If I knew what was going on…..

I’d tell you. Honestly.  Well, in the fast moving world that is epublishing (post distributor angst) there is going to be a situation of , how best to describe it, flux and flexibility in availability of my titles in the next wee while.  Never mind. This may be to your advantage and you may score a bargain!

Here’s what I think is happening.

Brand Loyalty LITE version is now available exclusively on Amazon (I know, I know… but I’m digging myself out of a hole here)  and can be reached by clicking HERE in UK and HERE in US

This version is CHEAPER because it’s just the novel, not the background/commentaries. In order to kick start some SALES it will be FREE for a couple of days sometime the beginning of May (to be confirmed)

The XTRAS version will be back on sale as soon as I can manage it.

Chasing Waves LITE is on the same deal. Exclusive to Amazon for 3 months and you can get it HERE for UK and HERE for US.

Threads of Time is being re-edited (I’m finally dealing with the errant punctuation folks, sorry about that) and I’ll let you know when and how it’s being relaunched in the fulness of time.

And Voices in Ma Heid which was recently on the Authors Electric World Book Night giveaway is still available from Amazon at a price of 79p  HERE  in the UK and HERE in the US

I will be trying to update links all over the place in the next week, so please bear with me.  And as soon as I can get a deal with Kobo I’ll have epub versions back up. It may not be till August though for these titles.

This time it’s personal

If you are an interacter (is that a word?) with the indieebook review site, you’ll have got the lowdown on the ‘professional’ side of this week for me.  There was just too much to write in one blog, so I’ve put the ‘personal’ stuff in here in the spirit of quantum blogging.

The great distributor debacle ran on through the week. While I was dealing with my conscience over filling out an EIN form.  I know it seems like no big deal to anyone else, but I don’t like the idea that in order  to sell ebooks I have to have a tax number in US, even if it’s only to let them know that I don’t have to pay tax. I’ve only been to the states once and my experience at Passport Control there left me very disinclined to ever want to go back.  Cuban passport control is much more friendly (even if you don’t speak good Spanish!)  The other ‘problem’ I have is that I can only see bad reasons for this action. 1) The US trying to gather information about everyone in the flipping world (see Brand Loyalty for this Ultimate expression of paranoia)  and 2) that we only have to do this so that Amazon can avoid paying UK tax.  Shooting myself in both feet might be less emotionally painful to me.  But this morning, I went to the post and it cost 76p to send airmail. Wait 4 weeks for reply.  (when a UK first class stamp costs 60p I at least felt the postage was a bargain!)

Coming home I had to do something to strip myself of the Lady Macbeth hand washing emotion I felt. So I emailed the distributor – a dear John email.  I stopped short of saying ‘it’s not you it’s me,’ because that isn’t true. That there were ‘3 of us in this relationship’ was closer to the point. I have learned my lesson about Chinese Whispers.  I know I need to take control myself and I know that means (for the moment) towing some line with Amazon.  I listened to a radio broadcast where they all went on about how authors love Amazon. I don’t love Amazon.  I love the ease and simplicity of getting my ebooks out there with them, but the PAYING part of it, I don’t love so much.  My considered opinion is that they make the part that’s beneficial to them easy enough, but they’re not doing it for my benefit and they assume that no one bothers with the fine print or  the ethical issues.  Rant over.  I’ve done it for now anyway. So I continued my pro-active stance and converted BRAND LOYALTY and CHASING WAVES to Kindle lite (which is my version of just the text, none of the extras, which is part of a marketing strategy so clever and subtle I haven’t the time to go into it here. But it means I can put them out cheaper and not feel my self respect has had ‘a doing’ (as we say locally)  Brand Loyalty went up without a hitch and I only thought I should wait with Chasing Waves till the following day to avoid looking greedy (and so I can check the files once they’ve made them Amazonese) They left my computer well formatted… we’ll see how they turn out. It can’t be THAT easy, surely. It may be.  Something has to be.   And I’d done all this before lunch. ]

In other news:  My experience from virtually engaging with the LBF means that there are loads more places I can go to find information. Just what I need. Now I have to learn how to be more cyber efficient. I’ve started trying to work out RSS feeds but I’m not much more competent at it than at Twitter just now.  At the end of this journey I think we’re all going to be cyborgs.

Back to the ‘what I did this week list’…  During the time of the LBF I have been launching an ebook, (Voices in ma Heid)  putting it up free and checking its progress, ( it rose to #30 in the free short story bestsellers list) trying to sort out a hellish distributor cock-up and eventually working out how to extricate myself from our contract,  sort out my reviewer and submissions database for the IEBR site so people don’t get left not knowing if their work will be accepted or not. That’s a full time job in itself. Plus trying to write up 3 outstanding reviews and read my May ebooks prior to writing the reviews.  Add to that reading well over 300 emails and getting involved in discussions about alternative ways to sell or give away books outside the Ultimate  (oops sorry, Amazon) world (for that reference you have to buy Brand Loyalty… if you can…. Last time I looked there were about 5 options in WH Smith and only one of them had the right information. You’d be forgiven for thinking Ultimate did exist and was out to get me. ) But once the distributor has ‘deleted’ the titles on their databases I hope you’ll just be able to do the sensible thing and buy from ME.    Of that, more anon. Next week Voices will be FREE again for 2 days as part of the Authors Electric big giveaway (a virtual response to World Book Night)  so pick up your copy then and push me back up the rankings.

Oh, and then I was trying to live my life. You know, that real thing I once had.  The one where I have had to try and cram 2 x hospital appointments (great timing guys) and a trip for food shopping and 2 x dog walks a day and washing,cooking (not cleaning OBVIOUSLY  this is ALL just displacement activity from cleaning) mow half an acre of lawn in the one non raining moment we had, plant and check on young seedling (so that we may eat this year!) and… you get the picture.

One thing this week has taught me is that in this fast moving information overloaded world, a pause for reflection should not be overlooked. Rapid response is okay, but it potentially prevents us from seeing the bigger picture. Like not being there cannot (yet) replace being there when you’re trying to work out what’s going on.  Everything is being mediated to me and the notion of ‘truth’ becomes totally lost. Whose commentary can I trust? What are all the things I’m missing? And how will this all pan out in the end.  Twitter didn’t feature in Brand Loyalty. I’m glad. If I’d known about Twitter in any detail when I wrote the book I would probably have shot myself rather than complete it.

The party’s over… for now

The London Book Fair has come and gone. I’ve been virtually absorbed in it and am still in ‘reflective’ mode. A more considered post will go on the indie ebook review site on Saturday and a more personal post will come up here around the same time (how to split a blog post in two.. quantum blog posting….) a new concept?

As regards Voices in ma Heid.  The most entertaining thing about it was that every time I put in a search on Amazon it politely asked me in good English if I wanted ‘voices in my head’ and I happily shouted, ‘na, voices in me heid, ya bam.’ It got me through the tough times – I’m a Scot, we’re not reknowned for being happy to part with things for free!

The 48 hours came and went.  The highest I saw Voices get to was #30 in the Amazon free short stories bestsellers list. It may have been higher but you have to watch the stats like a hawk. I’m not a hawk.  In total there were no more than 75 downloads worldwide which took it to this dizzy height. Which says something. I’m not exactly sure what.  There have been no subsequent sales yet.  It’s going to be free again on 23/24th of this month, with more associated Marketing as it’s part of the Authors Electric big ebook giveaway  – a response to World Book Night.  So we’ll see if that makes any difference.

This is all an experiment and I am still absorbing the lessons.  So far during the last 3 days I have

a) had the distributors promise to ‘sort things out’ but I don’t think that’s going to happen to my satisfaction so I’ve been developing plan b)  which is becoming horribly like a marketing strategy!  Iv’e come to the decision that I’m going to make a decision on Monday.

b) made some new friends in the ‘freebie’  and ‘alternative distribution’ worlds. Still need to investigate further. Is that called market researching?

c) Developed a cunning plan. It may just be a good idea and I’ve learned I need to be able to distinguish between the two!

d) learned that clicking ‘publish’ on KDP is a ‘rush’ and may indeed have addictive properties. Handle with care. But also a hell of a lot easier than fighting with ‘distributors’ .

What I thought I was doing when I embarked in ebook publication was to publish while keeping my principles in tact.  I still want to do that. But I realise that my propensity to do things the hard way must also be put into perspective.  The world doesn’t seem to be geared up to do things the way I find simplest. (why is that?)   I may need to compromise. I will need to compromise.  There  are ways to avoid dancing with the devil… but to get your work READ and not engage with the ‘commercial’ world is possibly difficult verging on impossible.  I am potentially shifting ground. I’m not going to become new best friends with the devil but I may have to become more pragmatic and reasonable (or develop a guerrilla strategy to subvert from within) in order to progress.  We’ll see. but I’m determined to stay as true to myself as I can and being transparent is one way to be sure of this.  No skeletons in closets allowed. Reasons, explanations, justifications but no selling out because it’s easy.

For the moment I have to get back to reading my review books for the indie ebook review site and developing the database that will take over the world (otherwise known as the second biggest work mountain in my world)  I’m a virtual mountaineer.  Each day I get a little bit further up the Everest that is indie ebook site and a little bit further up the K2 that is HoAmPresst publishing.  Well, you get the analogy anyway.

And all of this without leaving the house!

The dance has begun

Oh yes, bargain hunters…. today and for 48 hours Voices in Ma Heid is FREE to readers. (not free to me I’d point out. but since I’ve set the print price at a ridiculous 79p even when it is SOLD which means I’ll make 20p per copy less 30% unless I can work out how to fend of the IRS, it doesn’t make a lot of difference to me whether you pay for it or not. More important whether you read it or not. And whether you like it or not.

All you have to do is  click HERE for the Amazon link.  How easy is that? Easy for you. Free for you. Not free and easy for me, I can tell you. I feel like I’ve sold my soul. But it’s for a limited period only right and I’ll get it back after (hmm… need to re-read Dr Faustus.. wonder if I can pick it up free as an ebook?)

Now, I understand and appreciate that my work. like myself, is/are an acquired taste and I’m not expecting everyone to come back telling me they love Voices… if I thought the world would fall over itself at this work of genius I would a) have published a long time ago and b) been working hard to get a deal/bestseller status etc. I’m not.

It’s just that the time is right for a bit of experimentation. So why don’t YOU experiment and download it for free. Or wait and pay. Up to you.

In other news. I have heard from distributors. Not satisfactorily. So at 7.31 this morning I was circling the part of my contract that tell me how I get out of it.

I’ve given them till Friday to explain themselves (properly… they are good at explaining and then making new errors) because it seems only fair that they’re all having a nice time at LBF and I don’t want to dampen  their beano!  After that I have the right to pull all my books within 10 days.  So it’s just possible that you WON’T be able to get ANY of my ebooks for a while…. does that make you want to run out and buy them?

If so.  Whatever you do DO NOT PAY more than £3.50 for these books. My RRP was set at £3.99 (£2.99 for Chasing Waves) and there is a load of sums like 40% to retailer, 20% Vat and then 20% to Distributor to come off before I see any money. They’re shafting me so don’t let them shaft you too. I am NOT trying to get you to pay £4.16 or in one case £5.68…. Having said that, if your’e clever you can find them with the wrong author name attached for £2.67 or some such….. getting the drift of why I’m not happy.

I can’t give you links I trust. But you should be able to buy from Amazon, WH Smith and if you go to the Hive network and do it via Google you may get a good deal today before they realise their mistake.   I suggest typing in the title, if that doesn’t work type in Cally Phillips and if that doesn’t work both together and if that doesn’t work in some screwed up parallel universe Cally Wight is attributed as author of Brand Loyalty and Cally Phillips AND Cally Wight for Threads of Time.  Unless you can get Chasing Waves for under £2.50 DO NOT part with your money.

Alternatively, if you wait they may be epublished some other way for a lower price, for free, or never see the light of day again. Who can tell?  Jeopardy I think they call it in the screenwriting business! Do you dare to take the risk.  Jam today or jam tomorrow. Or an empty stomach tomorrow. Time will tell.

Believe me, no one is more sorry than I am that the alternative ‘professional’ distribution route I picked instead of Amazon Direct didn’t pan out.   If you read Brand Loyalty you’ll understand that.

The personal and the public

Today I’ve just posted a big ‘rant’ on the Indie Ebook Review site, and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m blurring the boundaries between personal and public. It’s very hard to do these days.  I’ve been involved in FB conversations recently where I mistakenly became an anonymous voice representing a group… while meaning to offer my personal opinion.. and things got heated.  I’ve been responding to Amazon ‘reviews’ where people seem to think that personal opinion is as good as critical analysis… and whose final argument is – oh, I thought all the reviews were written by the writer because no one could get that many good reviews without doing it themselves (??!!??)  – yet another for my armoury of why amazon reviews are often more hassle than they’re worth and usually not worth the cyberspace they’re residing in.

As an experiment and as a gesture toward group commonality and to try and understand the workings of a system (and systems) I fundamentally disagree with, I’ve found myself giving away a free ebook  (Voices in ma Heid) not once, but twice  .. and once as part of a ‘giveaway’ event I disagree with in principle too.

I’ve been tweeting and blogging till I’m blue in the face.

I would like to point out that to my knowledge this has resulted in only 1 sale.  So I must be doing something wrong.

Fact is, I’m exhausted from it all and the sun has just come out outside for the first  time in 2 weeks so I’m going to go mow the lawn and think about what I’ve done!

But in general terms I think that the blurring between what’s private and what’s public and which of our ‘identities’ we are using at any particular time is both a dangerous and a very tiring part of modern life.  I say it all so much more eloquently in Brand Loyalty. Which is why I can’t understand why people don’t just buy that book (cheaper as epub than amazon )  and read it. Except I’ve just checked to find Brand Loyalty myself in epub only to realise the distributors have mucked it up AGAIN (well constantly would be more accurate) and I wouldn’t blame anyone else not being able to find it… I’ll try and resolve the issue.  Available on Kindle and other formats (if you can find it… at varying prices from £2.61 to £4.49 and with various authors attributed, various genres, descriptions…. how can people get so little so wrong!)

What a difference a week makes… in weather

A week ago, I remember it distinctly. I was working outside in the sun (of course I didn’t take a picture of it) in the hottest temperatures known to man/recorded history blah de blah in this part of the country (Aberdeenshire) Maybe even in Scotland, maybe even the world, in March.  Maybe I then fell asleep and woke up 8 months later, a kind of reverse hibernation, because this is what it was like out there this morning..


Twelve solid hours of snow. I like snow. Even in April. I’m just not sure that all the flora, fauna and critters around will appreciate it and I’m sure we’ll PAY later in the year.  Fruit trees in bud.. daffodils… despite my smugness that I’ve not planted out any early potatoes or spring flowers, I’m sure it’ll turn round and bite us somehow.




The polytunnel is once more in igloo status but hopefully there’s enough light to keep the seedlings happy under their fleecey pyjamas. You know you live in a wild place when fleece is required inside the polytunnel in April! 

Now none of these images is unusual. I have plenty of them from winter 09/10 and 10/11. Even a few from the ‘winter that never was’ this winter. No snow days. No getting snowed in. Till APRIL.  I mean. We did still have some snow on the ground last easter but it didn’t follow the best SUMMER weather we’ve EVER had here by less than a week.   I mean, only a week ago my snow gear was waving itself dry on the washing line in the sun, the snow shovel had been put into the garage (where it’s now snowed in) and we had talked about removing the snow tyres) Lucky we didn’t…









The weather gods must be laughing themselves silly.  I had meant to write a blog on important ‘writing’ matters, but now I just want to get out and play in the snow. In order to make this something of a literary effort here’s a picture of MY beech, from Brand Loyalty (the beeches) When the sna’ has gone, normal service will be resumed blogwise.


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