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Table des Matières
1. The Darkness Beneath - my book - for free!
2. Prometheus Promo - minimalist film review
3. Back Of The Book- Blurb Is The Word
4. It's All About You - get yourself featured


Sex, Death and Trains: All Yours For Nothing (still!)*
*Terms and Conditions apply: you can get a free copy of my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, by following this link - but hurry! Only the first 100 people to sign up can claim a free copy. 

Another birthday comes and goes and I have to say I was cheered by the great response from my lovely friends around the globe: thank you all for all the love I received. The photo is of a beautiful painting my dear friend Rebecca Venn, of Kenosha, created for my birthday. She emailed it to another friend, Paola Bakx, of Oosterhout, who printed it out and then surprised me with it on the eve of my birthday. I have some lovely friends; I just can't trust some of them.


Prometheus Promo
On Tuesday I went to see Prometheus (in 3D) which I enjoyed, although I was more captivated by the visuals than the story. The latter was rather thin and the cast, though excellent, didn't really pop out of the screen as they should have, despite the 3D. A triumph of style over content in my opinion, but still worth watching.

Back Of The Book - Blurb Is The Word
Another slight disappointment was the great 'Blurb Novel Publishing Experiment'. Although the process of converting from Word to Blurb is pretty simple (providing your Word doc is prepared properly), the cost of buying one is prohibitive. For example, my 114,000 word novel The Darkness Beneath, is available for more or less €40 - and who's going to pay that much for a paperback? No one of course. Although I think what they're offering, especially the ability to convert to ebook for only $1.99, is very good, the cost is prohibitive in my case. Still, if you've money to burn, let me know and I'll send you the link.

It's All About You
I've been thinking of inviting other writers or creative people to feature their work on my blog for a while, but until now was stuck for an idea that didn't copy what pretty much everyone else does, which is guest blogs and/or interviews.

And then over breakfast this morning it came to me: invite people to talk about a piece of work they like by someone else, and then do the same for a piece of their own work. The reasult is a new section which I'll be calling: What I Read, What I Wrote. 


The idea is to describe why you like the work, but it could also be how it inspires you or what you learnt about being creative from it. Anything, as long as it's positive, i.e., this 
isn't going to be a slanging pit.

If you want to take part in this, all you have to do is:
  1. Step One: write about 250 words on a passage from a favourite book. This can be any genre, fact or fiction. This should include the passage itself or a brief outline of it, but the passage itself does not contribute to your 250 word total. If you're a visual artist, you can do the same for a painting or sculpture etc. Please note this is not an opportunity to promote an unpublished mate's work. 
  2. Step Two: the same thing again, but this time it has to be about a piece that you've written or created. This has to include the extract itself, but again this does not contribute to your 250 word total.

I'd also like to include your twitter name or other contact details, a photo of you (optional, though I may add a pic that I think represents you...) and a link to anything you want to promote, such as your website/blog/Amazon etc.

If you want to take part, please contact me via Twitter: @mickdavidson.  I'd also be very happy for you to promote this idea to your friends. This offer is open to anyone and everyone, known to me or yet to be introduced.
Cheers,

 
 
Well after a week or two of false starts, technical problems and a last minute competition to rename my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, the book has finally arrived all bright and shiny on Amazon!

I could not have done this without the help and support of those wonderful people at Libboo.com, who've actually done all the dirty work (conversion to eBook, posting the book on Amazon etc) and are now helping me with promoting it. Thank you everyone at Libboo, any success I have with this book will be a reflection of all your efforts, time and patience.

(Actually, as previously mentioned, I'm part of an experiment they're running to team writers and marketing people up to help each other get the book in front of as many people as possible. The screams and moans you hear coming out of the turrets of Libboo Castle, is the sound of their scientists and surgeons reading yet another dumb question from me...)

Which brings me on to a question that all authors (self-published or traditionally published) have to face up to, eventually: who's going to do the marketing?

On Your Marketing
I know and fully accept that we have to market our work, but I can't say I'm full of enthusiasm for it, especially as it means bothering people I'd rather leave alone (friends and family). Obviously total strangers are a fair target, but to get to them, I have to enlist the help of the F&Fs to (as we said in the marketing meeting where many creative ideas crashed and died among the rocks of apathy and a fiercely negative budget) help out. So if I annoy anyone with my requests and constant banging on about my newly published first novel, The Darkness Beneath (now available on Amazon) please accept my apologies. 

Personally I'd rather not be doing this, but I can't avoid it if I want the book to be a success - and yes I do want it to succeed! It took roughly two years of writing in my spare time, and was revised seven times before I felt it was good enough to be published. I'd like a return on that investment (preferrably in the shape of massive sales and a blockbuster film).

The Name Changes the Game
A funny thing happened along the path between writing the book on my laptop and it appearing on Amazon: the book's title changed. Some of you might have noticed that I ran a quick competition to find a new one. The original - The End: The Beginning - was deemed to be too mysterious (which is what I wanted) but the Libboo team that it was too mysterious. It didn't give one single clue about the story, which was a fair point, hence the competition. Weirdly enough, I won that competition and have now sent myself a signed copy.

Although a few people tried to help out, for a few days I was stuck with nothing that fulfilled the task being asked. Then I had the genious idea of looking up quotes about hell (which isn't part of the story, but as that's what a lot of people go through in the book, and because the main character lives in the depths of the London underground, it seemed appropriate). 

Eventually the phrase 'the darkness beneath' came to mind. I wasn't fond of it at first, but after a day of allowing it to percolate in the washing maching of my subconscious, I began to see and feel that it was a good choice. So listening to the marketing team has paid off as the title now hints at two of the book's elements, which is definitely a step forward.

This shows how important it is to get the name right, and why, but also that the name the author chooses may not be the right one - something that's a bit hard to admit.

It also means that the painting on the front cover, all of which was created by the utterly fabulous Nicoll Peschek, can be seen more clearly. And as a big fan of her work, I'm very happy that she designed the cover and allowed me to use her painting.

Nicoll and I have also collaborated on her hand-made books. Some of these feature her calligraphy and my poetry. If you're looking for someone to design your book cover, I'd suggest you talk to her asap.

Censorship
Incidentally, this novel was going to be published by someone else a few months back. I didn't like their cover ideas, which were poor to say the least. But what really annoyed me was the fact that they wanted to censor the cover by removing the nipples. Apparently this censorhip was being asked for because some of the publisher's other clients are religious groups and they didn't want to offend them. There's nothing like a bit of moral cowardice in the arts is there?

(As an aside, and given decades worth of non-stop research, I've discovered that we all have nipples, sorry if this shocks and/or surprises you.)

Buy, Buy, Buy!
I'm pleased to say that as soon as I announced the book's availability, a few friends went out and bought it! So thanks to you as well, it'll be great to read your feedback (and scary) if you decide to review it. 

Remember to be honest: it's my fault the book exists and if I send it out into the world, then I have to be able to take criticism as well as glory. Which, as we all know, sounds very noble in theory but, as well all know, will be very much harder to deal with in practise.

So, if you want to, please buy it (it's ridiculously cheap), and if you want to help get this literary earthquake a-shakin', I'd love it if you could tell everyone by featuring it on Facebook, tweeting it on Twitter, adding it to Google+, texting it to...

Cheers.
 
 
Thanks to all those readers who made the arduous journey to the end of Part II of 36 Hour Slingback - which may have been a bit on the long side. The upside is that at least there isn't a Part III.

As you may have guessed from the headline, I'm going to have something published. The something being my first novel, The End: The Beginning, in ebook format. This will be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble by the end of this week. The link here will take you to chapter one.

I've very happy with this development, even more so as it came out of the blue

One of the problems writers have is getting our work seen by anyone. Visual artists at any level can have an exhibition, but we can't. When our work is finished, it is sent of to publishers and literary agents where it languishes in slush piles, dusty and almost forgotten. And when it is read, then it's only read by one pair of eyes. You can send it to more people, but even then it's not being seen by more than a handful of people.

So we work on our own and then when we finish, most of our work is buried before it is born. If there's one thing you can say about us writers, it is that we must be fantastically optimistic and strong willed to keep going. Who else spends so much time working on something they know may never see the light of day, and then repeats and repeats until they succeed, or die?

Liberated by the Libboo Project
The fact that my story is now going to be blinking shyly in the spotlight is due to it being part of a experiment being run by those fine people at Libboo.com, people who just cannot stop themselves from wanting to do things differently. These are the same lovely people who brought you the first ever crowd-sourced novel, PARADOX, which was based on a first chapter written by the bestselling author Richard Wiseman. I somehow managed to be part of the team that wrote this book, though my input was minimal. A large part of the work was done by Maureen Hovermale - who is an excellent friend, writer, editor and motivator.

Libboo are now running a wholly different experiment where an author groups around themself a team of people who work together to publish and promote the author's book. I now have such a team, and it is they who are responsible for recreating my work in ebook format and for getting it onto Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Now all we have to do is promote the hell out of it - hence this story and the whirlwind of activity on Twitter and Facebook.

But wait, you too can also play a part in my slow but certain rise to fame and fortune (and you do want me to be famed and fortuned don't you?). 

All you have to do is contact as many people as you can and tell them about my book, what a brilliant read it is and that at only $1.99 it's so cheap they'd be rather silly to pass it up. If you're unsure about how to do this, start by telling all your Facebook friends, then ramp it up to coffee mornings and garage sales, then spin it out to your local television station and newspaper. Simple and almost effortless.

Remember, what we're trying to create here is a ground level buzz that will swell to a crescendo of jingling tills and the sound of my wallet stretching itself around my unfeasibly large fortune.

Thanks awfully...