‘Free’ doesn’t sell books – and here’s what does

I got involved in a discussion the other day about book pricing, covers and marketing profile. In the process it seemed clear to me that there are many misconceptions about how books actually sell. The idea being argued was that if a particular book got a better cover and the price was dropped – maybe… More ‘Free’ doesn’t sell books – and here’s what does

The obscure word of the week is salicional

There are over a million individual words in English. Most of them are quite obscure and deserve better attention than they get. This week’s is salicional. This is a specific tone colour (‘stop’) on a pipe organ with a softer, ‘willowy’ sound. From 19th century German salix (‘willow’). Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two)… More The obscure word of the week is salicional

What if Germany won the First World War? Would we have avoided Hitler?

I posted the other day about the way Germany nearly won the First World War in spring 1918. If Erich von Ludendorff’s gigantic offensive of March-June 1918 had succeeded, Germany would have dominated Europe on land – and with all combatants exhausted by years of fighting, it’s highly likely the Allies would have sought terms.… More What if Germany won the First World War? Would we have avoided Hitler?

I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because…

I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because Trek gave us Spock. That’s it, really. But let me explain some more. When Lucas developed Star Wars (by which I mean the original 1977 movie) he deliberately wrote a story that spoke to our deepest senses of mythic self –for… More I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because…