Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Communication Breakdown

At the risk of sounding like 'an auld fart' I would like to talk about the lack of communication these days especially given the range we have to choose from:
 texting, mobile (cell) phones, landlines, twitter, facebook, email, letters (remember them?), 
to name but seven.

Earlier this year I was interviewed for a post with the Scottish Drug Forum.

I asked for, and was reassured that if I was unsuccessful I would get feedback.

Long story short; I ended up emailing a few times and phoning on eight separate occasions, all to no joy.
The way I look at it however, is that I 'dodged a bullet' there; I mean would you want to work for an organisation where the HR Department was as incompetent as this?

Nowadays my experience has been that unsuccessful applications for jobs are routinely ignored, not even a 'thanks but no thanks'.

At least when I was younger receiving the mail (that was the stuff that came in paper form and stuffed through a letterbox) and opening the letter only to read I was unsuccessful at least had an element of excitement in it just before the disappointment.

 For some reason, these rejection letters became known as 'Dear John' letters.

 "Did you hear about that job you applied for?" "Aye, ah got a Dear John." 

Being the type of person that would rather shop locally, would rather give my money to
the 'wee man' rather than the big corporation I searched the internet for independent bookshops.
I found very few in Scotland. I did, however, email eight shops introducing myself, asking whether they would be interested in my book and explaining that I could supply marketing materials too.
I did not receive a single reply. I now have little guilt when walking through the doors of a 

I entered 'Death of a King' for the New York Book Festival and duly paid the fee; I sent off
my book and yet, nothing. I don't know if the book was received and emailing seems a waste 
of time. I know not if the 'Festival' even took place. I even asked the question of some Americans 
on a Google+ Community; not a single reply; and these were contemporaries: aspiring authors.

 Mental note to self* never pay to have a book entered into a book festival!

So, onto the Edinburgh Book Festival. I filled in the form online, I posted my book for entry
for the Anobii First Book award and once again, nothing. A disclaimer on the website states
that correspondance can't be entered into so just another occasion where I don't even know
if the book was received, read or reviewed. No feedback. Nothing.

The first I knew that 'Death of a King' was not being considered was when I went onto the 
website and found a list of 42 authors that the public were invited to choose from and vote
for as winner.

Maybe it is just me and the way I was brought up.

Still, I would have thought that even if you have 100 people to reply to a 'standard' rejection 
email sent out to everyone isn't too difficult (or time-consuming) to do? 

After all, each one of those 100 is a potential customer. Or to look at it another way a potential 'bad mouther'.

Do organisations really not care anymore?

Friday, 16 August 2013

Massan Gow and the Hounds of St Andrew - Volume Two - The Brother - Cover News

With over 5,000 words written for Vol II of the Massan Gow and the Hounds of St Andrew series the title has now been chosen; it will be called The Brother.

I have no intention of giving the plot away just now, however, but can say plenty of research has been done and plots and twists worked out.

What I will say is that the action takes place five years after Death of a King which took place in 1286.

Many characters are obviously returning along with some excellent and surprising new ones.

I am interested and would welcome any comments on the new book cover that I have chosen from those submitted by my designer, Kit Foster.

Cover design for The Brother

Kit came up with some great designs around the theme used on Death of a King and it has been a difficult choice because, as always, they were all so good. However, my feelings are that it is best to keep it relatively simple and straightforward.

I love this particular cover and would like to hear your thoughts on it.

Kit Foster is a Scottish based designer who specialises in book covers; he has done covers for many well known, and award-winning books. 

As Kit's website says 'Professional design for authors...because we all judge a book by its cover.'

Please have a look at his website for more details and to see some of his fantastic work.

Cover design for Death of a King

The ISBN number for the paperback is 978-0-9573899-0-8

The ISBN for e-book is  978-0-9573899-1-5


Paperback copies of Death of a King - Massan Gow and the Hounds of St Andrew - Volume One can be purchased from any good bookshop or online, however, our preferred supplier is Hanselled Books (the link is below) based in Burntisland, Fife. It is also available to download onto a Kindle device.