Sorry for the long delay between posts. Not that anyone is really listening.
I have self-published a book that I wrote a very long time ago. It’s free on the Apple iBooks store and almost free on Amazon Kindle (they won’t let one put out a book totally for free so I’ve charged the minimum). I’ve put this book out not for money but for catharsis.
The best way of explaining will be to reprint the preface:
Many apologies if you’ve downloaded this book because you thought it was one of those dreadful self-help books. We all know that they never work anyway. What you’ve got instead is something to read on the way to the gym or to McDonalds, depending on how your weight loss programme is going.
So why trick you in such a horrible shabby way? Well first of all it seems to me that these days the best way to get someone to actually open a book that you’ve written is to tell them it’s a self-help book or a cookery book or a book where people tie each other up and insert blunt objects into multiple lubricated orifices. If you take a look at the bestseller charts on the Kindle or the iBooks store you’ll find that the books listed are mainly written by someone called Jamie or have the word ‘diet’ in the title or contain page after page of people fucking each other.
This means that if you’re a writer who wants to get people to read your words you have to write about fucking or cooking. Hold on – hasn’t it always been this way?
If you’ve got this far without binning this book a little background info: I wrote this back in the the early-2000s and it’s showing its age. No-one in this story, for example, has an iPod or iPhone or iAnything, the internet is still some kind of dark magic thing and phone-hacking was something done only in Bond movies. The premise is the same, however. The story. The tale that I’m trying to tell.
Back then I was riding the crest of a puddle. I’d had a bestseller in the states with a really undeserving teenage book that had the word ‘internet’ in the title. I’d had a critically acclaimed adult book entitled ‘Rope Burns’ (for ‘critically acclaimed’ read: ‘some people liked it but no bugger bought it…’) and I was just about to have my first novel published. It had a different title then but this was it.
I shan’t bore you with too many details: at the very last minute the publisher decided not to publish, I dumped my agent and fell into a depression, I got ill and couldn’t write for 15 years. That sort of thing.
Recently, however, my father died and I got to thinking about this book again. I wasn’t close to my him by any means but even I was surprised by how badly I took/am still taking his death. This book is about a guy who discovers that his long estranged father is dying and is persuaded to go and see him before he dies only to be rejected by his father. And this is more or less what happened to me a month or two ago. A case of prescience regurgitating itself.
So – most probably as some form of catharsis – I’m resurrecting the book. Under a different, silly, but still vaguely appropriate title. I’m expecting most people to dump it in the wastebasket and perhaps write an outraged one-star review on Amazon or iBooks. But a small part of me sort of hopes that I’m hitting the right audience.
If you’ve downloaded a self-help book it would imply that you are sensitive to certain aspects of yourself. And if you’re sensitive to yourself there’s a reasonable chance that you’ll be sensitive to others. And in truth, I actually misled you only a teensy bit: this is indeed a self-help book (self-helping me, admittedly) and if you manage to get to the end you certainly will learn how to lose 14lbs in only a week.
And if none of this assuages your outrage don’t forget: it’s completely FREE* without a hint of an in-app purchase. Most things aren’t these days.
Ian Probert 2014
*Sorry everyone. I tried to publish this free on Amazon Kindle but they have a minimum price that you must charge. Can I suggest that you contact Amazon and ask for a refund if you were hoping to lose weight. Alternatively you can get this book genuinely for nothing on Apple’s iBook store. My apologies again.