I write full-time for a living. It’s not easy. The usual way to make a small fortune from writing is to start with a large one. Book sales are important, every one of them. Last week I discovered persons unknown have pirated one of my naval histories – nine times, in fact. They’re being sold … More Piracy, navies and my books
WordPress reminded me that I’ve been blogging for ten years this week. I don’t know where the time has gone. It’s been a tumultous decade. In that time I have made some wonderful blogging friends, some of whom have been around since early in my blogging career, and who I’m still in contact with, including … More Ten years of blogging – and a big thank you to my readers
I spent a pleasant hour in Wellington’s Unity Books this week signing copies of my new book Waitangi: A Living Treaty. Book signings are always fun to do; you always meet new people, chat with them about why they’re interested in your book, and that kind of thing. The concept behind the book is that … More Pictures from a book signing
One of the most ubiquitous grammar traps in English is the sentence fragment. A sentence fragment is a phrase or set of phrases that look like they should be a sentence, but actually aren’t. Usually that’s because they lack either a verb or a subject, making them a ‘dependent clause’, because they depend on another … More Explaining the pitfalls of sentence fragments
Back in the 1960s, researchers looking into how people viewed their own ability to drive made a remarkable discovery: everybody over-rated their abilities. Apparently it’s a human thing. We do it a lot, particularly when it comes to ubiquitous actions such as driving, where there’s a consistent implication that we should be ‘good’ at it. … More Why writing is a learned skill – and a hard one
There’s a new phenomenon out there for writers these days. It hasn’t got a name, but it’s there, and I suspect most of us have encountered it. You write a book. You decide to publish it yourself, spend a lot of money on cover artwork, proof-readers and so forth, and start revving up promotions on … More Why most books don’t sell much on Kindle
One of the big things authors need to think about these days is branding. And no, I don’t mean having some red-hot piece of metal searing the initials of the latest pop sensation de jour into your backside. I mean public image that sells books. What are you known for? Brand’s different from the way … More Why all authors need branding
It’s eight years this week since I started blogging. It’s been a blast. I’ve been blown away by the scale of readership, which I never expected when I started. That’s been helped by the fact that my blog was ‘Freshly Pressed’ by WordPress.com in 2013, and was then hit by a ‘Redditlanche’ in 2015, which … More Eight years of blogging – let’s party!
I’ve got a bit of a brand problem. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in all sorts of things. I began my academic career with music, physics and cosmology, interests I’ve kept up without relent. I have degree qualifications in anthropology and still pursue my life-long interest in human evolutionary paths. … More Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests
I discovered a web page last month alleging that my book Guns and Utu (Penguin 2011) was available for free PDF download from a company named Playster. According to the page I found, some 2048 copies had reportedly been downloaded in the last month. This was odd: I hold the copyrights and publishing license. Neither … More Somebody is illegally advertising non-existent pirate copies of my books
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