Friday, July 29, 2011

Amazon's Once Bitten Cover

Amazon will soon be publishing Once Bitten on their Amazon Encore imprint and they've just sent me their latest cover idea. I think it's brilliant!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Longevity In The Bestseller Charts

The latest eBook bestseller chart from The Bookseller magazine shows The Basement holding steady at Number 6. That's pretty good going considering that it was published in November last year. Lots of Indie books have come into the charts, some even reached the Top 5, but one by one they have dropped down again but The Basement has stayed. Why? To be honest, I am not sure. My other eBook bestseller, Once Bitten, was Number One over Christmas but now stubbornly stays below 50. I have no idea why it went down but The Basement went up.

I have seen other Indie books soar up the charts but then disappear almost as quickly. A lot of the books that were selling really well over the Christmas and New Year period have now dropped out of the Top 100 which means that they are selling less than 100 copies a day. It's not through lack of promotion, either. It's as if books have a shelf life and after their time is over sales start to drop no matter what the author does in the way of self-promotion. Other books- Stieg Larsson's for instance - drop down but then come back. Why? Again, I'm still not sure.

I've been keeping an eye on the Top 100 in the US and that's dominated by regular-priced books written by traditionally-published authors. I think that's what's going to happen in the UK eventually. So when you hear Indie writers shouting that the old order is dead and that they're taking over the world of publishing, I'm pretty sure you can take it with a pinch of salt. Yes, independently-produced eBooks can do well, but I think they're selling mainly because they are cheap, and the market for cheap books is actually only a fraction of the total market. And as I've said elsewhere, the hard fact is that the vast majority of independently-produced eBooks simply aren't very good and people are starting to realise that. Obviously the fact that readers can download samples before buying does weed out the really bad books but I am pretty sure that as time goes on readers will become more concerned about quality than price, which has already happened in the US.

I am amazed - and pleased - at the success of The Basement, which has sold well over a hundred thousand copies. But everything is going to change in November when Amazon will take over The Basement and Once BItten for their Amazon Encore programme. Effectively they will become the publishers of both books which means they will do all the publicity and marketing and I will take a back seat. It's going to be fascinating to see how things progress....

Here's what The Bookseller said:

Philip Stone, charts editor: It may have been downloaded more than 10,000 times in its first week on sale (according to publisher HarperCollins), but George R R Martin's A Dance with Dragons is conspicuous by its absence on this week's e-bestseller chart. Although it currently sits in the Top 10 in W H Smith's Fiction e-books chart, its lowly (comparative) positions in the Apple (14th), Waterstone's (61st) and (24th) e-book charts mean it falls short of earning a place in The Bookseller's cross-retail Top 10 e-bestseller list

Benjamin Daniels' Confessions of a GP once again tops the chart thanks to solid downloads at Amazon (4th in the charts), Apple (1st) and Waterstone's (4th). Elizabeth Haynes' Into the Darkest Corner is the only new entry in this week's list, charting in seventh position. Sales of the £7.99 r.r.p. title will have been helped by the fact it has been discounted to just 99p on Amazon's Kindle store thanks to its position in the Kindle Summer Sale promotion.

Positive reviews will also have helped downloads—the book has received an incredible 141 five-star ratings out of 155 customer reviews. Such a five-star whitewash is so rare it is almost suspicious, but to those who say ratings/reviews matter little when it comes to decision-making, I offer you this evidence: I've just downloaded it.

Pos Title Author
1 (1) Confessions of a GP Benjamin Daniels
2 (3) Cold Kill Neil White
3 (2) A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
4 (4) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
5 (5) That Summer in Ischia Penny Feeny
6 (6) The Basement Stephen Leather
7 (-) Into the Darkest Corner Elizabeth Haynes
8 (10) Life and Laughing Michael McInty

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Me Interviewed On Radio 4's You and Yours show

I was interviewed about ePublishing on Radio 4's You and Yours show last week in the BBC's Broadcasting House in London's Regent Street.


Monday, July 18, 2011

The Basement Rises Back Up The Charts

The Basement has risen up the eBook charts again, and sales are well up on where they were a few weeks ago. I'm not sure why because I haven't done anything in the way of promotion. It's selling very well on iBooks and I've never done any promotion there. It's funny because it gets much better reviews on iBooks, too. I have no idea why!

I'm stil not sure what gives some eBooks longevity. The Basement has been in the Top 10 for pretty much every week since it went online in October. During that time a lot of books have come and gone but The Basement has stayed put. Why? I wish I knew!

Anyway, here's what was in the Bookseller:

Philip Stone, charts editor: As was the case last week, three books in's "Kindle Summer Sale" ("hundred of books for £2.99 or less") enjoy spots the e-bestseller list, led once again by Benjamin Daniels' memoir, Confessions of a GP.

It is one of three non-fiction titles in the Top 10, but one of only six in this week's digital top 50 — proof, perhaps, of the long-held theory that fiction is the most
exposed area of the print book market to the e-book sphere.

In fact, whlie physical non-fiction book sales thus far in July have been ahead of last year, and children's book sales have been relatively flat, sales of paperback and hardback novels have been down by around 10% and 15%, according to sales statisticians Nielsen BookScan.

Two books in Stieg Larsson's Millennium thriller trilogy re-enter the Top 10, alone with Pierre Dukan's bestselling The Dukan Diet and comedian Michael McIntyre's Life and Laughing. The latter was second only to Stephen Fry's The Fry Chronicles as the bestselling celebrity memoir of 2010.

Pos Title Author
1 (1) Confessions of a GP Benjamin Daniels
2 (5) A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
3 (2) Cold Kill Neil White
4 (-) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
5 (3) That Summer in Ischia Penny Feeny
6 (8) The Basement Stephen Leather
7 (-) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest Stieg Larsson
8 (-) The Dukan Diet Pierre Dukan
9 (6) Afterwards Rosamund Lupton
10 (-) Life and Laughing Michael McIntyre

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Basement Is Still Riding High!

This just in from The Bookseller Magazine. The Basement is still in the Top 10 and gets a very nice write-up!

Philip Stone, charts editor: Three books in's "Kindle Summer Sale" ("hundreds of books priced just £2.99 or less") earn places in the e-bestseller list Top 10 this week: police intelligence analyst Elizabeth Haynes' début novel, Into the Darkest Corner; Penny Feeny's 1979-set That Summer in Ischia; and new number one Benjamin Daniels' Confessions of a GP. All three are selling for just 99p at an average discount of 90% off their print edition r.r.p.s. Lucy Diamond's Sweet Temptation, Lyndsay Russell's Making it Big and C J Box's Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, three other 99p members of the same promotion, narrowly miss out on places in the Top 10.

Long-time e- book bestseller, Stephen Leather's The Basement clocks up a 20th week in The Bookseller's e-bestseller list in 2011. Benjamin Daniels is Leather's nearest rival in the longevity stakes, the doctor's Confessions of a GP having charted 16 times this year.

Leather's The Basement is the latest in a long line of e-books to have acquired a helpful subtitle on Amazon—this time "serial killer thriller with a breathtaking twist". Others include Saffina Desforges' Sugar & Spice (The Controversial Psycho-sexual Thriller), and Jason Krumbine's Fruitbasket from Hell (For Fans of Jasper Fforde and Terry Pratchett). How long such subtitles will last remains to be seen—earlier this year removed "For Fans of Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown" pretty promptly from the title of Louise Voss and Mark Edwards' Catch Your Death.

Incidentally, The Basement has received a solid four stars out of five on average from 346 reviewers at Apple's iBookstore although, intriguingly, one of the most recent ("slow to start and took a bit of getting into but on the whole enjoyable") received just three. The reviewer in question? A Mr "Stephen leather". Hmm....

Pos Title Author
1 (2) Confessions of a GP Benjamin Daniels
2 (-) Cold Kill Neil White
3 (-) That Summer in Ischia Penny Feeny
4 (3) Catch Your Death Voss and Edwards
5 (1) A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
6 (5) Afterwards Rosamund Lupton
7 (-) The Midwife's Confession Diane Chamberlain
8 (9) The Basement Stephen Leather
9 (-) Into the Darkest Corner Elizabeth Haynes
10 (7) A Game of Thrones George R R Martin

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Three More Inspector Zhang Stories Go On Sale

I've just put three more Inspector Zhang stories on sale as eBooks. They'll hopefully be available on Kindle by the weekend and are already selling on Smashwords. I'm keeping the cover style the same.... I already have Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish up as a free book so now we'll see if people will actually pay 99 cents for a short story!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Basement Is Still In The Top 10!

This just in from The Bookseller Magazine... The Basement is at Number 9, pretty good considering that it's been in the Top 10 for most of the past six months. Again this week I don't think the list is accurate as The Basement was Number 7 for most of the week on the KIndle and was higher than that on iBooks. I think there's a lot of guesswork with the Bookseller list...

Philip Stone, charts editor: For only the third time this year, the bestselling e-book in the UK is the bestselling print book in the UK.

TV comic Dawn French's début novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, sold more than 30,000 physical copies in its first three days on sale at UK booksellers, and tops this week's e-bestseller lists thanks to solid downloads from Apple's iBookstore and both and But it only charts in 208th position in the chart, two places behind Ashley Hind's In the Dark—a saucy novel by erotica ebook specialists Xcite.

Benjamin Daniels' Confessions of a GP re-enters the chart following a three-week hiatus, while Erin Kern's Looking for Trouble débuts. The book is currently available to download to Kindles for just 71 pence, and is yet another example of an author who, tired of rejection letters from publishers and agents ("close to 40" according to the author), decided to publish the book herself. After a mediocre November in which just five copies were downloaded to Kindles, more than 5,000 copies were downloaded in the first two weeks in May—helped by the fact she dropped the r.r.p. from $2.99 to just $0.99.

Pos Title Author
1 (-) A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
2 (-) Confessions of a GP Benjamin Daniels
3 (3) Catch Your Death Voss and Edwards
4 (-) Looking for Trouble Erin Kern
5 (6) Afterwards Rosamund Lupton
6 (-) One Day David Nicholls
7 (2) A Game of Thrones George R R Martin
8 (1) The Unremarkable Heart Karin Slaughter
9 (7) The Basement Stephen Leather
10 (4) Life and Laughing Michael McIntyre

The FutureBook e-bestseller list is compiled by The Bookseller and uses a points-based system based on e-tailer chart positions and estimated e-tailer market shares. It is compiled at the same time each week. This will be replaced by a more robust e-chart when it is available.