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Saturday, 30 June 2012

63 is the new 23

You're never too old to kick arse



The eBook is out there now and free of that pesky DRM, which basically means that once you've bought the ebook you can pretty much do what you like with it, load it onto multiple devices or share it with others. It's only available on Amazon at the moment but will be rolled out to Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and other eBook sellers in the coming weeks.

And all for the paltry price of £1.98 UK or $2.99.

It's an un-cozy crime thriller with Granny Smith proving that 63 is the new 23 and that you're never to old to make a nuisance of yourself.

“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

Living in the Rowdy Years

If not for Rawhide Clint Eastwood might have faded away into obscurity, just another actor who never quite made it. The actor has stated in several interviews that when the series came along he was all but ready to quit acting.


He always thought of the show as his show and according to friends he would refer to it that way in private, but Eric Fleming was very much the star, with Eastwood initially cast as his sidekick.

As actors the two men couldn't have been more different - Where Fleming was awkward, sullen and often difficult to work with the young Eastwood was eager for as much screen time as possible. So where Fleming, who thought. the show was beneath his talents was glad to be pushed into the background, Eastwood was only too happy to take center stage. And that's what happened after the first season when the writers started concentrating more on Rowdy's character.

The show ran from 1959 - 1966 and from the start there was tension between Eastwood and Fleming - on the very first day of filming, in Arizona in 1958, there was an unscripted showdown between Eastwood and Fleming. When the two argued they went behind a wagon and sorted it out man to man. Fleming was two inches taller that Eastwood and twenty pounds heavier but Clint, reportedly put him on his arse with one blow to the jaw. It took the intervention of studio bosses to get the two actors to even speak together. Years later Eastwood denied that he had a fist fight with Fleming but studio legend has it otherwise.

The rivalry between the two actors though helped Eastwood give his character an edge and so when his character grew, then so too did Fleming's character ossify. This was partly because Eastwood was becoming more and more popular with younger viewers, but largely because Fleming was growing difficult - In his book Clint: The Life and Legend, author Patrick McGilligan stated that Fleming was a torturous actor - all slow burns and rolling eyebrows. He was stiff - Charles Larson, one of the regular writers, said that he was told to make Fleming's speeches short and Charles Marquis Warren, the shows creator called Fleming a miserable human being.

As the show went on then so Eastwood's character developed - initially Rowdy had been a gawky foil to Fleming's stronger paternal role but eventually Eastwood would dominate - his character carried entire episodes to himself, Incident of the Running Man or deliver a memorable monologue in Incident of the Promised Land. Incidentally the latter episode was directed by Ted Post who Eastwood would work with several times in his film career.

Eventually though Eastwood became tired of being associated with Rowdy Yates, feeling that he was ready for more mature roles. He was after all now in his thirties and still playing this perpetual kid character. A trip to Europe to film a cheap Italian backed western was just around the corner and the rest is history.

Below we have embedded a complete episode of the classic series - enjoy






The great Sherlock Holmes debate

Seems this is an event that many London based Archive readers will enjoy:

The first two Great Sherlock Holmes Debates resulted in tens of millions of fan pages across the internet and the third debate will once again bring together the top actors, directors, historians, bloggers and commentators in the Sherlock Holmes world.

The UK Great Sherlock Holmes Debate III takes place on Saturday 4th August
12-2pm in London and on the web.

The  Sherlock Holmes Week will be a key event to raise awareness for Save Undershaw's fundraising campaign.

The theme for this debate is: "Which is the best Sherlock Holmes story?"

The agenda for the debate:

1. Save Undershaw, the story so far - and the challenge ahead.

2. The best Sherlock Holmes short story from the canon.

3. The best of the four novels from the canon.

4. Open debate - What makes a good adaptation/pastiche?

Similar to last time, we will be hosting the live element of the debate in
central London with the wonderful video skills of Ross Foad (opportunity for
1-2-1 interviews.) if you would like to come in person, or you can dial in
over the web.

We will run another fan competition via Facebook page for 10 fans to take
part live like last time.

Steve Emecz

Managing Director

MX Publishing

www.mxpublishing.co.uk <http://www.mxpublishing.co.uk/>

Skype: steveemecz

Mobile: 0044(0)7837-550025

Email: steve@mxpublishing.co.uk

Friday, 29 June 2012

Just what the F**k is a Western?

What is a western? Are these modern westerns, No Country for Old Men and Cogan's Bluff to name but two, truly westerns? Is a civil war story a western? Do westerns set in the later part of the era and feature motor cars, telephones etc qualify as westerns?

Some claim that to be a true western a film/book has to be set after the civil war and no later than 1890 - there is some merit to that but the rules are too limited for the genre to truly thrive. To my mind No Country for Old Men is most definitely a western albeit one that should be categorized as a modern western. But films such as Ned Kelly and The Proposition which were billed as Westerns are most defiantly not part of the genre. To me setting is far more important than the era depicted and I think that works like the aforementioned No Country For Old Man can only made the genre stronger as a whole and maybe bring new readers/viewers into the fold. As long as a work is set in the American West then it is most definitely a western regardless of the time era.

But even that causes problems as films like Clint Eastwood's Honkeytonk Man would classify as a western. And it would be absurd to call his vastly underrated bittersweet tale a western. And yet another Clint Eastwood vehicle, The Beguiled is very firmly placed in the western genre and yet in the classical definition it is not a western. Using this rule to classify works would also make Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn westerns when it would be odd to call them such.

So what is a western?
All of a sudden, I'm not too sure.

The word Western attached to a film or book does conjure up the classic set up - the mid to late 1800's, cattle drives, outlaws, gunfights, stagecoaches, the railways, Indians --you get the picture. And when a early motor car makes an appearance, such as in The Wild Bunch and Big Jake to name but two examples, it throws the viewer/reader. And yet these two films are most definitely westerns - BIg Jake even includes a motorbike chase scene but it's still very much a western.

All of a sudden I'm not so sure what is and what is not a western. Maybe the western is just too versatile to peg down in any one slot.

Not that it really matters - I think we should embrace the western in its myriad formats .

Dirty Harry is back in Vigilance

Directly following his stint behind the camera, directing the gentle romance drama Breezy America's greatest living star, Clint Eastwood was to return to Dirty Harry with the movie Vigilance - the title was eventually changed to Magnum Force in reference to the hand cannon the character used.


The idea was to make the originals right wing politics more palatable to the modern audience - the concept of a gang of rogue cops wiping out organized crime interested Clint because it seemed to suggest that there were worse cops out there than Harry.  Eastwood  wanted to address the controversy of the original film supposedly endorsing fascism, by making it clear Harry was not a vigilante. However there were problems with the original script and Clint brought in newcomer, Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) to work on the script. And filming then started in April 1973. Initially Eastwood was to direct but the star didn't feel fully confident and so Ted Post took over, though Eastwood's made claims since that although Post got the director credit  it was actually second unit director, Buddy Van Horn who did most of the directing.

The death squad cops were cast with young actors - David Soul, Robert Ulrich, Tim Matherson and David Niven's son, Kip. Ted Post was given the director's chair but the director found that Clint was no longer the same man he had worked with on Rawhide and Hang Em High. Post and Eastwood crossed swords several times during shooting and Post  blamed Eastwood for his later career stalling.

Magnum Force could not help but be derivative of the classic Dirty Harry - it played around with the character. Where Harry was a sad lonely individual in the first movie, in this film he becomes a sexy ladies man, almost James Bond with a better gun.

"The same old stuff only worse." Frank Rich, The New York Times

"Clint Eastwood isn't offensive; he isn't an actor so one couldn't call him a bad actor. He'd have to do something before we could consider him bad at it. And acting isn't required in Magnum Force." Pauline Kael,

In the end Magnum Force took $58.1 million, far more than Dirty Harry. And if it proved anything it was that Clint Eastwood had the charisma to carry a any film. The film was Clint's biggest box-office ever and would hold the record until the next Dirty Harry came along.


Ignore the critics, though - Magnum Force rocks! The movie also boasts the highest body count of any of the Dirty Harry movies with a total of 30 kills.


Whilst Magnum Force is not quite as good as Dirty Harry it's still a fine film - the critics were over harsh and have never understood this kind of movie in any case. True it showed a mellowing of the Harry character but then it was intended too. And the action scenes, particularly the final shoot out, are excellent. And Clint, who had already realized that Harry must become a parody of the original character, does his best to turn him into some kind of super cop.

It made my day in any case.


A sad postscript to the movie is that on April 22, 1974, 2 men robbed a HIFI shop in Ogden Utah and made the 5 hostages drink Draino and then shot them in the head. The next day an unnamed informant called in a tip to Ogden City Police with information that would help wrap up the case much sooner than police had anticipated. The informant, an airman stationed at Hill Air Force Base, told police that he had overheard two of his fellow airmen talking about robbing a store and killing witnesses utilizing the Death By Drano method by which the Pimp murders the Prostitute in Magnum Force, which the two had seen prior to the Crime. Two of the hostages miraculously survived. The crime would forever be known as The Hi-Fi Murders.

You're never too old to kick arse

The free promotion is over and was responsible for over 4,000 downloads.

The eBook proper is out there now and free of that pesky DRM, which basically means that once you've bought the ebook you can pretty much do what you like with it, load it onto multiple devices or share it with others. It's only available on Amazon at the moment but will be rolled out to Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and other eBook sellers in the coming weeks.

And all for the paltry price of £1.98 UK or $2.99.

It's an un-cozy crime thriller with Granny Smith proving that 63 is the new 23 and that you're never to old to make a nuisance of yourself.

“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Promotion ends in one hour

A great beach read .The characters are likable & the book is a fun light read." four star review

The Free offer ends at midnight. It's now your very last chance to grab a free copy of , Granny Smith Investigates. Three thousand downloads and counting...


CLICK IMAGE
“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

Amazon to move in on Dorchester - possibly

From Digital Book World

After a long illness Dorchester Books has finally succumbed, a victim of the digital revolution to which the mass market paperback publisher could not adapt. But if authors and agents read the fine print in today’s “Notice of Public Disposition” they will find the following phrase: “Secured Party will foreclose its security interest in and sell at public auction as a single unit through Garfunkel Wild, P.C., to Amazon Publishing, or such other higher and/or better bidder as may prevail at auction…”

And a little further down is the good news that authors and agents who had despaired of recovering royalties from the sinking publisher will be made whole by Amazon: ” All publication contacts regarding certain literary works (collectively, the “Works”) and related outbound license agreements of DP (collectively, the “Contracts”), subject to the purchaser negotiating certain amendments with the authors of the Works in exchange for payment by Amazon Publishing of the full amount of back royalties that DP indicates is owed to those authors as of May 31, 2012…”

In practice Amazon, or any firm that outbids Amazon in an auction to be conducted in August, will tender amendments to authors and agents transferring rights to the new entity, in exchange for which back royalties will be paid in full.

The acquiring firm will then convert the books to e-books (a number of them have been converted already) and release them in e-book format. The original covers are among the assets to be acquired; our understanding is that Dorchester owned them outright and no rights clearance will have to be undertaken.

Though we lament the passing of Dorchester, with its excellent list of westerns, horror, romance and other genre fiction, we are happy to think its orphaned books will be in the hands of those who will know what to do with them.

Hardboiled Dolls

Never trust a dame, beware the broad - they'll turn on you when the chips are down, twist the knife when it's well and truly sunk in your back - least according to the pulps and I use the term, pulp in its broadest sense to include the cheap, slim paperbacks that filled the shops for years, published by the likes of Dell, Gold Medal, Ace and Lancer. In the true sense they were not pulps but they most certainly carried the pulp spirit.

A femme fatale tries to achieve her hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm, and sexual allure. The phrase translated from the French means deadly woman.


"She looked playful and eager, but not quite sure of herself, like a new kitten in a house where they don't care much about kittens." Raymond Chandler


In the pulps women always had a hidden agenda - at first they would appear weak and in need of protection but as the story unfolds they would inevitably show their true colours. The kitten would display her claws. The women of the pulp were built strictly for titillation - they were not the type of girls you'd feel comfortable bringing home to meet your mum, least not if you wanted to hang on to your inheritance.

"
A really good detective never gets married. " Raymond Chandler

"She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket. " Raymond Chandler

"Friendships, like marriages, are dependent on avoiding the unforgivable. " John D. McDonald






Women in the pulps would often appear sweet and innocent but as the reader learned more she would transform from damsel in distress to a psychopath, always willing to use her nubile pink body (nubile pink body, or variation of such, seems to be a description favoured by pulp writers) to get what she wanted. To the pulp babe the body was as much a weapon as the snub nosed revolver she kept hidden in her purse. Or, for that matter, the sticks of TNT disguised as a lipstick.

Female protagonists were rare in the pulps but that's not to say they didn't exist - Cornell Woolrich wrote a story called Angel Face which was about a women on the vengeance trail that was published in Dime Detective in 1935 with its title changed to Murder in Wax. The story is collected in The Big Book of Pulps edited by Otto Penzler which has an entire section devoted to the pulp babes. Here you will find stories by Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett and a host of less remembered luminaries of the pulp years.



Later as the cheap mass market paperbacks started to replace the pulps there were scores upon scores of exploitative fiction hitting the shelves. These books, pornography really, took the exploitation of women to a degree the original pulps would never have dared.

Lesbian thrillers were hugely popular and numbered in their hundreds. And if women weren't engaged in lesbian acts it was only because they were otherwise busy killing, lying, stealing, drugging, drinking or swinging . Much of this was due to the fact that almost exclusively it was men writing for the pulps and the cheap mass market paperbacks. Of course there were some women writers but these were few and far between.


During the Sixties and Seventies, the height of the sexual revolution, it was the age of crude exploitative fictions. Where in the past it had been mystery and murder, with a subtle hint of sex, that had driven the industry it was now very much sex pushed to the forefront bringing everything else with it. And whilst the covers of these books displayed more nudity than the early pulps and paperbacks the artwork was very much in the same style. Some of the writing though was positively pornographic.

"One moment I'd be drawing a dame with a gun in her hand and the next project I'd do the same dame with her tits out.' Steve Bilkins, pulp artist, told Pulp Collector in an interview in 1973.

This was a world away from the 1950's when the Hank Janson books were accused of obscenity.
 


Ironically these lesbian thrillers, written one handed with young male readers very much in mind, were popular with a large gay female readership.

Stephanie Foote, from the University of Illinois commented on the importance of lesbian pulp novels to the lesbian identity prior to feminism.

"Pulps have been understood as signs of a secret history of readers, and they have been valued because they have been read. The more they are read, the more they are valued, and the more they are read, the closer the relationship between the very act of circulation and reading and the construction of a lesbian community becomes...Characters use the reading of novels as a way to understand that they are not alone."


These days we've moved on both in society and in our reading and women in fiction are much more rounded, real people than they were in the days of the pulps and mass market paperback nasties.


Indeed in the modern world many of the truly great writers are women and the exploitative paperbacks are merely relics of less enlightened times. The pulps live on though and authors like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Paul M. Cain and Mickey Spillane are immortal and the concept of the femme fatale they helped shape is very much a part of the modern psyche. The Hard Case Crime series continues the long tradition of the femme fatale though and she's just as tough as ever.

Carrie first pics

The first shots from the forthcoming re-imagining of Stephen King's Carrie which opens in cinemas next year.


… We’re kind of going off the book. It’s darker and much more psychological. More ‘Black Swan.’ You’re really looking into her mind and it really looks into the relationship of Margaret and Carrie. It’s set in modern time, so it’s a lot different… It’s something that’s very different from me. It’s an out of body thing. I’m becoming a totally different person for it. I’m letting go of all of my self-esteem issues and just kind of going into it. You have to.” Director Kimberly Peirce

It's high noon, boyo

As soon as I saw this book covered on the blog of good friend and western writer, Nik Morton (read Nick's review HERE) I just had to have it. And so one quick visit up the Amazon and I have the rather thin but quite detailed book in my grubby Welsh mitts.

Published by YLolfa Books, a Welsh company who specialise in Welsh publications, the book comes in at less than a hundred pages but don't let that put you off - there is a wealth of interesting material between the covers. The book even sparked off the idea that would become my forthcoming western novel, Wild Bill Williams - published this October from Black Horse Westerns and available for pre-order now.

For instance I never knew of Jesse James' Welsh heritage but then with a surname like James I should have guessed that there was a little Taffy in the DNA somewhere down the line.

Being Welsh myself and a western novelist I 've often wrote about my affinity with this period so it was great to read about that the Welsh were out there blazing trails along with all the other nationalities that went into the mixing pot of the American frontier. It was especially nice to read about William Davies who came from Pen-Y-graig, a village only a stone's throw from where I was born and raised and even closer to where I live now.

A great little slice of Western and Welsh history...it's high noon boyo.

Welsh Cowboys


There will be no Beatle Babies, Ringo Star claims

Ex-Fab, Ringo Star has shot down rumors that the sons of the Beatles are to form a Beatles MK II band.

Earlier this year, Paul McCartney's son James said he and the rest of the Fab Four's offspring could pay tribute to their dads by creating a second-generation incarnation of the group.

James, who has released two EPs titled 'Available Light' and 'Close At Hand', admitted that he had discussed working with Sean Lennon and Dhani Harrison, although he did that it seemed as if Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, isn't keen on the idea.

When asked if he had ever thought about forming a band with the rest of the Beatles' children, he replied: "I don't think it's something that Zak wants to do. Maybe Jason [drummer and one of Starr's other sons] would want to do it. I'd be up for it. Sean seemed to be into it, Dhani seemed to be into it. I'd be happy to do it."

You are now entering the last chance saloon

"A great beach read .The characters are likable & the book is a fun light read." four star review

The Free offer ends at midnight. It's now your very last chance to grab a free copy of , Granny Smith Investigates. Three thousand downloads and counting...

CLICK IMAGE
“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.


The Great eBook backlash

Pulitzer Prize author, Richard Russo bucks the trend by insisting that his new book will be print only and not be available online.

Richard Russo
"Readers can't survive on e-books alone," Richard Russo

The author feels that the rapid rise of eBooks puts bricks and mortar bookshops in danger and will also stop new writers breaking through.

Stephen King is also insisting that his forthcoming novel, Joyland will be print only

" I loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we're going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being,"Stephen King

It's a small token the writing seems to be on the eWall regarding eBooks V Print, and the current high profile case against Apple and several major publishers is dealing traditional publishing a blow they may never recover from, and the result looks like being to strengthen Amazon's grip on the book business. Only this week the Author's Guild have written a letter to the US DOJ claiming that the law suit will harm readers in the long run.

American author, Jonathan Franzen abhors eBooks and claims that consumers have been conned into thinking they need eReading devices. The 52-year-old writer became a literary superstar with The Corrections, published in 2001, which sold close to three million copies.

I think the combination of technology and capitalism has given us a world that really feels out of control. If you go to Europe, politicians don’t matter. The people making the decisions in Europe are bankers.  Jonathan Franzen

THE FULL LETTER IS POSTED BELOW THIS ARTICLE

However whilst many can see the need for book prices to be protected the Agency Model is flawed in that it sets publishers against their customers, the readers. The Agency Model means that we have to pay more for our books and that is all the readers sees. The reader doesn't look at the high price of a book fell a warm glow, because they are helping to keep the publisher in business.All the reader feels is that they are getting ripped off. For years we had the Net Book Agreement in the UK  And in many ways this was sensible - it meant we created a level playing field for new authors to compete with the big names, but it was eventually found to be anti-competitive and thus illegal.

The modern reader is used to massive discounts - waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Borders and others were discounting books and running two for one offers, long before anyone sailed the digital Amazon. And by adopting the agency model publishers made the same mistake as the music industry and set itself apart from the best interests of its customers.

This story is going to run and run.


THE AUTHOR'S GUILD LETTER TO THE DOJ


The Guild does not support the DOJ’s proposed e-book settlement. We believe it will allow Amazon to resume its predatory pricing practices, discouraging competition in the e-book marketplace. We thank those who have sent their comments on the settlement to the DOJ. Here is the Guild’s Tunney Act filing:


June 25, 2012
John R. Read, Esq.
Chief, Litigation III
Antitrust Division, United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530
Re: United States v. Apple, Inc., et al., 12-cv-2826 (DLC) (SDNY).


Dear Mr. Read,
I’m writing to express the Authors Guild’s firm belief that the proposed settlement of the Justice Department’s lawsuit alleging that five publishers and Apple colluded to introduce agency pricing to the e-book market is not in the public interest. The settlement is flawed by an astonishing provision, specifically requiring three large publishers to allow e-book vendors to routinely sell e-books at below cost, so long as the vendors don’t lose money over the publisher’s entire list of e-books over the course of a year.

The proposal, by allowing targeted predatory pricing of e-books, would give governmental sanction to a practice long considered destructive to a free and fair market. It was precisely this practice – selling frontlist e-books at below cost to discourage and destroy competition – that helped Amazon capture a commanding 90% of the U.S. e-book market. Agency pricing, which the Justice Department believes was introduced through collusion, has allowed Amazon’s competitors to gain a foothold, driving Amazon’s market share down to 60% in two years.

The Justice Department has made clear that it intends to irreversibly reshape the literary market. Allowing Amazon to resume its predatory ways with e-books will likely accomplish that, but not in the way the Justice Department intends. The proposed settlement will almost certainly backfire and harm readers in the long run.

The Justice Department needs to rethink and revise its proposal: it can stop the alleged collusion without requiring publishers to allow Amazon to resume predatory pricing.
The Competitive Landscape: Amazon’s in Control

The Justice Department’s assessment of the literary market offers but a pinhole glimpse of the genuine competitive landscape. Its competitive impact statement fails to discuss the relationship between the print book market and the e-book market, for example, or the critical distinctions between the online book market and the brick-and-mortar market. Most importantly, it fails to mention Amazon’s monopolistic reach and reflexive anticompetitive habits, the dominant features of the current competitive landscape.

Nowhere does the Justice Department’s competitive impact statement discuss the components of Amazon’s monopolistic reach:

• that Amazon held 90% of the market for trade e-books prior to the introduction of the agency model in 2010, and that its e-book market share still stands at roughly 60%;
• that Amazon has long controlled about 75% of the online market for trade books in print form;
• that Amazon’s dominance of the online market for print books gives it control of the market for an estimated 90% of in-print titles, since only a sliver of in-print books (frontlist books and certain backlist titles) have substantial sales in brick-and-mortar stores;
• that Amazon, through its purchase of Audible.com, has control of the fast-growing downloadable audio book market; and
• that Amazon, through a series of acquisitions, has gained control of the online market for used books.
There simply is no growing segment of the book market that Amazon doesn’t dominate.
Even more troubling is the competitive impact statement’s failure to discuss how Amazon uses its command of the online book market and its deep pool of capital to undermine competition. The statement doesn’t point out:
• that Amazon achieved its $9.99 price for e-books from November 2007 through April 2010 (and through today, for many publishers) by selling frontlist titles at a loss, a classic anti-competitive tactic;
• that Amazon managed to undermine its brick-and-mortar competitors while maintaining profitability by selling only a select set of e-books at its below-cost $9.99 price point, focusing its predation on digital editions of the frontlist hardcover books that attract customers to its brick-and-mortar competitors;
• that Amazon removed buy buttons from thousands of “long-tail” books in 2008, in a successful effort to force author focused on-demand publishers to use Amazon’s costly printing service, a maneuver that continues to reduce royalties for thousands of authors, while preventing rivals from effectively competing with Amazon’s author-focused CreateSpace;
• that during Amazon’s showdown with Macmillan over e-book terms in 2010, it retaliated by removing buy buttons not just from Macmillan’s e-books (which would have been fair play in such a business dispute), but from the publisher’s print books as well, tying access to Amazon’s vital print book market to acceptance of Amazon’s preferred e-book terms (the complaint does blandly mention this, without noting the market-tying strategy);
• that Amazon has continuously used its market leverage, in the U.S. and abroad, to dictate terms to its suppliers by removing buy buttons, in at least one instance punishing a recalcitrant British publisher for more than a year;
• that when Amazon entered the e-lending market for public libraries in 2011, it struck an unprecedented deal with OverDrive, the leading e-lending service provider, requiring it to redirect borrowers from their local public library websites to Amazon’s own commercial website and servers, turning thousands of public library websites into virtual storefronts for Amazon, while compromising library patrons’ reading privacy;
• that Amazon, in November 2011, brought its predatory campaign to a new level with its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, offering free e-books to gain a loss-leading competitive advantage for its new tablet, the Kindle Fire; and
• that Amazon has aggressively moved in the past seven months to protect its horizontal control of the online book market through a series of vertical acquisitions, buying exclusive rights to thousands of titles, including Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, Avalon Publishing, and Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, leading to an unprecedented and dangerous balkanization of the literary marketplace.
Each of these acts represents behavior that should set off alarm bells in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. Assessing the effects of the proposed settlement without taking these into account is impossible.


Several of these points merit further description, to illustrate the myriad, creative ways in which Amazon leverages its market power to destroy competition.
Amazon, On-Demand Publishing: Making Room for CreateSpace
For years, the Authors Guild staff had heard whispers of Amazon’s buy-button removal tactic as a means of getting publishers to agree to new terms. In January 2008, during the Association of Writers and Writing Program’s annual conference, Amazon’s market-denying maneuver hit hundreds of Guild members, as it removed the buy buttons from more one thousand books in the Guild’s Backinprint.com program.


The Guild had launched Backinprint.com in the summer of 1999, allowing authors for the first time to republish their out-of-print books without incurring any set-up costs. (The Guild had negotiated an agreement with on-demand publisher iUniverse to prepare the books for on-demand printing.) The service was an immediate hit with members; within two years, more than 1,000 titles were available to readers again, including books by Mary McCarthy, Thornton Wilder, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Victor Navasky. The books, all of which had fallen out of print after being published by traditional U.S. publishers, are among the more than one million in-print books that make up bookselling’s “long-tail,” low sales-volume works that rarely appear on bookstore shelves. Long-tail books, more than any other, depend on virtual bookstores: Amazon largely defines their market.


Sales of all on-demand books grew steadily in the early 2000s. By 2005, sales of on-demand books had reached a new high. Backinprint titles sold 41,000 units that year. Amazon, the storefront for most on-demand sales, took notice. It purchased BookSurge, an on-demand printer, to compete with Lightning Source, the industry-leading on-demand printing service run by Ingram.


Three years later, however, few on-demand publishers had moved their printing to BookSurge. Small wonder, since it charged more for its printing services than Lightning Source and had a reputation of offering lower quality service. So Amazon turned to aggressive tactics to win market share, reportedly removing the buy buttons from all iUniverse titles during the 2008 AWP conference. Author Solutions, which had acquired iUniverse, saw its sales plummet. It quickly agreed to use BookSurge for its Amazon sales, and Amazon restored access to its millions of customers.

While a traumatic event for iUniverse, the episode went unnoticed in the book world, which was focused on Amazon’s November 2007 introduction of the Kindle, with its predatory pricing scheme for select frontlist books. Even our members with books in the program took no notice, because when Amazon removes a buy button from a book’s sales page, the sales page looks almost identical to a page for an out-of-print or out-of-stock book. Reports of Amazon’s strong-arming of on-demand publishers didn’t surface for more than a month, in March 2008, with reports in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.

Amazon got away with this gambit, suffering barely a scrape. On-demand publisher Booklocker did file a class action lawsuit in Maine against Amazon over the episode. After Amazon’s motion to dismiss failed, Amazon quietly settled the suit for a reported $300,000 in attorneys’ fees. Amazon has doubtless earned back those fees many times over. Thousands of authors continue to see their on-demand royalties reduced by ten to fifteen percent as a result of Amazon’s squeeze. (This wasn’t a maneuver justified by efficiencies that ultimately benefit consumers, incidentally. Amazon appears to sell the books at precisely the same price as other online retailers. Amazon just makes more money at it than they do.)

More importantly and profitably to Amazon, by forcing iUniverse and other author centered on-demand service providers to use BookSurge, Amazon severely constrained effective competition for its own author centered on-demand service provider, which became known as CreateSpace in 2009. Amazon’s vertical integration of on-demand printing eliminated the ability of iUniverse, PublishAmerica, XLibris and others to offer authors better royalties when selling through Amazon. CreateSpace appears to have thrived ever since.

Amazon’s Exercise of Its Buy Button “Nuclear Option”
In June 2008, Doreen Carvajal of the New York Times called buy-button removal “the literary equivalent of a nuclear option for rebellious publishers who balk at [Amazon’s] demands.” Ms. Carvajal was discussing Amazon’s removal of buy buttons in the United Kingdom from hundreds of Bloomsbury titles while in negotiations with the publisher.

The Authors Guild began preparing for the next incident, which everyone in the industry knew would come. Since stealth appeared to be a significant weapon for Amazon (authors may not notice, if the incident is over quickly enough, and publishers are fearful of blowing the whistle), the Guild hired developers to build a tool to e-mail authors when Amazon removed one of their buy buttons. When Amazon removed the buy buttons from Macmillan’s print and digital books in January 2010, the Guild launched the tool through a dedicated website, WhoMovedMyBuyButton.com.

Amazon’s buy button removal campaign persists unabated. Independent Publishers Group markets and distributes titles from independent publishing houses to the book trade at large. When IPG’s Amazon contract came up for renewal in 2012, Amazon pressured IPG for more favorable terms. When IPG resisted, Amazon took down all IPG e-books from its site. After X months, IPG came to terms, etc.
Amazon and E-Lending by Public Libraries

In September 2011, Amazon entered an arrangement with OverDrive, the largest supplier of e-books and audio books to public libraries, making possible e-book library lending through the Kindle device. OverDrive’s implementation of the Kindle lending program, pursuant to its agreement with Amazon, required it to redirect patrons to Amazon’s servers. A columnist for the Los Angeles Times compared it to “walking into your public library then finding yourself at the Target checkout counter.” No other e-book vendor has such an arrangement.

Amazon Pursues Its Own “Monopoly Over Its Titles:” the Balkanization of the Literary Marketplace
Since its e-terms battle with Macmillan in January 2010, during which Amazon protested that it had to “capitulate” due to Macmillan’s “monopoly over its titles,” Amazon has turned toward pursuing its own monopoly. With the launch of the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s drive to acquire exclusive rights to books, by acquiring publishers with substantial backlists and other arrangements, has taken on a new urgency.

In September 2011, Amazon’s acquired the exclusive digital rights to one hundred popular DC Comics graphic novels. If a customer wanted to read any of these on an e-device, it had to be on a Kindle Fire. Barnes & Noble, trying to break into the e-device market with its Nook, retaliated by pulling all print copies of DC Comics titles from its shelves. Books-a-Million, the third largest bookseller, followed suit. “As Amazon seeks over the next few years to expand its tablet line,” predicted the New York Times, “these collisions over content are likely to become routine.”

Amazon is moving quickly. In December, Amazon entered the children’s book market, acquiring more than 450 titles of Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books. In April, Amazon announced it had acquired the exclusive North American rights to publish Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels — in both digital and print formats. Earlier this month, Amazon expanded its holdings of genre fiction, purchasing the publisher Avalon Books and the exclusive rights to its 3,000-title backlist of romance, mystery and Western fiction.

Balkanization of the literary market is something new and deeply troubling. “Bookstores used to pride themselves on never removing any book from their shelves,” reported the Times, “but that tradition—born in battles over censorship—is fading as competitive struggles increase.” Awful as it is for our literary culture, the balkanization of the book market is but a logical extension of Amazon’s no-prisoners approach to competition.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
Amazon lagged Barnes & Noble by a full year in developing an e-reading tablet. While Barnes & Noble prepared to roll out its second-generation tablet, Amazon prepared to introduce its first, the Kindle Fire. To gain an advantage, Amazon proposed to do something Barnes & Noble couldn’t afford to do: give away e-books, including front list e-books, for free.

So in November 2011, shortly before Amazon began shipping its Kindle Fire, Amazon also introduced its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allowed Amazon Prime members to download onto their Kindles any of more than 5,000 titles, at the time of it was announced. Customers are limited to one book per month and one book at a time — when a new book is downloaded, the old one disappears from the Kindle.

Amazon approached the six largest U.S. trade book publishers to seek their participation in the program. By all accounts, each refused. Publishers weren’t eager to allow Amazon to undermine the economics of the e-book market, representing the lone bright spot for the industry. So books from the six largest trade publishers were not in the Lending Library program.

Amazon’s attempts to enlist the next tier of U.S. trade book publishers, major publishers that are slightly smaller than the Big Six, fared no better. Many, perhaps all, also refused. No matter. Amazon simply disregarded these publishers’ wishes, and enrolled many of their titles in the program anyway. Some of these publishers learned of Amazon’s unilateral decision as the first news stories about the program appeared.

The use of publishers’ books without permission was due to a tortured reading of its boilerplate contracts with publishers. Amazon decided that it didn’t need the publishers’ permission, because, as Amazon saw it, its contracts with these publishers merely required it to pay publishers the wholesale price of the books that Amazon Prime customers download. By reasoning this way, Amazon claimed it could sell e-books at any price, even giving them away, so long as publishers are paid.

From our understanding of Amazon’s standard contractual terms, this is nonsense — publishers did not surrender this level of control to the retailer. Amazon’s boilerplate terms specifically contemplate the sale of e-books—not giveaways, subscriptions, or lending. Amazon can make other uses of e-books only with the publishers consent. In other words, Amazon was boldly breaching its contracts with these publishers. This was an exercise of brute economic power: Amazon knew it could largely dictate terms to non-agency publishers, and it badly wanted to launch the Lending Library program with some notable titles.

So Amazon did just that, conscripting publishers into a predatory pricing business model that substituted cash for genuine innovation, further undermining the economics of brick-and-mortar bookstores along the way.

The Justice Department, through this settlement, would deliver the lists of three large publishers into Amazon’s predatory scheme. Unless competitors are willing to forego nearly all profits from these publishers, the Kindle will likely have an unmatchable competitive advantage.

Conclusion
Of all the possible remedies to the collusion the Justice Department alleges, requiring three large publishers to allow Amazon to sell e-books at a loss is among the most destructive of competition that one could imagine.

Amazon’s tactic of selective predatory pricing of frontlist e-books was far more anti-competitive than the Justice Department has acknowledged. It effectively cut brick-and-mortar retailers – logical participants in a bricks-and-clicks, showroom approach to marketing e-books – out of the game. The retailers would need a partner willing to invest substantial amounts to develop and market an e-reader, e-commerce site, and accompanying software. What partner would dare invest, with Amazon plainly willing to earn little or nothing from e-books? (Google’s commitment to independent bookstores always seemed half-hearted, and now it’s backing out.) From Amazon’s perspective, the best competitor is one that never dares enter the field.

Amazon has engaged in baldly anticompetitive practices for years. Its approach to destroying competition is sophisticated, data-driven, and endlessly creative. What other company would have thought to arm smart-phone users with a price-checking app then reward them for turning on their phones’ geo-location function and report pricing data to Amazon in the height of the holiday season? (Up to five dollars from Amazon, every time you deny your local retailer a sale. One Saturday only; limit three per Amazon customer.) It’s utterly brilliant, and a game only the richest of corporations can play.

Amazon really doesn’t need the Justice Department’s help. For the sake of free and fair competition, for the sake of readers who would like many companies to invest in better e-reading devices, software, and even in bookstores that one can visit on a weekend, please find another way to address the collusion you believe you’ve uncovered.
Respectfully,
Paul Aiken
Executive Director

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Promo ends soon

Feel let down by the police?

Need something investigated, a crime solved?

Then you need Granny Smith Investigations.







































It's actually Mary Alice Smith, despite what it says in the village newsletter. There were several other misprints within the issue and the most humorous being the advert that went - "Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink." It is also worth noting that one of the First Aid Tips, written by the local ambulance driver, Fred Prendergast claimed that, "the first essential in the treatment of burns is that the patient should be removed from the fire."


It's a not so cozy crime  - available now for the Kindle and FREE  for two days only - go get it, folks.



TAKE A BITE HERE





“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

Saddle up for some great rides

The Archive will be looking at this new publishing house in detail soon, but for now I'd like to introduce you to the newly set up Web-ranch for classic western fiction -HERE

Land of Granny's Fathers

The video below, made up of mostly my own photographic efforts, and then set, with permission to the heavenly tones of a Welsh Male Voice Choir, show the locations in which my novella, Granny Smith Investigates is set. Oh and that guitar but at the end - that's me playing my three chords.









Don't have a Kindle? You can still read this book! If you don't have a Kindle you can still read this book by downloading the correct Kindle app for your device. Kindle is available on the following platforms: PC, Android, Blackberry or iPhone or iPad.

The promotion for my novella, Granny Smith Investigates has been a great success with the eBook being downloaded over a thousand times in its first twelve hours - the promo runs until midnight 28th June 2012 so if you haven't downloaded a free copy then do so HERE 


The character of Granny Smith will be developed over a series of books and the novella, Granny Smith Investigates, was originally written to get a feel for the character and her world, but I was so pleased with the finished work that I decided to put it out there in eBook land. Granny Smith seems so very real to me. Below you'll find a section of my notes, which actually start the novella, on the origins of Granny Smith. The amateur sleuth who has been likened to Miss Marple on Steroids.

 GET A COPY NOW 


 On the origins of the Granny Smith


IT'S MISS MARPLE ON STEROIDS
 Of course Granny Smith’s real name wasn’t Granny but everyone called her Granny. It wasn’t because she was a grandmother, though she was three times over, but rather because as a child she had loved apples, would take one to school for her lunch each and every day. It seemed that wherever she went an apple went with her and so associated with the fruit had she become that eventually some bright spark had nicknamed her Granny Smith after that popular Australian variety of apple. Her given name was Mary Alice Davies, which meant she had the rather unfortunate initials - M A D, but she had never let that bother her and besides, she had often reasoned; when I marry I will have a totally different surname.


Eventually she had married a local man who went by the name of Arthur Smith, Smith of course, like Davies, being a common enough name, and she did indeed get a new surname, in fact her nickname became her surname. However because most people knew her by the nickname, Granny Smith, no one seemed to notice when she became a Smith for real, and, if truth be told, to many people she would remain forever M A D.


 Don't have a Kindle? You can still read this book! If you don't have a Kindle you can still read this book by downloading the correct Kindle app for your device. Kindle is available on the following platforms: PC, Android, Blackberry or iPhone or iPad.

Looking Good











Into Still Waters....

Ever wondered what happened to Dirty Harry after he escaped from Alcatraz? Well a new novel from the son of the author who penned the non fiction, Escape from Alcatraz which came the basis for Dirty Harry's movie is to give us one possible answer.

The story is deep in Kevin Bruce’s genetic code. His father, J. Campbell Bruce, wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle for many years, was a Sunday stringer for the New York Times, wrote for Readers Digest and authored the non-fiction book, “Escape from Alcatraz.

Bruce himself has authored two books on art published by Random House’s Ten Speed Press.

“I always wanted to write fiction, but I didn’t know what to write,” he said.


A couple of years ago he attended a book signing by Michael Connelly, author of award-winning detective novels including those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly was the president of the Mystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2004 Bruce said Connelly gave the age-old advice, “Write what you know.”


Still Water is available now both on Amazon and via Ken's website - HERE
after the escape

On June 11, 1962, three men tunneled out of their cells, gained access to the cell-block roof, lowered themselves to the ground, and made their way to the shore of the Alcatraz Island. Clinging to an improvised raft they slipped out into the dark waters of the bay. They were never seen again. Their escape resulted in one of the most extensive manhunts in history. The pundits agreed that they could not have survived the cold waters and strong tides of the San Francisco Bay. The authorities finally concluded that since there was no trace of them, they must have died. They were wrong. This intriguing biographical book reveals what really happened after the infamous escapees left Alcatraz, how they eluded the authorities, and the fascinating lives they have led since they disappeared. This book was written by the son of J. Campbell Bruce, author of the book "Escape from Alcatraz" upon which the movie of the same name, starring Clint Eastwood, was based. Read the remarkable story of what really happened....after the escape from Alcatraz. 

Make it So

America get all the best events.

And after an 18-year hiatus, science fiction fans across America will have the opportunity to see their favorite “Star Trek” characters once again this July.
To celebrate the upcoming release of the series’ first season on Blu-ray, NCM Fathom Events, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution will present “Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event”: a nationwide theater event bringing the popular sci-fi series to the big screen for one night only July 23.

The event will feature two of the most popular episodes from the first season: Episode 106, “Where No One Has Gone Before” and Episode 114, “Datalore.”

Fathom Events will stream the showing via satellite to nearly 500 movie theaters around the nation through National CineMedia’s (CNM) Digital Broadcast Network. The showing starts at 7 p.m. with an additional 10:15 p.m. showing in select theaters. Rave Cinemas Fallen Timbers 14 and Rave Cinemas Franklin Park 16 will participate in both available show times.

Dan Diamond, vice president of Fathom Events, said the first season of “The Next Generation” was “painstakingly retransferred” from the original format to a higher resolution for Blu-ray. For the theater event, the TV format was converted to the high-quality resolution of 2K digital projection, an industry standard for these types of events, he said.

We will read them on the beaches, we shall read them on the landing beaches, we shall read them in the fields. We will never stop reading

What do you meant I have to put my cigar out? Did we lose the war, then?
Winston Churchill's A History of the English Speaking Peoples’, will be one of forty volumes penned by the famous cigar smoker which will be available to download.

American publishers RosettaBooks have signed the global licensing deal – which will see the statesman’s work sold in digital form around the world.As well as being successful in politics, Sir Winston was both a writer and painter – winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

Volumes of his work in ebook form will cost between £5 and £6 each and the first seven will go on sale via digital books stores on July 1.I one went through these books on audio CD from my local libarary and they are incredibly detailed, as are Churchill's histoy of the Second World War.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Miss Marple on Steroids

The promotion for my novella, Granny Smith Investigates has been a great success with the eBook being downloaded over a thousand times in its first twelve hours - the promo runs until midnight 28th June 2012 so if you haven't downloaded a free copy then do so HERE

The character of Granny Smith will be developed over a series of books and the novella, Granny Smith Investigates, was originally written to get a feel for the character and her world, but I was so pleased with the finished work that I decided to put it out there in eBook land.

Granny Smith seems so very real to me.

Below you'll find a section of  my notes, which actually start the novella, on the origins of Granny Smith. The amateur sleuth who has been likened to Miss Marple on Steroids.

GET A COPY NOW




On the origins of the Granny Smith


Of course Granny Smith’s real name wasn’t Granny but everyone called her Granny. It wasn’t because she was a grandmother, though she was three times over, but rather because as a child she had loved apples, would take one to school for her lunch each and every day. It seemed that wherever she went an apple went with her and so associated with the fruit had she become that eventually some bright spark had nicknamed her Granny Smith after that popular Australian variety of apple.
Her given name was Mary Alice Davies, which meant she had the rather unfortunate initials - M A D, but she had never let that bother her and besides, she had often reasoned; when I marry I will have a totally different surname.  Eventually she had married a local man who went by the name of Arthur Smith, Smith of course, like Davies, being a common enough name, and she did indeed get a new surname, in fact her nickname became her surname. However because most people knew her by the nickname, Granny Smith, no one seemed to notice when she became a Smith for real, and, if truth be told, to many people she would remain forever M A D.


Don't have a Kindle? You can still read this book!

If you don't have a Kindle you can still read this book by downloading the correct Kindle app for your device. Kindle is available on the following platforms: PC, Android, Blackberry or iPhone or iPad.

Granny Smith's Investigating Service

Granny Smith can be contacted via her website HERE

Free promo now started - don't miss it

Feel let down by the police?

Need something investigated, a crime solved?

Then you need Granny Smith Investigations.





































It's actually Mary Alice Smith, despite what it says in the village newsletter. There were several other misprints within the issue and the most humorous being the advert that went - "Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink." It is also worth noting that one of the First Aid Tips, written by the local ambulance driver, Fred Prendergast claimed that, "the first essential in the treatment of burns is that the patient should be removed from the fire."


It's a not so cozy crime  - available now for the Kindle and FREE  for two days only - go get it, folks.



TAKE A BITE HERE





“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

AVA

Black Horse Western Charts

Bestsellers on Amazon - 25 June

1. Last Man in Lazarus (Black Horse Western) by Bill Shields (30 Mar 2012)

Hardcover £9.89

2. Wild Bill Williams (Black Horse Western) by Jack Martin (31 Oct 2012)

Hardcover Available for pre-order. £12.38

3. All Guns Blazing by Doug Thorne (30 Dec 2011)

Available for download now £2.74

4. Colorado Kid (Black Horse Western) by Dale Mike Rogers (29 Feb 2012)

Available for download now £2.74

5. Arkansas Smith (Black Horse Western) by Jack Martin (30 Apr 2012)

Available for download now £2.74

6. Arizona Pay-Off (Black Horse Western) by Duke Patterson (31 Oct 2011)

Available for download now £2.74

7. Gun for Revenge by Steve Hayes (30 Dec 2011)

Available for download now £2.74

8. Iron Eyes the Fearless (Black Horse Western) by Rory Black (31 Aug 2012)

Hardcover Available for pre-order £12.38

9. Crazy Man Cade (Black Horse Western) by Amos Carr (31 Oct 2012)

Hardcover Available for pre-order £12.38

10. Death Rides Alone (Black Horse Western) by Dale Graham (29 Feb 2012)

Available for download now £2.74

Monday, 25 June 2012

Take a FREE eBite out of Granny Smith

Feel let down by the police?

Need something investigated, a crime solved?

Then you need Granny Smith Investigations.




































It's actually Mary Alice Smith, despite what it says in the village newsletter. There were several other misprints within the issue and the most humorous being the advert that went - "Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink." It is also worth noting that one of the First Aid Tips, written by the local ambulance driver, Fred Prendergast claimed that, "the first essential in the treatment of burns is that the patient should be removed from the fire."


It's a not so cozy crime  - available now for the Kindle and FREE  for two days only - go get it, folks.

Note due to the KDP process the free promotion will start at midnight EST.

TAKE A BITE HERE





“It’s Miss Marple on steroids.”

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

AVAILABLE NOW

Mark Billingham interview

“The golden age is popularly thought of to be the 20s and 30s with writers like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers. But I would argue, and a lot of people would agree, that we’re going through a real golden age at the moment."

You'll find a great interview with crime writing heavyweight Mark Billingham HERE

Michael Fassbender is James Bond

Imagine the powers that be decided to cast an actor who was actually suited to the 007 role, and then think what would happen if a top class director like Christopher Nolan got to direct.

This great fan made video on You Tube shows us an alternative universe where Michael Fassbender is wearing the 007 shoes for Chritopher Nolan's take on 007.

This trailer is done by Youtube user MR88668866.

Fifty Shades smashes sales records

Mommy porn Fifty Shades trilogy,  breaks weekly paperback sales record, with all three books selling more than 100,000 copies in seven days.

E L James, a London-based former TV executive, is now the first author ever to see three of her books sell more than 100,000 printed copies in just one week. She has also broken the weekly sales record for a paperback novel after the first book in the trilogy sold 205,130 copies in seven days, beating the previous record of 141,000.

And she looks set to continue smashing sales records: after just two months, paperback sales for the first novel now total 765,000, a number Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, the bestselling paperback of all time, took over six months to reach.

"Sales of the Fifty Shades series have been nothing short of phenomenal and records are tumbling," said Philip Stone, charts editor of book trade magazine The Bookseller, predicting that the first novel would have sold a million copies by the end of June. "Of course this is just sales of the physical, print edition. It is no doubt breaking ebook download records too, meaning Fifty Shades of Grey is perhaps the fastest-selling adult novel of all time," added Stone.

The story of the submissive-dominant relationship between a literature student and a business executive, which started life as fan fiction, the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold over 2.75m copies in the UK, on top of sales of 15m copies sold in the US and Canada. The trilogy, the fastest-selling books of the year in the UK, has already been reprinted 16 times in the UK and publisher Arrow has just signed off on an additional reprint of 2.75m copies.

Reader reviews are split between the rapturous and the dismissive: of 1,215 write-ups on Amazon, around 600 readers gave it five stars, while 330 plumped for just one. "We particularly enjoyed the way Christian manages most of his sexual exploits either fully dressed (just a quick unzipping and a coy fiddle with a 'foil packet') or with his shirt (always white linen) still on, while Ana bit her lip, and breathed 'Oh my!' for the umpteenth time. So, really, this is as bad as people say – but for barely more than two quid it managed to provide hours of derisive laughter," wrote one reader.

It matters not though for this book is review proof and the author must be laughing all the way to the Ann Summers store.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Non merci to eBooks

eReaders are failing to catch on in France where readers prefer paperbacks and show no interest in following the eReading trend.

eading habits were back on the political agenda in France this week when Hollande's government, vowing to protect the printed word and France's bookish reputation, announced it would roll back Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial VAT rise on books.

In contrast to the UK's famous three-for-two deals, the French state fixes the prices of books and readers pay the same whether they buy online, at a high-street giant or a small bookseller. Discounting is banned. The government boasts that price controls have saved small independent bookshops from the ravages of free-market capitalism that were unleashed in the UK when it abandoned fixed prices in the 1990s. France has more than 3,000 independent local bookshops and 400 in Paris, compared with around 1,000 in the UK and only 130 in London. But online book giants are still eating into small bookshops, many of which struggle to stay afloat.

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 18 Jun - 24 Jun 2012
Project: THE TAINTED ARCHIVE
URL: http://tainted-archive.blogspot.com/

Summary


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Pageloads1753234414643724394302,644378
Unique Visits1522533313493043353262,050293
First Time Visits1392283013312853173141,915274
Returning Visits1325301819181213519