Viral

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Okay, I am a very firm believer in the power of viral. Nothing quite beats moving pictures as advertising. Everyone has seen the cute cat videos, which go from family pet into small business overnight. Denver the guilty dog anyone?

We know what viral is. Or at least we thought we did.

Yesterday, the director Ridley Scott blew that out of the water. His three minute video, a TED talk from the future, Peter Weyland at TED2023: I will change the world.

Truthfully, Ridley Scott just reset the bar for the power of Viral.

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Trailing Lines!

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As Throwaway Lines, I publish books with my business partner, Jason Horger. We have just published Jessie Bishop Powell’s Divorce: A Love Story, and re-published Jase’s spy comedy thriller Whom Must I Kill To Get Published? Now I have tried a number of different advertising methods to reach an audience, this time I was going to go for something a little different.

My blog partner, Mel Hagopian (My Ink Project) has a video production company with her partner, Bobby Francavillo. So it was to Mel and Bobby I turned when it came time to advertise. I wanted a tall order, a book trailer.

But this book trailer had to do more than just sell the book, it needed to be representative of the ideals of Throwaway Lines.

Almost four years ago, when Jase and I first met, we knew that we wanted pretty much the same things for our books, for our writing and for the future. Through trial and error, eventually Throwaway Lines was born. We knew we wanted it to be fast, to be fun and most importantly, recapture a time when books were shorter and cheaper, and they were a pocket money purchase. In truth, they were INCLUSIVE. Anyone could own one.

With that in mind, I turned to Mel and asked the very important question. Can Nitro Book Trailers make a book trailer that does sell the book, but it also needs to carry the vibe of the company with it, it needs to pique the interest of the buying public enough for them to try Throwaway Lines for size, and buy our stories.

Now, I have seen hundreds of book trailers, with varying production values, and qualities, sometimes they do the job for which they are intended, sometimes they are very wide of the mark.

So, I wanted something that looks slick, without looking too corporate, smart and funny, like the book, and memorable. Not something that screamed ‘amateur’ from the heights.

Mel instantly knew what I meant. She pruned away my waffle, and got straight to the heart of the matter. Since she writes sharp, focused copy and book blurbs, this comes as no surprise. I sent her a copy of the book. She read it cover to cover. Properly. While Bobby read the book and then got down to writing a script, then compositing the visuals and finding a soundtrack. Mel worked on finding pictures to illustrate what we wanted the book trailer to say, and honing the short script for the perfect cut.

When it came to voice over, I knew exactly who I wanted, and luckily he is a friend who agreed to do the v/o for me. Henry Barrial is a writer/director whose film Pig is currently doing the festival circuit gathering awards as it goes, Henry is also an actor and his voice was the perfect fit for the beautiful book trailer that Mel and Bobby were putting together.

Mel and Bobby are professional and creative and they work fast. In no time at all Nitro had a final cut which I approved instantly, Jason (as the author) loved, and is the perfect blend of quirkiness and charm to represent both the book, Whom Must I Kill To Get Published?, and Throwaway Lines.

But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.

Bonding!

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We’ve come to that time again. Rumour hath it that the current Bond is hoping to hang up his Walther PPK and return to the land of the not so legendary.

Bond is like Dr Who. You can measure your existence on the planet (if you’re a Brit) by who your first Bond and who your first Doctor were. In my case, Roger Moore and Jon Pertwee.

Being a Brit, I feel a personal connection to James Bond. He’s British. Stiff upper lip and all that. With immense personal charm he cuts a swathe through the bad guys, and whatever situation he gets sent to investigate, and he usually lays waste to several female hearts before, during and after each case.

There are some actors who you can never picture as Bond. They simply do not fit the vibe. I find it extremely bizarre that Sam Worthington and Shia LeBeouf are anywhere in a possible list of candidates. Neither fit the vibe of who the character is.

Character. That is exactly what this boils down to. Who can give that character life in a way that is recognisable to what Ian Fleming wrote.

When I write my characters, I often picture in my head the actors I would cast to play them. I happen to know quite a lot of actors so this is relatively straight forward, a lot of my male characters are a strange homogenised blend of my male actor friends, and other male friends that I have.

But the point here is Bond. Who should be the next Bond?

Men’s mag Esquire think they have the handle on that, although I think at least four of their possible choices utterly impossible. There is no denying however that their Number One pick, the British-born actor Christian Bale, is a very strong contender.

For me, Bale is too cold, there is a remoteness to him, a quality that he has used to incredible effect in some of his roles. If you have ever seen him in American Psycho, Shaft or Equilibrium, you will know what I mean. There is an iciness that he can tap into, which is incredible on one hand, but on the other holds you at a distance.

It goes to character. What do you think a spy’s character would be like? What resonates. A spy is by his very nature a chameleon. He blends in. He is as at home at an Embassy cocktail party as he would be on the mean backstreets of a war torn city. He can take care of himself physically, sure, but he also needs that sixth sense, intuition. He needs warmth. Understanding, empathy.

That is not a vibe you would traditionally associate with Christian Bale.

My choice? Young Brit actor TJ Ramini. Several years younger than the current incumbent, from a practicality point of view he is perfect. Physically he fits the demands of the part. Emotionally too. TJ is British, a Londoner. He understands how the British react and think. He is a chameleon, adapting to every role he plays, a skilled performer. But he has that added quality, a warmth that is key to the centre of who Bond is as well as what he is.

I would like to think that people power via Twitter can perhaps inspire those responsible for casting the next James Bond to at least take a look at the guy that a number of people (not just myself) think would make a first class Bond.

You can follow TJ on twitter @tjramini; tweet your support using the hash-tag #TheNextJamesBond and @007, suggesting TJ.

I’m following this one with interest for many reasons.

UPDATE:

Send your tweets in support of TJ to @esquire @007 and the #NextJamesBond

What’s it all about?

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Social Media.

We all know what we think it is all about. But sitting down to define it and how it works you can get easily bogged down. Let’s just cut the padding, the self-help book puff and dig out the nitty-gritty.

I’m on Twitter. Feel free to follow me @mock_ing_bird if you like as I work my way through life’s odd moments, and tweet and re-tweet about things that interest me. So, I am on twitter, sitting there, working my way down my feed.

How many of you do that? Do you just glance at what is on the screen in front of you right now? Or do you cruise down the feed looking for gems?

I cruise for gems. Today, I found one. A golden illustration of what Social Media is all about. Being Social.

socialmouths Francisco Rosales

In Pursuit Of Facebook Fans: Try This twrt.me/mo1p8f via@jerrybattiste
I’m the nosey type. I have to know. So I clicked the link.
Which lead me to this guy here, http://www.socmmaven.com/2012/01/in-pursuit-of-facebook-fans-try-this.html; Jerry had written a nice blog post about this guy here http://www.justinvining.com/blog/, Justin and his efforts to raise his Facebook follower numbers.
Now Justin blogs in a charming sort of way about his art, and his hopes to get more followers, and he adds an enticement. He is going to give away some art. But he needs to reach 11,000 followers to do this.
Jerry sees what Justin is doing, so not only is he interested in Justin’s ‘offer’, he engages on a level which takes him back to Justin’s blog, and sparks interest to write a  blog of his own about Justin’s blog and facebook page.
Jerry’s blog is also in the tweet feed. So along comes Francisco, and he likes what he sees, so he tweets Jerry’s blog link to his followers.
I follow Francisco because he has something to say, and if he thinks Jerry has something to say, I am 70% more likely to go and look at Jerry’s link than if I had just found it by accident.
Jerry’s post is smart, it gives you the warm fuzzies, you are driven to click the link to Justin simply because Jerry (and Justin) have an appealing way with words. So yes, I clicked the link. Yes, I liked Justin’s facebook page, taking him one step closer to 11,000.
There is no pressure here. No hard, in your face, sell. No buy my book. In fact, it’s a lot more subtle than that. It’s an enticing invitation to the dance. It has a rhythm that vibes with you as a person.
That is exactly what social media is about. Being social.
Do you see what I just did?

Transmedia Tribulations

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This is the post that I have been trying to write for three days. Probably a lot longer than that in reality; simply put, this is the single most important step that I have taken this year. I need to get this right.

At the moment, I am looking at the steps that I am taking in social media and marketing. I have spent the past couple of years studying, in a vague sort of way, social media and the sheer growth phenomenon. Now is the time to step it up.

Social media is moving, there has been a seismic shift in the process. Facebook is still a good place to be, and for visibility it’s hard to beat. So growing an audience, interacting with them and offering them insights into what you are about to do. Twitter is the conversation. Google +, Triberr, Klout, LinkedIn… all of those fit into the picture too.

Sounds a little like designing by committee doesn’t it? Well, not really because it is all part of the conversation. Engaging people in the conversation and then letting your imagination run riot is all part of the process.

Imagination plays a part in marketing this, so I have to find out up front what is going to work.

 I am still developing my plans for the two books that we have published via Throwaway Lines, the company that I own with my business partner, Jason Horger. Jason’s book Whom, and our friend Jessie’s book Divorce.

My approach is in for the long haul. It involves learning things, stepping outside my comfort zone, and bringing new things to the table for my separate interests.

The technology is offering a brave new entertainment future, and we can offer books which crossover into the world of moving pictures and sound. Interactive is the way to go.

Finally, I really do know where I am going.

Social Media and the Art of Biting Back

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I operate under the very simple philosophy that my mobile (cell) phone is an instrument of my personal convenience and I am not a slave to it. In fact I make it work damn hard.  If I am out and about, it is a place that I store memoranda, take pictures, email, and generally work. But if it rings when I am on the M25 doing 70, it can ring until it has a nervous breakdown or the person on the other end finally twigs and leaves a message.

I own it, it does not own me.

And that, dear reader, is the point.

Social Media can be exhausting. There are literally thousands of options out there, and you could make it a life’s work feeding all these beasts and keeping them topped up endlessly.

What it actually boils down to is time vs cash vs options + VISIBILITY.

Twitter.

Facebook.

A blog – IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO MAINTAIN A BLOG! Nothing says loser like a blog with only a couple of posts.

An aggregator to make life simple.

I use Tweetadder. It isn’t free but it is simple to operate, and does exactly what it sets out to do.

For the last six or seven weeks, I have been operating a very carefully targeted keyword list on Tweetadder for @thepigpicture. The results have been very favourable, in six weeks they have tripled their following. Tweetadder spreads the word about Henry Barrial’s film, Pig, to people who are likely to be interested in what the film is about. Tweetadder has a nice line in semi-automatic tweets that are designed to raise interest and awareness of this great movie.

Klout. Still in Beta, but generally startlingly simple to operate, give someone klout, they return the favour so to speak, it measures your effectiveness while giving you the chance to improve your effectiveness by making new contacts in the areas where you have klout. It may not be precisely rocket science, but it is so far interesting and apparently effective.

Like Twitter, post on Facebook when you have something to say. Fans may or may not be interested in personal facts, but they are interested in your professionalism.

No Budget Film School on facebook is one of my favourites, and not just because its owner and founder is a friend, but because the information he provides links to, and the blog posts that he writes are genuinely helpful resources that will have significance to people trying to make their own no/low budget films.

Social Media is a matter of common sense and targeting. The more you give over to watching it, cosseting it, posting on it, worrying over it, the less effective it will be. Striking the balance between automation and personalisation while still maintaining your brand’s image is really important.

You can be visible for very little time and effort. It is in the quality not the breadth.

Who’s Afraid of Social Media?

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I am 47 years old.

Before you all gasp in shock that I should admit this openly, (especially my friends in the entertainment industry, which lives by the code that everyone is 21 FOREVER!!), I say this in the spirit of not just bald honesty, but so that you understand where I am coming from.

I know the people who I hope will be reading this. Like me, they grew up without computers. The schools they went to didn’t really have computers until after they had left, or maybe (my case) the computers caught the tail end of my school daze and were really only reserved for geeks.

The point of all this unnerving honesty is that I know where you may well be coming from about Social Media.

It’s free. It has to be largely pointless, doesn’t it? You don’t quite believe that anything free can be of any use, or any harm, to you. It’s a bit of a joke, the place you post silly pictures and poke people, and the 140 character sentences you hope are going to invite people to buy your book, your film, your music, or are going to demonstrate their appreciation and spread the word about you and your work to their followers.

I’m a writer. I write for a number of blogs, I have two of my own, this one and a blogspot, I also share a blog with my amazingly talented blog partner, Mel Hagopian. But in the great annals of the media world, I am what might be considered a nobody. Spielberg has never heard of me…. any number of household names have never heard of me. Yet I have klout.

How can this possibly be? A nobody with klout?

I am an influencer.

Why? How?

Social Media is how, and why.

Take Twitter. People micro-blogging about nothing. It’s rubbish right!?

No, sorry, wrong. Twitter is an amazing tool. Like any tool, any crapness is usually coming from the user. The tool is only as good as the person using it.

Say you have an event to publicise, date, time, place etc, all of these are important. So you blandly tweet a brief advertisement and watch it get flushed away in the feed. Maybe someone sees it, maybe not.

Bland. Banal.

Examine your 140 characters, if either word can be applied to what you have written, do not hit the send button.

Boring gets you nowhere.

Tweets with links in. You may have something to sell, you may have events and screenings and readings to publicise, but if every tweet you ever make comes with a link to this or that event, and a cunningly worded invitation to spend money, you won’t capture interest or loyalty for very long.

My advice is, when you start out, no more than a third of your tweets should carry links. Especially links to things you want people to buy.

Watch trends, join conversations (#), express opinions, be funny. Be smart, be charming. Be the kind of person that people want to get to know, want to read.

As the late, great Noel Coward said:

Consider the public. Never fear it nor despise it. Coax it, charm it, interest it, stimulate it, shock it now and then if you must, make it laugh, make it cry, but above all never, never, never bore the living hell out of it.

Great advice. Of course he was talking about writing plays, but this approach works and it applies especially well to Twitter.

To get the great buying public out there to want to buy what you have to sell, you have to show it a little more than a bleat that basically says show me the colour of your money.

There are always audiences out there for your work. They may not be who you think they are. They might not even be who they think they are. It’s like dating. You make connections. You get to know someone. You share stories, you make time for them.

You engage with people.

Yes twitter is about followers and followings. Be selective. Follow people because you think they are interesting and have something to say. Be a little less hung up on the details of mutual interests, go exploring, get to know who you are dealing with.

Read tweets.

Learn from other people.

Above all… HAVE FUN. Enjoy what you are doing and saying. Do not look on it as a tiresome chore, but a journey of discovery.

Marty Lang, (@marty_lang) captures it perfectly in a recent tweet to @FilmCourage:

“What do you notice about filmmakers who are NOT on social media? You don’t notice them at all.”

Substitute whatever business you are in for the word Filmmakers and Marty has captured the essence of the need for Social Media. There may be traditional paths to movie/music/publishing glory, but unless you have bottomless pockets and an army behind you, you are not going to be making a dent.

You are in charge of your own destiny, you can grow your following amongst real people who are the ticket-buying, bums-on-seats public, or you can wait and hope to be discovered.

To use Social Media you do not need an agent, money, or permission. Just a good old fashioned dose of common sense and a curious mind.

Twitter is just the starting point, I will cover some other options in another post, and also get round to how you might streamline to save time. Until then, have some fun exploring. It really isn’t as scary as you might think.

It’s 2012!

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Okay. 2012 is nine days old. What have I been up to? Well first off, for those who follow the lifestyle and arts blog that I share with the wonderful and talented Mel Hagopian will know that I am a strange being who likes to use the impossibly long (and somewhat LAME!) Christmas break to do something useful. Or something plain weird.

So… What I Got Up To Over The Christmas Break – That’s part one of what I got up to. Learning Japanese may seem a little out there in terms of things to do for Christmas, but truthfully, it is all about learning to create meaningful dialogue in a foreign language with a completely alien alphabet. I need the dialogue for The Siren’s Guide To Sushi.

The Siren’s Guide to Sushi is a romantic comedy which I have had kicking around for a while. Whilst it may not be the most innovative story I have ever thought up, it’s about two lonely people getting together, it has got a certain heart and charm, and from a script point of view it may be the simplest starting point.

And that is the plan. Learn how to write a script. Since I love that feeling of free-fall without a parachute, Script Frenzy – takes place in April, brother to Nanowrimo, is the port of call to keep me honest.

We are eleven full years into the 21st Century, and the Arts is seeing the beginning of the shake up that will eventually change the way we view entertainment. My thoughts on the subject are a little nebulous right now, for a more advanced concept read Doug Rao’s post on the subject: Storytelling on the Web. Doug is creating a new web-series with a fellow thespian, Areti Athanasopoulos.

All I really know for sure is that the book and the film and the game and the tv series as separate entities may become a thing of the past. There will probably always be a place for books, and films and games, but that the lines could be blurred to connect these things in new ways is incredibly exciting.

Transmedia. Crossing the streams.

I know a lot of the old guard (particularly those who grew up without computers in schools, basically everyone over 45) find it tough to get with the rhythm on Social Media. But Social Media may be the independent film-maker’s (or artist’s, or writer’s) greatest not so secret weapon. And the better than best bit! Most of it is free.

Quick tip: Social Media may be free, but it is not valueless. Many people use it to communicate precisely because it is free to the end user.

Twitter is too easily dismissed. I freely admit it is a challenge to be witty and constructive in 120 characters (leaving 20 characters free leaves space for Retweets). But Twitter is a place to be visible. Join a conversation (#). You don’t have to be banal, edgy and intriguing takes more ingenuity but it is worth it. I have met some incredible people as a result of Twitter.

The point is talking to people via Twitter is a gentle way to start a conversation, to reveal things about your projects to raise interest and visibility. There is an immediacy to Twitter, and it costs you nothing.

Personally, I feel as though this is the year that breakthroughs will be made. Articulating my thoughts as to where I want to end up in the end of this year is hard. I know that I really don’t want to embrace the old model, I want to find something new and exciting to put my work out there. To challenge myself; and with the best of my work, I know I don’t want to just let go. The published novel will not be the end, evolution, the next step, so everything I plan to publish this year will not sit and stagnate in one format, but evolve into wider audiences in new ways.

This may be my inner control freak talking, but I like to think that everything I am creating is capable of evolution. We have all these new ways of distribution out there now, you can communicate with your games console for heaven’s sake, how long before you can communicate with the film you are watching, or the book you are reading.

In 2010 at the London Book Fair I saw the possibility of iPad. What could be done then. But that was two years ago, as we advance who knows what breakthrough or application is just around the corner. You have to join the evolution. Innovate or perish.

I believe passionately in innovation, in finding the way forward in terms of entertainment terms, and even if I am something of a beginner in the programming department, I think there are ways to reach and entertain audiences that were not there before. The future is now, and it is exciting.

Before I break off this reverie, I just want to shout out to the people who made 2011 so exciting, and since all of them are going to make great advances in 2012, it would seem remiss and rather selfish not to credit them.

Firstly, my friend Richard. Richard Pierce, incredible author, artist, poet, and friend. His novel Dead Men is being published by Duckworth in March. He is @tettig on Twitter. Tettig is a character that he created, and it has been something of a mission of mine to see Tettig’s story published. My fingers are still crossed.

Doug, I have already mentioned, he’s an incredibly talented actor, writer, director and film-maker, residing in Los Angeles now, and I know his new web-series venture will be fresh and exciting. Doug’s writing is from the heart and his short movies are incredibly lyrical and beautiful, and cut right to the heart of the matter.

Henry Barrial, writer/director, and actor, another hugely talented guy whose film, Pig, is currently playing on the film festival circuit. Pig’s next screen is tomorrow (11th January) at Palm Springs Film Fest. Pig has scooped awards at Sci-Fi-London, Shriekfest, ShockerFest and Thriller! Chiller!, gathered a couple of nominations at the Orlando Film Fest too. Henry, being the lovely helpful sort of friend also provided the voice over for the book trailer for my business partner, Jason Horger’s book.

Jase, laughs at my comma splices, tries very hard not to flinch at my crazy plans, and sends me cracking good birthday presents (900+ piece 4D jigsaw… think CSI!!), he’s the sensible one in this partnership. We are relaunching Whom Must I Kill To Get Published. And this year will also see the launch of Requiem for Davey Post, which is undeniably Jase’s triumph.

Helping us along the path to publishing glory, Bobby Francavillo of RockRoadMedia, made the cover for Whom, and also the trailer for the book. His hard work on the visuals, Mel Hagopian’s (more of Mel in a moment) work on developing the script for the trailer (and finding the images), and Henry’s voice over have given us a trailer that does exactly what it is meant to do – promote the book to a wide audience, by capturing the essence of the story, in 33 seconds…

Mark Stolaroff, genius producer, founder of No Budget Film School and seriously the most hard working person I have ever met; not only did he produce Henry’s great film, Pig, this is the third time they have made a movie together. There is very little that Mark does not know about the art and science of making a great film for nothing, and in between working his socks off to get Pig into all these great film festivals where the film has achieved considerable success, he even teaches you how to do it. Yes, he runs weekend courses at the Raleigh Film Theatre in LA. How to make your film and not waste your money.

Finally, I have to mention Mel again. In between raising two daughters, collaborating on My Ink Project  with me, and working with Bobby at RockRoad Media, she has found time to write a novel. Her first draft is now complete. I know it will be wonderful, just read some of her wonderful, charming, funny and well-written pieces in My Ink Project. Talented! And someone I am proud to call friend.

Happy 2012… It is the year of the dragon… if you follow the Chinese calendar at all, you might also know that I am a child of the dragon. I have a very good feeling about this year.

 

Announcement

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Just so I cannot possibly chicken out.

Next year is just around the corner. Seven days to be exact. I announce that at least two of my manuscripts, currently languishing in various stages of undress, like the changing room at Harvey Nicks, will be completed, polished and put out there for sale.

The first of the trio that I simply must finish and stop messing about: Custard, Cats and Consequences. This has been hanging around for three years and eleven months at this time of writing. I have friends waiting for it. Some of whom have been patiently waiting for at least three years and eight months. Especially Pam, who helped me nail down the title.

Next up will be Nine Lives, a small cautionary tale about being very careful about what one decides one doesn’t believe in, because one’s disbelief might just come back and bite one on the butt.

The Siren’s Guide To Sushi is all about how life takes one by surprise, and serendipity rules!! Siren is dedicated to the amazing guy who gave me the glue to stick my two main characters together. Entirely unintentionally I might add.

Two others will be a big part of next year, although when they are published is in the lap of the gods. It’s all about timing.

Rain Falls is the first in a series of four serious and not so serious thrillers, starring my main character Rainer Hartmann. Whilst they are four novels that follow each other chronologically speaking, they are something of an experiment. In the normal course of events a series of stories follows a pattern, I am hoping that these four novels will be part of a whole, but each have their own distinctive pattern. The series is Captured By The Game, with luck the first novel will be out this year.

The other entrant in this game of numbers will be Lupus Rex. Lupus is a very different proposition from the others. Lupus is an experiment in Transmedia.

Yes. That’s right. Transmedia. It isn’t some sort of strange disease, more an exercise in co-operation. It requires me learning new skills. There will be more cheery self-promotion coming up soon.

Which brings me to the publishing side of things. My other business, is the business of bringing good reads to the paying public. We have two books out right now, in download format, Jessie B Powell’s Divorce: A Love Story and my business partner, Jason Horger’s book Whom Must I Kill To Get Published?; paperbacks will follow shortly. Jason’s eagerly anticipated jazz thriller, Requiem For Davey Post will follow in the Spring.

There is also the matter of Jason and my joint thriller, Thames For The Memories. This is a tongue-in-cheek spy story, where we defy authority, destroy property and occasionally get our kit off…  metaphorically speaking.

Penny Dreadfuls

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Nano is over. I did not reach the official 50,000 words in thirty days. Am I down in the mouth about it? No! Why… because Nano got me started and it feels great. I am working through my chapters, first draft will be done by Christmas. Tweaks by New Year and second draft should be ready by end February. I am really enjoying myself and this truly does feel as though it is the best thing that I have ever done.

However, Rain Falls is not what I want to talk about today.

Why is it so fashionable to have 350 pages plus in every book? When I was a teenager, I used to spend my pocket money on what would probably be viewed as Penny Dreadfuls today. 175 pages of juicy, thrilling adventure and you could read it in an afternoon if you were the kind of reader I am.

One of the main problems is that books are now £8 a pop. That is well and truly out of a poorer person’s pocket, and certainly wouldn’t be a weekly treat. Oh but there is Kindle… yes there is Kindle, where books are cheap. That does pre-suppose you have the hundred plus pounds to shell out to buy the device in the first place.

I could get into the war on kindle ebook prices, but I won’t here. This is about paperbacks, and reaching as many people as possible.

If you are into small print runs and POD, prices are fixed by the cost of production. Costs rise by the page. So that 500 page back breaking novel you have written which doubles as a marvellous doorstop is literally going to cost the earth to produce (and a small forest), and unless you are planning to go bankrupt printing books, you will have to charge a price which covers costs. Which forces the price up.

I am sure I am going to be unpopular by saying this, but, I want to keep my page count down. I do not want to write hundreds of pages of redundant description simply to satisfy the need to make bigger and bigger books. Bigger does not always equal better. Ever since I began writing, I have struggled to make the massive word counts of some of my peers. The longest thing I have ever written is 70,000 words, and that has not been edited yet.

I propose to make stories that have all the same sorts of qualities as the Penny Dreadfuls of yester-year, light, fun, inexpensive and take it from there. It might be the wrong way to go, but I won’t know until I try.