Stormbreaker author Anthony Horowitz writes an interesting article in today's Guardian newspaper about the changing role of traditional book publishers:

Now I've never had a publisher (my only book's on Kindle) but what he says about support and advice does ring a bell. For a few years I had a very supportive literary agent who helped me through several drafts and even paid people to read and critique my book in order to shape and refine it. If having a publisher is like that but more so, it sounds like a great thing to have.

I also chuckled my way through his dissection of the ebook. I reckon I read about 20 Kindle samples for every book I actually buy and many of them start as badly as the one he chooses to pick on.

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Oh, John, you have to get the Saints of Hell involved in professional wrestling, if only for a short story. pleasepleasepleaseplease.

There's probably already a Mexican wrestling team named that.

And I think one of Newt Ginrich's  PAC's has the name trademarked.

The Saints of Hell are in all my books (I'm sorry, even I can't plug them again today).

Dana, that sounds like a really good idea and I'm kind of embarrassed to say I'd never thought of it.

I'd also never thought of seeing what Google had to say so just now I discovered the Saints of Hell MC - in Second Life. LOL....


John, what you're doing here is OK. The rules are against blatant self-promotion. This is more like insidious self-promotion.

Plus, this next isn't self-promotion: Anyone who isn't hip to the Saints of Hell through their appearances in John's books (DIRTY SWEET, EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE, SWAP, and, available tomorrow, TUMBLIN' DICE) is missing a good deal.

Is there a penalty for self demotion?  I've been dabbling with it a bit here.

I agree. I like to hear what people are doing now and then.  I wish we'd talk more about why we write what we write and how we plan to move on.  The BSP goes under blogs and merely announces a new release or shares reviews.

As for editors:  In my case, SMP's editor only picked the title and the cover.  Penguin's first editor cut the solution scene, then turned over future books to the copy editor for editing comments and simply copied them into her e-mail.  All my American copy editors were poor to average.  Mostly, they were hung up on adding commas.  One crossed out a correct spelling and substituted the wrong one. Copy editing was farmed out by my U.S. publishers.  In England, it was in-house and very good.

It's more to do with the Discussion vs. BSP ratio, John. Sort of like how I could start a thread about the results of my KDP Select experiment, and how it's odd that I'm getting stellar sales on Amazon UK (currently #3,500 in paid) and almost zilch from Amazon US.

Heck, I might even post a link to the novel here ( in case US readers want to check out a novel UK readers find so interesting.

But nope, I'm not here for BSP today. My view on this topic is this: If you're going to pay full-time employees at a publishing house, you best make some money. That means having your editors select and sculpt work that sells. It isn't possible for them to grab every work that might sell, just the ones they have the resources to invest into. That doesn't make them irrelevant, that makes them money.

Benjamin, I for one am fascinated by your UK sales.  Mine are lousy.


As our contracts support the idea that we're paying publishers to do a good job, this also extends to promotion and marketing.  Many trad. pubbed authors say their publishers have broken their contracts.  Mind you, those very important items that can mean the difference between success or failure of a book aren't spelled out in contracts, only the percentages the publisher gets to keep.  There is hardly anything in such a contract that deals with specific performance of the publisher. 

Au contraire.

I have a new one out, a "crime" book in the more general "crimes against humanity" sense.

Dueling BSP Desperados!

In grudge match with Saints from Hell for a big ol humongous belt!

If we're doing the BSP thing, Dana has to get in on it, his new novel WORST ENEMIES drops (as the kids say) tomorrow.

Self demotion is fine, but that's really a Canadian thing.


It's not BSP if I plan on reading it anyway.

That would be Latent Self Pollution or something, wouldn't it?


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