Book Piracy – Threat or Opportunity?

December 12, 2017

My first thought when I discovered that my books were being pirated was that someone was stealing from me.  One site even claimed that they had over 2000 downloads of one of my ebooks.  That is several times more than I have given away with Amazon Kindle free promotions.  But they could have, and probably were, lying as after all they had been behaving dishonestly.  I emailed them a complaint and they seemed to have desisted as I can no longer find it on their site when searching via Google.

Such sites are dangerous to download from as it is possible that any downloads might contain viruses that could at best disrupt your computer or at worse steal your encrypted data/passwords.  I even found the black and white cover of my novel “Cogrill’s Mill” on a colouring page website.  Now that was something I did not expect and made me think that I was possibly missing out on a promotion possibility.

Everyone expects that their hard format books will be lent or given away to charities at some point.  I have given my own titles away or sold them at vastly reduced prices as part of promotions so I suppose I can look on pirated copies as another means of book promotion.  My only request is that someone who reads a book they have acquired this way, and have enjoyed it, will seek to reward the author for entertaining them by buying a legitimate copy from an approved retailer.  After all that is the way some of us seek to earn a living.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

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Lest we forget

September 7, 2017

It is difficult for us of a different generation to imagine what it must have been like to live through the days of the early 1940s in Britain when the country was so nearly overrun by Nazi tyranny.  But I was so pleased when talking to my Mother over the past few months that she decided to write down her experiences of that time.  It is a powerful story tinged with sadness, humour and romance.  I have been fortunate to have been able to publish my own writings in recent years, so when I read what she had written there was no doubt in my mind that I should help her publish it.

I always knew she was a fine writer because of the letters she wrote to me when I was away from home as a child and again when I left to seek out a career as a young man.  Even though she left school at 14 she is a highly educated woman able to adapt to learning new skills, and this shows in her writing.  Thus, Peatmore Press is proud to publish her wartime story which is now available as an ebook on the Amazon Kindle store by following the link below.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

 

Read it here

 


Reviews and Ratings

July 3, 2017

It is essential for any writer who wants to get his or her work taken seriously to get it reviewed and get the review published on a webpage where it can be bought.  Most review sites ask reviewers to rate the books they review and these usually range from 1 star (the lowest rating) to 5stars (the highest).  It is good for the writer’s ego to achieve a large number of 5 star ratings.  This also encourages potential readers to buy and, in the case of sites like Amazon, can help boost its sales ranking.

But a 5 star rating is seldom always possible.  Readers are subjective about what they like to read and an author can never satisfy everybody.  One or two 1 star reviews will always lower a book’s overall ranking, but these should never put the potential reader off reading it.  The ratings are often chosen by the reviewer arbitrarily and a reader should read the reviews from a range of ratings before allowing them to let these influence their choice.

My tendency is to read at least three reviews ranging from the highest star rating to the lowest and then decide for myself if I think that the content of the book might be one that I will enjoy.  But if I have read the author before and like his or her work then this will tend to override the notice I take of the reviews.  More often than not the recommendation of a friend will take president as word of mouth is often the best way that works of real merit are disseminated.  When I finish the book I almost always review it and try to give it as honest a rating as possible.  As a writer-publisher myself, I know that most writers will appreciate this.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press


Celebrating the Short Story

September 20, 2016

In August 2011 I published a blog about the rebirth of the short story (see https://peatmore.wordpress.com/2011/08/22).  Now it seems that this form of fiction writing is going from strength to strength.  The BBC is once more running its annual competition for its National Short Story Award and all this week the short listed stories are being broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 until Friday 23 September (http://tinyurl.com/hzbtokk).

In addition  the BBC Readings Unit have chosen some of their favourite Radio 4 short stories to listen to again (http://tinyurl.com/zrgva4y).

Not to be outdone Peatmore Press has launched my Kindle ebook short story collection, “New Beginnings” as a free download for 5 days beginning today.

NBcover

Go to http://amazon.com/dp/B00MTK5FAO or http://amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MTK5FAO to grab your copy.

Keith Jahans


Travels in Southern England – The Folkestone Book Festival – Sunday 29 November

November 29, 2015

An Exceptional Nation?
Former newspaper commentator and historian, Jonathan Fenby, posed this question about France at the Quaterhouse this afternoon. He took us through the events that have shaped the country from the Revolution to the present day. Some of the facts I already knew but there were many details about the leaders of those times of which I was unaware. This has been a month in which the shootings in Paris have left the modern world numb. The French President has called it an attack on the very values and fabric of his country. This was my last visit to a Folkestone Book Festival event and gives me a chance to reflect on how fanatical violence can affect the freedoms fought for and gained by today’s modern civilizations. Fenby’s book looks to contain valuable information about the turmoils that effect the evolution of a European country and looks to be worth buying.

History of Modern France
The History of Modern France is published by Simon & Schuster
and is available in hardcover and as an ebook

Keith Jahans


Travels in Southern England – The Folkestone Book Festival – Saturday 28 November

November 29, 2015

Robin Ince’s Reality Tunnel
I took a break from the Festival on Friday but decided to give this presentation by Robin Ince last night a view. I had not heard of Ince before and was unprepared for what turned out to be a very clever stand-up routine with a smattering of scientific facts thrown in. His set was full of throwaway one liners and often diverged away from a particular point he was trying to make before the punch line. I particularly liked the way he said he had upset some art critics when he said that instead of visiting a Turner exhibition he preferred to walk along a bank of the Thames without his glasses on. Good comedy will always offend someone and Ince takes great delight in doing this. At times I found his comedy a little too glib but the audience seemed enchanted by it. Hidden between the jibs are some salient points and I think that any night out hosted by Robin Ince will be well worth the visit.

Keith Jahans


Travels in Southern England – The Folkestone Book Festival – Thursday 26 November

November 27, 2015

Trollope Revisited
This year is the 200th centenary of Anthony Trollop’s birth. The Festival marked the occasion by making his novel, The Way We Live Now, the festival read and a mammoth showing of all parts of the BBC adaptation preceded this presentation by Peter Merchant, principal lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University. I elected to miss the marathon screening but I was glad that I attended the presentation. I confess that I have not read any Trollop novel or watch any of their film or TV adaptations. However, it was fascinating to hear Merchant compare his writing style with his more famous contemporary, Charles Dickens. He used text analysis tools to compare extracts from some of their novels and showed that Dickens used more imagery and words than the more measured and methodical method of Trollop. Each proved effective in recounting the themes that they endeavoured to portray and this has convinced me to add at least one of Trollope’s works to my reading list.

The Way We Live NowThe Way We Live Now is available in a variety of formats,
Ebooks can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg

Melvyn Bragg: Now is the Time
I was fortunate to get a late ticket to see this famous TV and radio presenter talk about his historical novel of the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381. Bragg impressively set the events, which took place around the time of the Black Death, in context. At one point he diverged from his discourse to say that he considered that humans emergence from their apelike ancestors was not due to their ability for language (even birds are able to communicate by calling to each other) but due to their development of imagination. Great Scientists such as Newton and Einstein thought about their ideas first then imagined how they worked before putting them to the test. I found this view of human evolution intriguing which leads me to think that this novel will be well worth the read.

Now Is The TimeNow Is The Time is published by Sceptre
And is available in hardcover, paperback and as an ebook and audiobook

Keith Jahans