Travels in Southern England – Folkestone, Kent

November 22, 2015

I do not recall ever visiting this seaside town before but when I was looking for places to go I was delighted to see that it had its own literary festival which was about to begin. I packed the car, off I went and here I am.

The majestic Grand Burstin Hotel overlooks the harbour and I was lucky enough to book a room here for most of my stay. There were problem’s with the lock on my door on the first day and I had difficulty in locking it but the hotel management kindly transferred me to a much grander room with a magnificent harbour view.

The Grand Burstin HotelThe Grand Burstin Hotel

View from Burstin Hotel room windowHarbour view from my Hotel Window

Sandy Beach FolkestoneSandy Beach with Mermaid Sculpture near sea entrance to Harbour

The Old High Street FolkstoneThe Old High Street

Folkestone Book Festival – Saturday 21 November

Mindfulness – Linda Blair
This talk by psychologist, Linda Blair, was the first I attended at the festival. On the way in the conference hall I was handed a pine cone. Other people were given pieces of stick. Later in the talk we were asked to begin breathing through the nose and out through the mouth and then study the object we were given for two minutes. It was certainly a way to clear our minds of the clutter that builds up in our hectic modern daily lives. We were told that humans only have a few basic needs. The rest of our lives is taken up by wants. I must say I agree with her but I am not sure I will buy her book.

Crime Without Borders – a discussion between three women crime writers and one serving police officer
The three writers were MJ McGrath (who chaired the conversation), Erin Kelly and Louise Millar. International crime across borders has been increasingly occupying the minds of writers, police and the public given the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. The writers referred to the TV drama’s, The Bridge, and its Folkestone set remake, The Tunnel, in their conversation. It was a bonus that DCI Keith Roberts was able to participate as he gave an interesting insight into how the police service in Kent cooperates with those in France. He was also of the opinion that the chief topics often neglected by crime writers were cyber crime and money laundering. All four participants were experts in their fields and the books by the three women writers are well worth a look.

The Folkestone Book Festival continues to 29th November.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press


Book Review – Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round

November 21, 2015

The scooters in question were made by piecing together scooter parts with motorcycle engines and likened to the way Mary Shelly’s fictional character created a monster out of pieces of dead humans. The horror analogy was complete because the author, his family and two companions passed by the castle owned by Vlad the Impaler (said to be the inspiration for the fictional Dracula) in Romania. The book is a guide on how to take your family through Europe to Turkey on self built two wheeled transport and as such is both an instructive and entertaining read.

I travelled a great deal myself in the 1970s and 1980s by motorcycle not scooter. However, I have a great deal of understanding of some of the perils that can occur and the amount of planning involved. Sticky Round has a distinctive writing voice and conveys his technical expertise and descriptions of the people he encounters in a most amusing way. The modern digital age is very different from the days when I travelled by two wheels but I am sure I would find this book extremely helpful should I be tempted to try similar two or even four wheel journeys again. This was an exceptionally good read and is highly recommended.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

Frankenstein Scooters
Frankenstein’s Scooters to Dracula’s Castle by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round
is published by Fingers In Pies Publications and is available in paperback
and as an ebook from the Kindle Book Store


Book Promotion – getting the price right

October 19, 2015

For a publisher setting the price of a paperback book is not complicated. The cost of printing and distributing is easily calculated and all that remains is to add a sufficient sum to gain enough profit from which to pay the bookseller, the author’s royalty and running costs. But, the situation with ebooks is more complicated.

The first Peatmore Press book, Cogrill’s Mill, was first published as a pdf in the days when ebooks were unheard of. There was little in the way of production costs as the novel was available as a download from the Company website (www. Peatmore .com) or distributed by CD. Now so many multinational companies such as Amazon and Apple have entered the ebook market and, since the biggest seller of its ebooks is Amazon, the Cogrill’s Mill ebook is now exclusively offered for sale through the Kindle bookstore. Thus practically zero production costs are incurred by this publisher. Amazon take 65% of the book sales, the remaining 35% goes to the publisher / author.

In the days when it was available as a download the price was set at £4.00 which was half the cost of printing and distributing the paperback version and was considered to be a good rule of thumb. A search of the Amazon bookstore has shown that the ebooks on sale there vary greatly in price. Amazon seem to benefit greatly from the number of free ebooks on its Kindle store but a small publisher is only able to offer its books for free in a promotional deal for a limited time.

It is said that offering a book at too low a price can devalue it in the eyes of both the seller and buyer. Thus setting the value may affect sales. With this in mind, Peamore Press has decided to bring the charge for the Cogrill’s Mill ebook into line with best selling books of a similar length in a similar genre. It now remains to be seen if this will help its sales or whether the price will have to be altered again.

Keith Jahans
Peatmore Press

cover

Cogrill’s Mill by Jack Lindsey is available as a paperback from
http://peatmore.com/cogrills.htm
or as a Kindle ebook from
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cogrills-Mill-Jack-Lindsey-ebook/dp/B005NACKBY


Book Promotion – Cogrill’s Mill

October 14, 2015

The 5 day free Kindle book promotion period for the Peatmore Press novel, Cogrill’s Mill, has ended. Most of the downloads occurred on the first two days. By far the majority of downloads happened at Amazon.com, followed by Amazon.co.uk and then Amazon.ca (Canada). This was despite the fact that the book was set in England, written in UK English and most of the reviews were posted on Amazon.co.uk. The data is presented below.

graph 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

KDP Promotion Data

The unit price for the Kindle book has now been reset to its original price (£4 / $6) and so it remains to be seen if the free book giveaways can be transferred into sales or and/or positive reviews.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press


Cogrill’s Mill ebook now FREE for a limited period

October 7, 2015

I am excited to offer the ebook of, Cogrill’s Mill, FREE on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com. It is normally £4.00 / $6.00 but you can get it 100% FREE today!
http://tinyurl.com/puwwfbo

Keith Jahans
CM Free Promotional graphic

 


Bike Travelling Man makes Top 20

August 18, 2015

I am excited that my book, “Bike Travelling Man,” made the top 20 best seller list (#20) for Motorcycle ebooks Amazon UK Kindle Store. http://tinyurl.com/oulupn5. At the time of writing it is now in the top 30 because like the pop music charts the hits never stay in the same place for long.

BTMCover

Bike Travelling Man is published by Peatmore Press
and available on Amazon UK for £0.99 & Amazon.com for $1.56


Travels in Scotland – The Castle Trail Completed

July 23, 2015

Yesterday was my last day at the Davron Hotel and Rosehearty was bathed in sunlight so when I set out I was confident that I would have a good stab at taking in most if not all of the remaining castles on the trail. My first stop was Leith Hall which like some of the previous structures on the list looked more like a manor house than a castle. I stopped to take photographs of the outside and then moved on to the next on the list, Kildrummy Castle.

Leith HallLeith Hall

Here I met the same lady steward who sold me the guide at Tolquhon Castle. She told me that she had a roving remit from the Scottish tourist board to fill in whenever there was a staff shortage. This time she failed to sell me a guide but she did tell me that I would see some wonderful views once I walked up the hill to the castle site and she was right. A plaque on the site of the Great Hall told me that the castle was besieged by the English in 1306 during which Osbourne, the blacksmith, treacherously set fire to the grain store, forcing Sir Neil Bruce, Robert Bruce’s brother, to surrender.

Kildrummy CastleKildrummy Castle

After Kildrummy I came to Corgarff Castle which is described on the trail guide as an isolated Tower House and it is certainly isolated being the only building at the top of a steep hill. The trail guide says that after the Battle of Culloden it became a British Redcoat garrison in order to repress jacobite activity. At the bottom of the hill a sign informed me that the castle was closed for lunch but I climbed up there anyway to photograph the exterior and also to get some pictures of some of the stunning views that could be seen from the top.

Corgarff CastleCorgarff Castle

I drove on to Braemar castle. On the way my Sat. Nav. kept telling me that there were traffic disruptions on route and wanted to take me down some rough farm tracks when there was hardly another vehicle to be seen on the road. I ignored this advice and followed the sign posts until I came to this Hollywood impression of a quintessential castle.

Braemar CastleBraemar Castle

A little further along the Dee Valley is Balmoral Castle. It is astounding that it is still sometimes inhabited by actual Queens, Princes, and probably in the future by a King. I have to confess that I am not a fan of the British Royal Family and would not have gone out of the way to visit it if it had not been on the list.

Balmoral CastleBalmoral Castle

At five o’clock in the evening I came to Craigievar Castle and the end of the trail. It is a pretty pink and more like a creation of Walt Disney than a fortification built by barons in the 1600s.

Craigievar CastleCraigievar Castle

And so I reached the end of the trail. I had mistakenly thought I would complete it in a single day but in the end it has taken five. If I had entered every property on show and taken a guided tour I would have probably had to add at least another two. The trail is very worth following as the rolling countryside and the forests that I passed through between each castle were spectacular. The journey was worth it for these panoramic views alone.

Keith Jahans