Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The shortlist is out: What's Your Favourite Book of All Time?

It's finally here. What you've all been waiting for with bated breath.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present to you... the shortlist for my first ever "Favourite Books of All Time" survey!

Please scroll through the form below, and select one book from the list. Oh, and even if you previously entered your e-mail address to be notified of the shortlist, please enter it again if you'd like to receive another e-mail when the winner is announced.

And we'll give it another month before we announce the winner, shall we? So let's say we meet back here on this blog on... 19 Feb. Does that work for you?

As always, please share this post with all your friends and reading groups, book clubs, etc.

One more thing, before I forget. A quick note about my books: the list contains two of them, Memoirs of a Guardian Angel, and A Petition to Magic. I give you my word, they were not nominated by me (although I'm truly grateful to the people who did), but if you'd like to vote for them, feel free! :-)

Attribution: The image above was created in part using the Book, mockup Vector image by @StarLine, on the site freepik.com. Click here to see the original image.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

How I set my book's price online

Happy New Year, everyone! I trust your January's treating you well. Have you gotten back to the office yet?

I missed the past two blog posts, what with the hectic festive season, and the fact that both Christmas and New Year's Day happened to fall on a Tuesday this time around. But I'm back with a bang.

One of the things I always like to do around this time of year is to revisit my books' categorisations, keywords, and prices at retailers. But I try to be super-scientific about it. For each book at each retailer, I have a look at the categories and keywords. Do they still accurately reflect the subject matter of the book, and what I think readers are looking for?

Then it's on to pricing, and here's where I get really nerdy. Take a look:

For each category the book is in, I go look at the top ten books in that category. I get each one's price, deduct VAT if the retailer charges VAT to South Africans (like Amazon does). Then I divide that by the number of pages the book has, which gives me a price per page.

When I'm all done, I multiply the overall average price per page by the number of pages in my book. Then I round to the nearest 0.09, and voila.

It's a lot of work, but I like this approach because it ensures I stay competitive, and instead of charging what I think my work is worth, I'm charging what I know people are willing to pay for books in that category.

What do you think? Does this pricing strategy make sense to you?

By the way, it's impossible for me to share the 2019 prices for each of my books, in each of their formats, here in this post. However, if you'd like to browse through all my books and see for yourself what they cost at the various retailers, click here.

Monday, 7 January 2019

The Sleepwalkers by B.B. Griffith (Book Review)

It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a story this much.

Gordon Pope is a beautifully written, complex protagonist. Although he's an expert in his field, he carries with him some serious emotional baggage which makes him doubt himself and his abilities. When he's forced to confront that baggage head-on, he grows and becomes more confident. A growth which seems natural and logical, not forced to happen just because the plot requires it.

The story also seems to be fairly well researched. In my younger years, I had a passing obsession with the fields of sleep science, the limbic system, and lucid dreaming, and many of the concepts presented seemed familiar to me. It was actually quite nostalgic... although I'm sure a real-life expert in those fields would pick lots of holes in the story; it's always more complicated than fiction tries to present (something I know all too well as a software developer, who gets frustrated reading some descriptions of tech in fiction).

Although this book is the first in a series, and I don't often read series, it's still a complete story. Right at the very end, there's a scene that looks like it's going to lead into the next instalment, but there are no cliffhangers. It actually reminds me a bit of James Bond movies. This also means that I'm pretty sure if you read the second book in the series, without ever reading this one, you won't be missing anything. I hate cliffhangers, so that's something I really appreciate.

If you're into psychology or have an interest in how and why we sleep, I strongly recommend you read this story.

My rating: 5 / 5 stars

(To see where you can get your hands on a copy, click the cover below)

About the book

Is it still a crime if you commit it in your sleep?

Ethan Barret is on trial for violent assault at only twelve years old. The problem is, he doesn't remember doing it. His hands committed the crime, but he was asleep the whole time.

Gordon Pope is down on his luck. He was one of the best child-psychiatrists in the country before his divorce. Now he's broke, bored, and spiraling into depression. He agrees to be an expert witness in Ethan's case because he needs the extra cash for drinking money. What he doesn't know is that he's about to be thrown into a race against time to save the boy, and himself, before it's too late for both of them.

The Sleepwalkers is a dark thriller that will change the way you think about sleep--and dreams--forever.

Click here to find out where you can pick up a copy.