Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Well, we're in the final countdown to Christmas here at home and I doubt I'm going to get the chance to blog much (or at all) before the Big Day, so this is my chance to wish the best of Christmases to all the people who read this. I hope you all have a lovely time.

I was in Wales last month and we caught some early snow. I thought a photo of the scene there might be an appropriate picture to post as my "card" to you all.

Thanks for being here.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Eight gifts writers will love - and seven of them are free!

Here are eight Christmas gifts for the writer in your life – and only one of them costs any money at all.

Just by reading this, you're giving gift #7. So thank you and have a very Merry Christmas.

1.     Buy their books

This is pretty obvious. It's also the only thing I'm going to suggest that will cost you money, but with many Kindle books setting you back less than the price of a cup of coffee, it surely can't be the money that's putting you off. Go on – once you've bought it an e-book will sit on your Kindle until you get around to reading it. If you enjoy reading blogs, free reads on the Internet, and all the other stuff that writers do without actually getting paid, you don't even need to read the book. Just buy it and consider it your contribution to the arts.

2.     Read their books

Okay, I just said that you should buy the books even if you don't read them. But authors really do appreciate being read. And if you get a book out of the library that helps the author too. For more about libraries and how you can help your author friends get their books more widely available, check out last week's blog.

3.     Review their books
You know how much writers like getting reviews. And, by now, you should know how important they are. It's Christmas: the season of giving. Give an author a review. You can read more about this HERE.

4.     Talk about their books

You've read a book and you've enjoyed it. Tell your friends. They don't have to buy it; they don't even have to read it. But just talking about it helps get a buzz going. And maybe they will read it and enjoy it and then they'll thank you for telling them about it. It's like karma and stuff, man!

5.     Like them on Facebook

Most authors have a Facebook page. Mine is at It's always nice to be "liked" and apparently publishers care about this sort of thing.

6.     Follow them on Twitter
I'm not a huge Twitter fan, but I have an account (it's @TomCW99) because it's the law, apparently. If you follow me, you can re-tweet my tweets. You may even enjoy some of them. Photographs of cute animals: what's not to like?

7.     Read their blogs

Oh, wait. You're doing that already. Well tell your friends to read it too.

8.     Smile and wave

I blog about once a week and I know that quite a lot of people read me because Google tells me so (and would they lie?) But people don't often respond in the comments section below. It's lovely when they do. It means I'm left with less of an impression that I'm talking to myself. I read everything that people write here and I generally reply if there's anything sensible I can say.

It's lovely to hear from readers, whether through the blog or on Facebook or Twitter. I know I'm not the only author who feels like this. Why not just say, “Hello” to a favourite writer? Or even me. You can contact me on

Well, there you are. Eight ways to make a happy writer this Christmas. But whether you do them or not, whoever you are and whatever you're reading, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for this time of year.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Support your local library - get it to stock my books

If you live in Westminster (in London) you can get my books out of the library. You can in one or two other places too. In some cases, librarians of charm and intelligence (are there any other kind?) have discovered my books because they are just remarkably thorough and wonderful human beings. In Westminster (although I am sure they are lovely people) they stock my work because someone asked them to.

Most libraries have a way for people to request books that they should stock. It's usually easy enough and it costs you nothing. Could you do it for me? I'd really appreciate it.

If your library doesn't stock my books, you can still ask to borrow them as many libraries can get books from other sources. You may end up being charged for this, though.

Having their books in libraries makes a lot of difference to authors. Besides the warm glow of satisfaction I get when I see one of my books on the shelves, it means that other people see it too: people who may try it and enjoy it and tell their friends about it. It gets books to exactly the people most likely to read them and talk about them and that sort of publicity is priceless. And, at the same time, it actually gives money to authors. Thanks to the wonder of Public Lending Rights (PLR), writers get paid every time their books are borrowed. OK, it's a very (very) small payment, but given that most of my sales are on Kindle and that e-books generate very little revenue for writers, PLR is worth having. So that's free publicity AND getting cold hard cash. It's about as good a deal as most authors are ever going to get.


Give an author (ideally me) this gift for Xmas

  1. Ask your local library to stock their books, then
  2. Tell your friends that they're worth reading, then
  3. Go to the library and borrow them. Even if you've read them before. Then
  4. Go back to stage 2 and repeat.
Thank you.