The Bahrain Incident
In this week’s blog I am publishing a short story entitled ‘The Bahrain Incident’ which I wrote some years ago and recently dusted off, and re-edited.
To date, it is the only ‘whodunit’ I have written, and even though I say it myself, I think it holds together quite well, and at 8,000 odd words it should keep some of you insomniacs out there entertained for an hour or so.
The tale is set in what was then the newly independent United Arab Emirates in the early 70’s. It is somewhat off the normal beaten track of most books in the popular whodunit genre, so I hope it will provide a bit of a change for those of you who love western cop ‘pot-boilers’.
As I explained in last week’s blog, the Pattaya writing group, which I recently joined, were kind enough to offer some constructive criticisms on this little piece of writing, which I have taken on board before publishing. I am much indebted to them.
I am trying something a little different with the way I make this story accessible to readers of my blog.
If you click on the link below:
You will see a further link to a pdf file, which contains the full text of the story.
Previously, I have pasted the full text of my stories on the face of the page itself, but I think that going the ‘PDF route’ is better for a number of reasons, not least of which is because it provides readers with a ‘clickable’ Contents Page.
If any of my readers experience problems in accessing this story, or would prefer to read the story on the face of the blog then please leave a comment on the blog or write to me at:
…and I will think again, and see what I can do about it.
Again, I have to thank one of the members of my new writing group, (in fact he is the one who introduced me to them), who helped me to discover an E publishing outfit called ‘Smashwords.’
Smashwords is an E publishing company, established mainly for self-published authors, and they claim to be the ‘world’s largest eBook publishing and distribution platform for indie authors’.
Not only do they make books available on their own platform, but they also have distribution arrangements with other e publishers, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Amazon.
In many ways it seems to provide the best possible route for authors such as myself, who have no agent or publisher and who are struggling to get their work out to the general public.
Very shortly I will be publishing “The Bahrain Incident” on Smashwords, as a ‘try-out’ and I will be offering it to the public free of charge. Free e books are a major feature of Smashwords, and authors are permitted to do offer their works free of charge whenever they wish, without hindrance.
This is quite unlike Amazon, where they have strict rules on pricing. If I publish exclusively on Amazon, I am only allowed to have short promotion period where I can offer my work for free, ( max. 5 days in any 90 day period), but I am not allowed to offer it free of charge on a regular basis, for as long as I like.
And this is the clever bit….
Unless… the work I am publishing on Amazon is also published by another publisher ‘FREE Of CHARGE’, as Amazon always guarantees to match another publisher’s price, and if that price happens to be zero, then Amazon will match it.
I actually wrote to Amazon, and asked them if I could publish a short story free of charge on their platform, (quoting other authors books that had been on Amazon free for long periods of time), and they replied telling me this was not possible as they had a minimum price structure but they did made some convoluted references to matching other publisher’s prices, which I took to be a code for, ‘this is how you get round it’.
So I’m now pretty sure I can get round it, as I have found other authors, (such as the ‘master of eBooks’ – Steven Leather), are able to publish freebies on Amazon, as they also offer the same book for free on Smashwords.
My plan is to follow the master’s example and publish “The Bahrain Incident” as a freebie on Smashwords, and then see if I can also put it on Amazon as a freebie.
Again, I will be following the ‘Master’ as I will include ‘tasters’ of my other published works,in the freebie book.
If you decide to read ‘the Bahrain Incident’ from my blog you will see that I have also included these ‘tasters’ at the end of the main story.
All my other published work are currently on exclusive 90 day deals with Amazon, but upon their expiry, in early 2015, I will also publish these titles in Smashwords.
I have to keep plugging away at this writing business and maybe one day, by some miracle I will see the sale of my books increase to more than the odd, single sale every week or so.
Smashwords has carried out an extensive and fascinating survey in which it seems that eBooks sold at the magic price of $3.99 sell more than books on sale at any other price – even more than those sold cheaper – between $0.99 to $ 2.99. Why this is, nobody knows, but it is a fact; so I am in the process of adjusting the book price for my 3 published Amazon books to the magic $3.99.
(I should of course add that it goes without saying that the real best selling price is not $3.99, but $0.00.)
Anyway, I do hope you enjoy “The Bahrain Incident”, and as ever, please feel free to comment.
New Mobi-Works on the horizon
Once I have been successful in publishing The Bahrain Incident’ on Smashwords and Amazon which, all things being equal, I hope to accomplish within the next week or so, I will turn my attention to new fiction.
Well, not completely new, as once again I am taking up the suggestion of one of my new friends in my writing group and will commence work on Part 1 of ‘The Six Wives of Mobi-Dark.’
As well as re-working some of my old material from “A Lust For Life” and from existing essays on my blog, there will be a substantial amount of new material in these books, and I expect each volume to weigh in at around 90,000 words, give or take.
(Another Smashwords survey revealed the surprising fact that long books sell better than short books – apparently eBook buyers look for value for money)
I am becoming ever more convinced that books such as ‘Lust’ will never have a mass appeal, and that I can only attract a wider readership by concentrating more on the nitty-gritty of my numerous affairs of the heart: the exotic, the beautiful, the love, the sex, the treachery, the heart-ache, the tragedy and so on.
The background of my topsy turvy life , which some of you know so well, will still be par of the stories, but the women will be more up front – in the limelight, so to speak. I will never write gratuitously about sex, as that is just not what my writing is all about, and even if I wanted to, I doubt whether I could do it justice. But what I will do is write about these areas of life in much greater detail than has hitherto been the case in my previous novels.
I am still torn whether I shall write the new novels in the first or third person. Any Ideas?
All being well, I will commence writing well before Christmas and I am setting myself the task of having the first novel completed and ready for publication, not later than 31st March, although whether I can achieve such a tight deadline remains to be seen.
I am promising myself this will be my final throw of the dice. If this doesn’t work, then I will accept defeat; that I will never be able to earn a living as an author and I will devote my undivided attention to finding other ways to pay my bills, before I become too old and infirm to do anything.
There – I’ve said it; I will put on hold all these other potential money making schemes I have been dabbling in, such as running a bar, selling on EBay and writing content for web sites etc, and concentrate pretty much on full time creative writing and see where I get.
I’m not quite broke yet, so I can afford to indulge my passion for writing for a few more months and see what transpires.
You never know….