The Road to Waterstones

Some of you may know that my books are published by 47North, the Fantasy, Sci-fi and Horror imprint from Amazon Publishing.

 

For many reasons, most of which I barely understand, most shops don’t stock Amazon Publishing’s authors. It’s a bit crap, but there’s very little I can do to change that. Or so I thought.

McHugh_Crimes_Against_Magic_cvr_FINAL

In May I got a phone call from Mike, who works at Romford Waterstones (a place in London). He told me that people were coming into his shop and asking for my book, which as it wasn’t stocked by Waterstones he couldn’t give it to them. He asked if it was okay with me if he arranged for my books to be on the Waterstones system, I said yes and went away with a smile.

 

A month later, I got another e-mail. Mike said he wanted to update me as to how the books were doing. Apparently they were selling out of the store as quickly as he could get them in. This was awesome. He then said that other stores in his area would be stocking them too based on how the sales had gone. They were going to get books 2 and 3 stocked.

 

This was awesome. I have my books for sale in a shop that isn’t meant, due to aforementioned boring reasons, to be selling my books.

 

Other than the warm glow this gave me, I thought very little more about it for another month. Then I was in Waterstones in Doncaster.

 

I thought, lets test this out. So I went to the desk and asked if they had my books. They looked on their computer and said no, but that they’d get them in store for me if I wanted a copy. There was then the slightly weird exchange as I explained who I was, and that I wasn’t in fact trying to buy my own book. They gave me some advice. Go back to the Southampton branch, explain who I am and see if they’ll stock the books.

 

Well long story short (which is something I probably should have started with), they said they’d love to. So on 18th September at 5pm there will be a launch party for Crimes Against Magic in the Southampton West Quay.

 

It’s a fairly astonishing thing to consider. Especially when I’d pretty much decided that there was no way Waterstones would ever stock an Amazon Pub Author.

Turns out I was wrong.

 

In this case, that’s a pretty cool feeling.

 

So, here’s a Facebook link to the event (or click the covers above). If you’re about then pop in and say hi, or buy a book. I’ll sign it and everything. There’s even going to be free wine, which depending on how long after it starts, depends on how good my signing will be.

 

Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible. To Waterstones staff, Mike in particular, for starting this road. To West Quay Waterstones staff for being awesome. To 47N and Amazon Publishing for basically being pretty damn cool publisher. To everyone who loved my books enough to tell their friends and family about them. To those who went into a store and asked to get a copy. I hope to see some of you there.

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Posted on August 20, 2014, in Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Way cool, wish I was across the ocean well because it would be cool to wander around Europe and perhaps get some autographs from people I like. Congrats!

  2. Hi, I wanted to tell you that I read everything that you have published in about five days. Your subject matter is right up my alley, I absolutely love history, mythology, and the supernatural and anyone that can successfully combine those into an entertaining story is pretty much my hero. The author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Kevin Hearne, is one of my favorites for this reason. Kelley Armstrong and Patricia Briggs are two of my top as well, just because they are awesome, but you are writing in my niche. I love your stories, your characters are well developed and have me wanting to slap them or shake their hands depending on the minute. That is perfect! However, there is one major problem in these books for me. I read everything on my kindle because I buzz through about five books a week and my home is just not that big. I’m aware that there are some transference problems between a paper back and electronic media and I don’t know the details of how things can go wrong. Still, your books, on the kindle, have errors almost every other page and I can’t tell you how terribly frustrating this is for me. Yes I finished your three books and the novella in about five days, but it really should have only taken about three days. It took extra time because I had to stop regularly and take the time to figure out what you meant versus what was written. You have the wrong words, some off by just a letter like off vs of, which is easy to figure out, but coal vs cold is a little harder. In the end of the third book you said that someone was wearing amour instead of armor. Although this made me laugh it pulled me right out of the story. You also have conjugation errors, sentences that say something like “starting walking” so I have to read the sentence several times to decipher whether you meant “started walking” or “starting to walk” or none of the above. You have sentences with words that have no right being there, again in the third book someone said “He left a three hours ago.” Not hard to figure out what you meant, but again it stops me as a reader, pulls me out of the story, and instead of being entertained and enjoying myself I’m spending my time guessing at what you meant to say. In addition to being yanked out of the world you spent so much time and energy creating for me to enjoy this also makes it feel to me, as a reader, like the books are a rush job. Like you couldn’t take the time and energy to go back and fix these very silly errors that happen to everyone on the first draft. It feels like I’m not getting the best you can do.

    Now I write too and I suspect that you go through many drafts and from your acknowledgments I know you have editors. So I don’t understand what is going on. I know that you are more than capable of writing perfectly, most of your book is full of brilliance. Still it is these small errors that happen so regularly that have me actually writing to an author for the first time. My guess is that most of this is a problem with the transference to electronic media, however, I must tell you that by the end of your third book, regardless of how enjoyable I found your stories, these errors became so frustrating that unless this is rectified in the next book I will stop reading. I’m not using my readership as a threat, I’m one person with no delusions of grandeur. I will tell you that I’m far from alone in this. People don’t like being pulled out of their fantasy worlds. My brother found you and warned me about the errors. I told my Mom who I was reading and she said she couldn’t get through the first book because of the errors. Plus, I feel pretty robbed. I like your world, your stories, and your characters and the fact that I can’t sit back and enjoy them is very unfortunate. Please, take the time to read the kindle version of any of your books though I think your third book actually had the most errors. You’ll see what I mean and please fix it so I can keep reading and I can recommend it to others without caveat.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the message. As you may know, all book have errors in them to some degree, but yes there were errors in the 3 books that shouldn’t be there. This is something I’ve expressed to my publisher, and something they’ve assured me that they’ll be going back through the books to correct things. And that book 4 will be better.

      Thanks

      Steve

      • Yes, I know that all books have errors and even all authors have their little peccadilloes. Sometimes we love it, sometimes we hate it. I’m fine with a few errors over the course of a book, it happens to pretty much everyone, give or take the major names with a whole gaggle of editors hawk eyeing their way through every letter before the book is published. So, yeah, as a small, independent author I let it go completely for the first 2 books, but by the third I, admittedly, had the expectation of improvement, knowing that you now had help and some good experience. Shrug. Either way. I’m glad you are aware of it and am hopeful that the next book will be better.

        I did want to mention that one of my favorite things about your books is the juxtaposition of two different time periods that the main character is experiencing similar challenges. For one, I like the idea of alternative histories, because I’m a dork like that. Also, it gives the feeling that history always comes full circle. Whether it takes a few hundred years or thirty everything cycles back to where it started.

        Another series that has a similar main character to yours, that if you don’t know him it might give you some good fodder for ideas and thoughts is the Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey. It doesn’t have the history angle on it, but he has some good ideas to explain how the world got into this state. Just a thought.

      • Like you said, now that I’m not an independent author, I wasn’t happy with the editing done for book 3. Hopefully, these errors have been corrected and lessons learned.
        I’m glad you like the spilt histories of the books, it’s something I always wanted to make sure I did for someone with such a long lifespan as Nate.
        I’ve read the Sandman Slim first few books, I enjoy them.
        Thanks

        Steve

      • How did you find your writing group?

      • I joined Kelley Armstrong’s online writing group, which now sadly doesn’t exist. We still all use the same people to do beta reads and the like though.

  1. Pingback: Reading Links 10/3/14 | TraciKenworth's Blog

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