Meet the Author: August 2015

Michael prepares for his 30th birthday (about a thousand years ago!)

Michael prepares for his 30th birthday (about a thousand years ago!)

August is here already, and with it comes a release date for my forthcoming novel, Octopus: March 1st, 2016. I’ve recently been advised by one of my distributors, Smashwords, to set a pre-order period for the book of up to a year. Up to a year! Can you believe it? They call it an asset-less pre-order because you’re no longer required to upload your manuscript first.

There’s some method to this madness, however. The longer the pre-order period, the more chance there is of people pre-ordering it. And when the release date finally rolls around, all those pre-orders count as first-day sales. As the number of sales on any given day drive your book’s visibility, even five pre-orders will make your book five times more visible than one that sells only a single copy. The downside? It’s only for the day in question.

So, dutifully, I have assigned Octopus its ISBN number and have listed it with Nielsen, the ISBN agency here in the UK. I have also put it up for pre-order, so it should soon be available at iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. To encourage people to buy it, I’ve set the pre-order price at US$0.99c, a mere third of what it will be once it’s released. How’s that for a bargain? Strangely, it won’t be available at Smashwords, even though it is they who asked for this extended pre-order period. As Gooseberry would say, Hmmm.

To encourage readers to pre-order what is effectively the second book in the series, I’ve also dropped the price of the ePub version of Gooseberry to—you guessed it—US$0.99c. Both books will return to their normal retail price on March 1st.

Although March may seem an age away, even now I’m beginning to panic. So far I’ve only reached Chapter Fourteen (the climax of the second act), whilst the beginning of Chapter Two remains sketchy and unreadable no matter what I seem to do to it. Fear not, gentle readers! It’s all par for the course; I’ve faced such obstacles with every novel I’ve written, and always managed to overcome them. So, if everything goes well, it could be ready for Lara to proof in late November, and for advance review copies to be sent out in time for Christmas. But that’s only if everything goes well. If it doesn’t, at the very least I ought to be able to finish and format it by March 1st. God bless the arrival of long pre-order periods (or—to give it its proper if less-than-charming title—asset-less pre-orders)!

Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts

Talking of bargains, here’s another. My book Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts – An Illustrated Guide to 19th Century Spiritualism normally retails for US$2.99 in most online stores, but you can still download it for free from When it comes time to pay, just use coupon code: TD22X. A word of warning: opt for the ePub version if that happens to be a format you can use; for technical reasons beyond my control it is vastly superior to the MOBI on offer.

Remember, you can always message me on the Contact Me form or you can send me an email. Both Malane, who designs this website for me, and I really look forward to hearing from you, and I will always try to respond.

Happy reading!
Michael Find me on Facebook.