction writer will tell you it’s true. Stories kinda write themselves, characters have a way of introducing themselves to you when you least expect it and taking your book off in a completely different direction, that is why we never plan our novels. It’s also why I LOVE writing. I have never had to sit down and think about a story, cool huh?

But, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Kindle Christmas.

Now, it is no secret that most of our 125,000 plus ebook sales in our first year have been through Amazon (and mostly UK), approximately 85% at a rough guess, although we have started to sell very well on Waterstones UK ebook site and currently have two books in the Top 20, but let’s face it, for us, this year, it’s all about the ‘zon. So we are very excited to see what happens over Christmas this year (it is really our first festive period of selling given that we only uploaded ‘Sugar & Spice’ at the end of November 2010 and didn’t do any promotion) when an anticipated 12 million Kindles will find their way to new homes.

 Awww, isn’t she purdy? (of course it’s a girl, she can do more than one thing at once!) 😉

I have contributed to those sales, I currently have one in my cupboard for my mum for Christmas and when I racked my brains to remember where I had put it the other day, that is when I had my funny little vision.

All over the world, in drawers, attics, under beds, hidden in wardrobes, under trees and even in obscure places like behind the fridge, there are millions upon millions of baby Kindles just waiting to be set free! I can see them squealing and squirming in their little brown boxes, jigging about with excitement, counting down the days until some lucky wife, mother, father, brother, sister or the next door neighbours’ cats’ vet opens that package on Christmas morning!

It’ll be like a scene from Gremlins! As if they multiply when one person plugs them in, another one appears!

Tee hee. Made me laugh. It also frightens the hell out of me!

Will Amazon be prepared for the surge? Will their servers cope? What will happen to sales and the charts? Will there be a boom on other e-reader sites like Kobo etc?

Who knows… I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, the ‘zon elves are hard at work as we speak and I hope Ole St Nic had the foresight to tie Amazon into a ‘parts delivered’ deal, cos when most people open their pressies on the 25th, you can bet your life there’ll be a Kindle in there somewhere!

Happy ‘Kindle’ Christmas to all of our readers and fellow writers and publishers. I wonder what we’ll be saying this time next year! 😉


iPhone 5 anyone? Ding, ding. Round three!

As a self-confessed Apple addict (I have the iPad, iPod, iPhone, Mac air and a iMac) I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the iPhone 5.

I waited and waited for news of a release as I was due to buy a new iPhone and didn’t want the 4 if the 5 came out this month.

There had been rumours of the 5 not being ready and some ‘technical glitches’ and also word of a dispute with the touch screen and component manufacturers, so I was wary.

We all know it is gadget suicide to release something before it is ready and then have people complain and switch to a rival brand.

It’s not that different from uploading your book when it’s done. You may have the ‘perfect finished novel’ but if it isn’t properly proof-read, edited, formatted and you don’t have an eye-catching cover, you could be chancing your arm.

As you may know, we have recently launched our new digi-imprint MWiDP (mark williams international digital publishing) and we are in the process of uploading our first books to Amazon KDP.

We currently have 9 titles live, 16 awaiting publishing or review and another 7 ready to be uploaded. On top of that, there are contracts sat on the desks of some top, top writers scattered around  the globe waiting to be signed. We are working with these writers to ensure that when the books are released, readers are getting the most perfect product available.

Maybe Apple are doing that because last night, whilst the world held their collective breath at the hugely-hyped “Let’s talk iPhones” reveal, I joined them in a universal blowing out of cheeks.

No iPhone 5.

Instead? iPhone 4s.

Now whilst this new version has some great extra features such as: a new chip, better camera and voice recognition software: Siri, it isn’t what the techies were expecting. Sure, it works with iOS5 and the new iCloud, but it’s not the iPhone 5.

Apple have come under fire recently for their “walled-garden” business model and their refusal to allow Adobe (who, incidentally, have just bought out Typekit) Flash software on their products, and with the perfectly timed Amazon sucker-punch last week and the new Kindle Fire being released, it is just possible that their heavyweight crown is slipping.

In this hugely competitive, cut-throat digital age, you can’t afford to not play with the other kids. Mark explains our ‘cloud theory’ at MWiDP and how we are even getting into bed (not the ring) with other small publishers, over at WG2E.

So have Apple just thrown in the towel with their damp squib, half-release? Is their domination of the gadget market coming to an end?

It could well be. If the value of their share price compared to Amazon is anything to go by, it’s a certainty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still a HUGE Apple fan and I am sure the iPhone 4s will sell well, but as a writer and publisher (heck, that sounds funny) I am interested in where the market is for our books and I expect the run up to Christmas to be one huge clash of the titans.

Who will triumph? Who knows? But there’s one thing I can tell you for sure: it’ll be one hell of a fight!


PS. If you’re fed up with all the feuding, why not check out the peace and harmony of writers helping other writers and playing nicely in the sand-pit at MWiDP? And if you would like to join the band of merry scribes, drop us a line at

World, say hello…

…to our stunning new cover:

What do you think?

Designed by the wondrous Jeroen ten berge.


  • Buy Sugar & Spice from Amazon

  • Buy the French edition of Sugar & Spice (Paraphilia)

  • Buy Snow White from Amazon

  • Buy Snow White in PRINT from Amazon

  • Buy Rapunzel from Amazon

  • Buy London’s Burning from Amazon

  • Buy Ring A-Ring O’Roses from Amazon

  • Buy The Night Before Christmas from Amazon

  • Buy Anca’s Story from Amazon

  • Buy Anca’s Story in PRINT from Amazon

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  • Buy ‘Awakenings’ – Book ONE of INDIGO KIDS from Amazon

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