Indie Writers Making History In The UK

Indie authors Mark Edwards and Louise Voss are making history in the UK.

Their second book Catch Your Death has been at the top of the Kindle charts (for all books) for over a week. To top it all off, their first novel Killing Cupid – which has been slowly creeping up behind – is now at #3!

Congratulations to Mark and Louise on a stunning achievement.

For those unaware of their background, neither of them have a history in trade publishing (like many indie authors, they couldn’t crack the system). They only self-published for the first time in February, and Catch Your Death was released in April.

Overall, they have now sold 20,000 e-books, 17,500 of those in the month of June alone. Staggering.

The vast majority of those are in the UK, where e-books have yet to reach 10% of the market. They have yet to break-out in the US, but I think it’s only a matter of time, and being able to advertise yourself as UK #1 Bestseller will only help.

In any event, it’s truly heartening to see them outselling top authors from major publishers who have huge marketing budgets behind them.

Mark has an excellent website, full of useful information. If you want to read the unusual and amusing story of how Mark and Louise began writing together, go here.


I noted yesterday that there was some controversy over an Australian minister’s comments that his country’s bookstores will be wiped out within five years.

Today, the second largest bookchain in Australia has announced the closure of almost half its stores.

There is a certain sad inevitability to this in a country where mass market paperbacks cost $20. Those prices are never going to hold up in the face of the growth in online shopping.

Of course, if bookshops virtually disappear, there is less reason to give up a huge chunk of your royalties to a trade publisher.


New York Times Bestselling writer Bob Mayer – who has sold over 1.4 million copies of his Area 51 series alone – went “indie” in 2011. He has an excellent blog, which I keep meaning to tell you about. He wrote a great article a couple of days ago about the new publishing landscape, and I recommend reading it.


The time it takes for a trade publisher to go from signing the contract to releasing the book is a sore spot for writers, but it can also lead to some non-fiction titles having inaccurate information.

As this article shows, Lonely Planet have just launched Best of Travel 2011. In the Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2011 are Japan and Syria.

Obviously, this was written before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the subsequent problems with nuclear reactors, and before the popular uprising in Syria and the brutal crackdown by the government.

While the people in both countries may be hurting at the moment, they are both still subject to travel warnings on the State Department’s website.

Shouldn’t the e-book, at least, be updated to reflect current events?


Irishman Colum McCann won the world’s richest literary prize in the world (for a single novel) when he beat out 161 other entries to capture the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Let The Great World Spin (and the 100,000 Euro cheque).

I remember seeing this book around Christmas, and I refused to buy it because I hated the cover. My sister gave it to me as a present, and I’m glad she did – it’s excellent. If you want to read an interview with the extremely pleasant (and now considerably richer) Colum McCann, there was a piece in today’s Irish Times.


Tomorrow, I will be appearing as a guest on the Wicked & Tricksy blog, and one of their number – Margo Lerwill, author of the Norse-mythology-infused Urban Fantasy short story Diswill be appearing here in my place. I might even stop by and ask her some questions in the comments!