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CoverYou can also download 55% of the ebook for free as a sample, or buy the whole thing for $4.99.


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The Fiddler’s Elbow


This is the past two years of my “Author Rank” on Amazon US . It includes both paper and ebook sales.

Here’s ebook alone:


And here is paper:


Never mind the actual values, but let’s look at the variance and the trends.

What, Watson, can we deduce from this?

I think the most obvious conclusion is that the algorithms have been severely disrupted by Kindle Unlimited. This provides borrowers with an “all you can eat” mentality (which encourages them to stuff their ereaders with books they will never get round to reading, in the same way that a salad bar encourages plates to be piled high with food that remains uneaten. Sounds great for the authors – until you realise that this is a monopoly vendor situation, and you must accept Amazon’s lack of transparency in order to take advantage of this scheme.

International fame, if not fortune

This is a review in the Dallas Morning News – not of my books, but a couple of other excellent titles. But in the review:

Hundreds of Holmes pastiches, ranging in quality from godawful to brilliant, are published every year. A few pastiche writers — Nicholas Meyer, June Thomson and Hugh Ashton for example [my emphasis] — sometimes are good enough to make you forget you’re not reading the Master himself, having Watson narrate a lost but newly discovered story from some secret bank box or barrister’s drawer.

So wonderful to see this!

The Untime is coming!

My 19th-century SF novel, The Untime, is now in page proof. I think it looks pretty good, and you can see the basic page design and read the intro and sample the first chapter here – note that Flash is needed to get the best results (there is an iPhone/iPad version of the printed page out there on the mobile site, but it’s not terribly good, to be frank).

Also on The Untime s site is a form where you can put yourself on a mailing list for the pre-ordering of copies. We’re planning some rather special little giveaways to go with these early copies, so why not sign up for the list (it doesn’t commit you to anything)?



New books (3) The Untime

I am far from being bored by producing Sherlock Holmes stories, but like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I sometimes feel that it is time for a change. Sir Arthur produced several different genres, including science fiction (the Professor Challenger series). Well, not to be outdone, I am also moving into that realm.

But instead of producing a science fiction story set in the future, I’ve chosen to set it in the past, where I am happiest. I seem to be at home in the 19th century, and so The Untime is set in Paris in the 1890s.

Here’s the description of the book:

The Untime; a mysterious and dangerous state, beyond our powers of conception.

In the Paris of the 1890s, Jules Gauthier, a young journalist, enters the Untime with its discoverer, Professor Lamartine. What they find there could be the end of our Universe as we know it.

When Lamartine disappears mysteriously, Gauthier, together with Lamartine’s daughter, Jeanette, and Lamartine’s rival, Professor Schneider, must brave the terrors of the Untime, journeying through time and space.”

For more about the Untime, including a preview of the introduction and the first chapter, click here, or click the book cover. There is also a form where you can join a mailing list which will inform you when The Untime is about to hit the shelves (either at the end of 2014 or early in 2015) and put you on the list allowing you to pre-order a copy.


New books (2) – The Last Notes (Sherlock Holmes)

LastNotesCoverThree more adventures of Sherlock Holmes:

  • The Russian Bear deals with “old Abrahams” and involves Holmes with the Okhrana operating in London, and how Holmes develops an interest in the ballet
  • If you remember, Holmes lost his left canine in the waiting-room at Charing-cross. The Hand of Glory explains how this came about.
  • And a short story – The Disappearing Spoon (non-Canonical, but actually based on a true story).

Now available for pre-order from Inknbeans Press.

So this is the end… but only of this box of notes. There will almost certainly be other boxes to be discovered. Watson mentioned them, and we have no reason to believe that he was not telling us the truth. However, the next box may contain stories of a rather different nature.

New books (1) – Sherlock Ferret compilation volume

AdventuresFront.jpgAndy Boerger and I have now produced a hardcover edition of the Sherlock Ferret adventures. The World’s Cutest Detective appears in:

  • The Missing Necklace
  • The Multiplying Masterpieces
  • The Poisoned Pond

all in one volume, with a bonus story of Vinnie the Visitor added. All with Andy Boerger’s wonderful pictures.

Hardcover, so really suitable for schools, libraries, or to fill a stocking with.

Pre-order the book now from Inknbeans. $25 including shipping anywhere in the world.


I am a prophet (and I don’t know it)

InknBeansATSE_SWcover.jpgI scare myself sometimes. I am currently reading Dark Pools about Algos (trading algorithms). At the time I was writing At the Sharpe End, including my fictional account of an algorithm to predict currency movements, based on pattern recognition, and aided by a DSP (digital signal processing) array, these things were actually being deployed. However, my fictional Algo was one step (or rather three minutes) ahead of the competition, in that it didn’t just react to events – it predicted them. Couple that with the original ending involving an earthquake and a nuclear accident, and my book starts to look very prophetic indeed.

Couple these with the under-the-hood look at life in Japan for a foreign resident, some fun characters, and a pretty good plot (though I say it myself) and I think this thing should be a best-seller. Why isn’t it, I ask myself? Check out the book (the paperback is well worth it) at B&N or Amazon.