Sunday, February 7, 2016

Blowing Up A Bus On Lambeth Bridge

I had an amazing time today watching Bond director Martin Campbell blowing up a bus on Lambeth Bridge in London.

Martin is halfway through filming my book The Chinaman, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. The bus blowing up is one of the major stunts in the movie and cost more than £300,000.

It could only be done once, obviously, so it was rehearsed several times so that all ten cameras (including one in a helicopter) would capture the shot.

It looked amazing, and my hats are off to the nine stuntmen who were actually on the bus when it exploded! Here's the picture I took!

The explosion was reported on ITV and most newspaper websites carried photographs and video!

This is how ITV reported it -  CLICK HERE

This is how the Daily Mail reported it - CLICK HERE

The Guardian, possibly the worst newspaper in the world IMHO, reported that Londoners were terrified as they thought it was a real terrorist bombing.  Absolute nonsense, of course, but I realised long ago that you can't believe anything in The Guardian. I was there, no one was terrified. And there was plenty of warning as to what was going on.

I saw a lot of the footage taken and it was amazing, truly amazing. Martin Campbell is a genius.

After the explosion I was allowed on to the bridge to inspect the damage with screenwriter David Marconi.

To be honest, there isn't a bus bombing in The Chinaman. I wrote about a bombing at the racecourse at Ascot but they weren't happy about having a bomb there so David wrote a bus bomb scene. I'm glad he did because it's really effective.

What was really cool was that Pierce Brosnan turned up to watch, even though it was his day off. He wandered around in a warm jacket and a baseball cap and was virtually unrecognised! Like the rest of us, he captured the explosion on his phone!

It's going to be a great movie and I'm really looking forward to seeing it on the big screen!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Chinaman Movie

Filming is almost halfway through on The Chinaman, and the footage I've seen looks absolutely amazing. Yesterday I watched the filming of the scenes where The Chinaman (Jackie Chan) confronts IRA man Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) at a farm in Ireland (actually filmed in Oxfordshire).

Jacky Chan and Pierce Brosnan are giving great performances and it's going to be a terrific film.

I went to the set with David Marconi, who wrote Enemy Of The State and who has produced an amazing script from my book.

The production set-up is amazing with more than a hundred people supporting director Martin Campbell. They have brought in dozens of trailers and built a metal platform on a field to support all the vehicles.

The farm they are using is terrific, very much as I had imagined it when I wrote the book some twenty-five years ago.

The stunts in the movie are amazing and cost more than a million pounds. I came across a car they've blown up and there are more explosions planned!

I can't wait to see the finished film - I know it's going to be brilliant!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Two New Self-published Paperbacks

I was quite late coming to self-publishing paperbacks. I had done really well self-publishing eBooks - becoming one of Amazon's all-time Top 10 UK self-publishers - but I hesitated to try publishing paperbacks. The profit margins looked low and there's a lot to do in the way of formatting and covers.

Eventually I published the Spider Shepherd short story collections on Createspace - who sell through Amazon - and they did surprisingly well. I followed up with my two self-published Jack Nightingale books - San Francisco Night and New York Night.

All sold well and it's clear that there are readers out there who still prefer paperbacks, even when they are considerably more expensive than the corresponding eBook. The problem with publishing paperbacks is that Createspace are quite expensive, and then the retailer - usually Amazon - also take their cut. So although a book might sell at £8.99 or £9.99 for the paperback (admittedly a trade paperback, which is larger than the regular mass market paperback) the writer is lucky to get much more than £2 or so. Bearing in mind the cover and the formatting costs several hundred pounds, it can take a while until you recover your costs. But it's definitely worth doing, if for no other reason than it gives readers a choice.

Here's the Amazon link for The Bestseller paperback -  CLICK HERE

Here's the Amazon link for the Take Two paperback -  CLICK HERE

Monday, December 28, 2015

US Cover For First Response

Well, after much thought I have decided on the cover for the US edition of First Response, my new thriller to be published on February 26. Hodder and Stoughton are publishing the book in the UK, but didn't want the US rights so I'll be self-publishing it there.

This is the cover I'll be going with, designed by the wonderful Debbie at THE COVER COLLECTION.

And here's the blurb we are using to describe the book -

London is under siege. 
Nine men in suicide vests primed to explode hold hostages in nine different locations around the city, and are ready to die for their cause.
Their mission: to force the government to release jihadist prisoners from Belmarsh Prison.
Their deadline: 6 p.m. Today. 
But the bombers are cleanskins, terrorists with no obvious link to any group, and who do not appear on any anti-terror watch list. What has brought them together on this one day to act in this way? 
Mo Kamran is the Superintendent in charge of the Special Crime and Operations branch of the Met. As the disaster unfolds and the SAS, armed police, and other emergency services rush to the scenes, he is tasked with preventing the biggest terrorist outrage the capital has ever known.
But nothing is what it seems. And only Kamran has the big picture. Will anyone believe him?

You can read about the process of producing the cover by clicking HERE

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Basement - A True Bestseller

Amazon recently announced that a book of mine - The Basement - was one of the Top 10 all-time independently published eBooks of all time.  You can read about it by clicking HERE

Wow!  I mean, wow!

How cool is that?

Here's the list -

What makes my entry so amazing is that The Basement was only self-published for a couple of years. After that Amazon took it over. They now publish it under their Amazon Encore imprint. I sold close to a quarter of a million copies and Amazon have gone on to sell many more. It is one of very books that have been Number 1 in the Kindle list in the UK and the US.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Self-Styled Self-Publishing Experts Who Know Nothing

Michael Kozlowski is a liar and a plagiarist. He claims to be a journalist, but to me a journalist is a professional who gathers facts and then assembles a readable article. From what I've seen of Michael Kozlowski's work, he seems to think it's journalism when you take another reporter's work and repost it. That's not journalism. That's theft. And what makes it worse is that Michael Kozlowski doesn't even check the material he steals, which means he publishes lies and rumour.

You can read his Good eReader blog HERE - but I wouldn't bother. It's rubbish. And pretty much all the material is lifted from elsewhere.

This is how Michael Kozlowski of Good eReader describes himself on his Twitter account -

He says he's editor-in-chief but I get the impression he's a one-man band at Good Ereader. He describes himself as a 'young hero' but he's not that young and he's no hero.

I'm not the only one who thinks that Michael Kozlowski shouldn't be describing himself as an editor in chief. And he often gets accused of blogging nonsense to get traffic to his blog. He's a blogger, and not a very good one, and not a journalist.

Eric is right to question Michael Kozlowski's journalist credentials. A look at Michael Kozlowski's CV shows that he has had no journalist training. He is not a journalist.

Professional journalists, when confronted with their mistakes, apologise and print a correction. Not Michael Kozlowski. I know this from experience because he published lies about me. He didn't apologise when I pointed out his errors, he just rewrote the article so that it contained even more lies. And he justified his lies by showing me the articles he'd stolen his copy from. I pointed out that those articles were inaccurate, but he didn't care.

This is one of the passages he wrote which is an absolute lie -

I have never, ever, paid for reviews. I've never had to, I always get plenty of reviews. That is an absolute lie. Nor have I ever posted false reviews. I review under my own names and I do not review my own books. Why Michael Kozlowski published those lies on Good eReader, I have no idea. But it calls into question anything else the man writes. He can not be trusted.

Michael Kozlowski makes a lot of claims about being a publishing expert. He isn't. It's  clear from what he writes about self-publishing that he has no real understanding of the process.

I'll go into more detail when I've got the time. At the moment all I want to say is that Michael Kozlowski is a liar and a plagiarist. As a result, you can't believe anything he writes. Not a word. 

There are also doubts about his impartiality. He accused me of paying for reviews - which is an absolute lie. But he quite happily tells manufacturers that they can buy reviews in his column. That's worth repeating. If you pay money to Michael Kozlowski, he will review your products. The man is a liar and a plagiarist and a hypocrite.

Michael Kozlowski is one of a growing number of so-called 'publishing experts' you find on the internet these days. The common thread seems to be that they have no professional journalism experience and steal copy from each other with abandon.

It turns out that one of the 'journalists' that Kozlowski stole from was self-styled publishing guru Suw Charman-Anderson, who I have discussed before.If he had made any attempt to check the 'facts' he lifted from Suw Charman-Anderson he would have realised that they were inaccurate. But he didn't. He just stole from her without checking.  Suw Charman-Anderson is unreliable and the last person anyone should be copying.  She claims to be a social technologist, journalist and writer, yet she refuses to deal with Amazon. 

It's crazy advice, frankly, from someone who clearly doesn't "get" self-publishing.

In fact Suw Charman-Anderson recently announced she was giving up self-publishing. You can read about that HERE

It's hardly surprising that her foray into self-publishing was so unsuccessful - ignoring Amazon makes no sense at all. And anyone who suggests that is really not giving sensible advice to aspiring writers. (I also think that a real journalist wouldn't feel the need to use the word "shit" in an article about self-publishing, but that's another story.)

Here's an example of Suw Charman-Anderson's writing - which pretty much says all there is to say about her, frankly.

She also touts herself as a social media "expert" but seems to think it acceptable to use profanity on Twitter, and her blog. That fact alone means any advice she offers about social media is suspect. Michael Kozlowski stole from an article in which Suw Charman-Anderson discussed my marketing techniques. She was wrong in what she wrote, but Kozlowski used her information as fact, without attribution and without checking. He repeated lies that she told.

If you want to get an idea of how much of an expert Suw Charman-Anderson is on social media all you have to do is to look at her Twitter stats.  Last time I looked she had sent almost 80,000 tweets (the equivalent of two million words, by the way - more than 20 novels!) but despite that prodigious output she had fewer than 6,000 followers. So she tweets away but hardly anyone notices. Does having 6,000 followers quality her as any sort of expert on social media?

Not according to TwitterCounter who say that there are more than 100,000 Twitter accounts that are more popular than Suw Charman-Anderson. So presumably there are 100,000 people who know more about social media than she does.  Michael Kozlowski is even less popular than Sue Charman-Amderson, with just a few hundred followers. So the question is, who can you depend on to offer up useful, and accurate, advice to writers who are just starting out? Not writers like Suw Charman-Anderson or Michael Kozlowski, that's for sure. Michael Kozlowski, for instance, doesn't think that self-published writers should call themselves authors. You can read that claptrap HERE on his Good Ereader blog. The man's an idiot. As well as a liar and a plagiarist.

He also thinks that self-published authors are destroying literature. You can read that nonsense HERE but I'd suggest that you don't bother. 

It seems to me that the best guide to the quality of the advice you will get comes from the number of books the person has sold. Not the number of books they have written because there are plenty of awful authors who are churning out rubbish books in huge numbers. Look to see how many books they have sold.  Suw Charman-Anderson - virtually none.  So look instead for advice from writers like Stephen King, Lee Child, Val McDermid and Jefferey Deaver, who sell in their millions.

And if you want advice from a self-publishing guru - a real self-publishing guru and not simply a wannabe - then go to the font of all knowledge, the awesome JA Konrath who has sold well over a million eBooks himself. YOU CAN READ JA KONRATH'S ADVICE BY CLICKING HERE

I've written more about Michael Kozlowski's lies and plagiarism HERE

Monday, August 3, 2015

Black Ops Number 6 in the Sunday Times Bestseller List

Black Ops has risen to Number 6 in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list, which has pleased me no end!

Last week it was at Number 7, so it's heading in the right direction. The books above it are all great so I'm not expecting to go much higher, but I'm thrilled to bits to be anywhere in the list.

Black Ops is the 12th book in the Spider Shepherd series, I'll be starting the 13th fairly soon, at present I'm looking for plot ideas....  Any suggestions gratefully received!