Writers approach the endeavour of sharing their work with the world with different aims in mind, but I’m guessing that being able to say that you’re a “Number 1 Best Selling Author” is something most would cherish.
Amazon comprehensive catalogue offers you the chance to be “No 1″ in your genre, be that Horror, Mystery, Cook Books or Zombie Apocalypse Teen Romance Fantasy Steam Punk.
So, while I can tell you that cricket books aren’t big sellers for kindle, there was a week in early March this year when I made it to No 1 on amazon’s UK store with Dad’s Cricket Diary. Here’s proof for the doubters!
Sure, it was only for a few days, and I “bought” the position with some Facebook advertising, but I am now a No 1 Best Selling Author.
Last night I had the great privilege of experiencing English poet Harry Baker live at a house concert. Yep, that’s World Champion Slam Poet Harry Baker in a lounge room around the corner from my place.
One of my son’s mates is a mad HB fan, and reached out to him when his Australian Tour was announced. So, the arrangements were made – gig on Tuesday night, lounge room recital Wednesday night, gig Thursday night, fly out to China Friday. Such is the life of the international poet.
After I received my invite, I resisted the temptation to gorge on HB on-line. Once I found his TED talk, it was enough to hook me – he’s a maths nerd who is into words, my kind of guy. I decided to hear the poems fresh and live for the first time.
And so …
About thirty people – mostly friends of the teenage host and his sister – assembled in a family home for the experience of a lifetime. There were many HB fans, and plenty who were there to find out what the fuss was all about. They didn’t have to wait long.
Photo: Mark Profaca
Like most things, YouTube just doesn’t do justice to the force of nature that is Harry Baker live. He’s smart, witty, unassuming and engaging, while his poetry is all at once gentle, sharp, challenging and inspiring. He held the crowd’s attention for an hour that flew past – no one wanted it to end.
HB and friends
But end it did, with HB spending the rest of the night talking to the fans who are mostly back at school or uni today, inspired not just by his rapid rhyming words but by the journey he has chosen – to work hard at his passion rather than take a course that others might have expected.
Everyone threw some cash in a tin to finance the night – Harry is a full time poet, and no one could argue with the value.
House or Lounge Room concerts are a “thing” in music, and the model has grown in popularity, with one of the Australian pioneers being Deb Conway (see article here). Artists can easily end up making more money playing in a backyard for 20 people who pay $20 a head and buy a CD than playing in a “venue” where the money is tight and a sound engineer needs to be paid.
I’ve hosted, been to and played at a lounge room concert – they are thoroughly brilliant, and you should give one a go.
Meanwhile, here’s my favourite poem from the night – Real Men
Thirty Eight Years is a Long Time in Hollywood. It’s hard to believe that it’s thirty-eight years since the original Star Wars film was released. The Spy Who Loved Me,Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Saturday Night Fever stand … Continue reading →
With the big 5-0 looming, our every-man Dad decides that he’s spent enough time watching his teenage sons have all the fun on the cricket field. So, after 25 years on the sideline, he decides to make a comeback. His body is not so sure about that decision.
You’ll laugh your way through this personal reflection on cricket, family life and work as Dad navigates the complexities of modern life through his last summer before turning 50.
I’ve spent the last few years working in the suburbs, leaving behind the daily routine of train travel that I’d “enjoyed” for many years. Last month I started working for a client in the city – so it’s been back … Continue reading →
During early December, with a flurry of four new releases, I passed the milestone of having one million words for sale.
It’s a little bit of a cheat in a couple of ways – some of the words are co-written (about 50% in fact) while there is also some repackaging, where stories or books are available in different forms or bundles – about 35% of that 1,000,000 words is doubled up. All those words are available on amazon, while selected titles are also on ibooks and kobo.
On the other hand, the seven figure tally doesn’t count audio. While it’s freely available on itunes, between the Diary of the 17th Man podcast, the Live-Fiction podcast and Warm Honey on Podiobooks, there’s nearly 400,000 spoken words out there as well.
Still, it’s something to be proud of in just over 3 years of writing and self-publishing seriously.
Thanks to my co-authors (Steven Lewis, Steve McAlpine, Jeremy Pooley) and the various podcasters and writers who’ve helped me along the way by freely sharing great information – Johnny, Sean and Dave at The Self Publishing Podcast, Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn, Simon Whistler at The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast and Evo Terra at Podiobooks. Sonia Powell and James Stewart are regular helpers on cover designs.
What’s for 2015?
I haven’t decided on the production schedule for 2015, and it will depend on the availabliltiy of co-authors as well as the impact of other work. But here’s what’s on the dance card:
Dad’s Cricket Diary (my 2014 NaNoWriMo project)
The Queensberry Rule #2 (“The Queensberry Reign”) and #3 (“The Queensberry Something Beginning with R”)
Warm Honey 2 (“The Bookshop”)
Advanced Smash Repairs Series 2
The 17th Man’s World Cup Diary
The 17th Man’s Ashes Diary 3
Live-Fiction shorts and Collections (Best Served Cold, The Sports Pack)