Petrina at #40

Looks like I was wrong: today it hit #40 in free SF on, #926 in all free books on, #694 on and #420 on

I’ll be interested to see whether the free weekend still has any impact after it goes back to paid tomorrow morning. It’s certainly given away far more copies than any previous free promotion I’ve run on other books.

Now it’s time to get writing the next book. Ok, it’s a prequel, so I guess that makes it a previous book :).



Looks like it may have peaked at #1049 in free books and #42 in free SF on; it’s started to drop back now.

Not so bad, but I’d hoped to at least get into the top thousand; not so easy in a genre less popular than romance and thrillers.


Yes, Tartarus is gone for now. Not because it’s a bad novel per se — it just got its first review at four stars — but in the long term I want to make it part of a series and that means a major rewrite so the style and voice will be consistent with the rest of the series. The story will remain basically the same.

Every day I left it up made changing things harder as more people read it.


In the morning, Petrina is up to #43 in free SF and #4 in free hard SF. Wonder whether that’s the peak or it will continue climbing? It’s a shame Amazon don’t show the free rank on the Author Central site, so I can’t tell whether it was higher at any point overnight.

Amazon Exclusivity

If you ran a company making widgets, would you agree to only sell them through Walmart?

You might, if they offer a great deal and are willing to buy far more of your widgets than anyone else. But, at the same time, you’d have to be aware that they can always turn around and say ‘I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further,’ and you have little choice but to take what’s on offer.

So it’s a personal decision, but it’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If Amazon do change their terms at some point in the future and you decide you need to start selling elsewhere, if you’re not a well-established author with a big fan-base by that point you’re going to have to start again from scratch on those other sites.

Petrina is free this weekend

Petrina — a near future SF novel of pirates, Monks, bounty hunters and a kidnapped hamster — is free on Amazon until Sunday night. Currently it seems to be #16 in the Hard SF free list on Amazon UK.

Grab it while you can:

Petrina cover

“Hello? Hello?” Sameer muttered into the suit mike. He’d tied the drone securely to the Big Momma with more ropes. It was d*mn cool, and if they survived, he was going to keep it as his personal toy.

He looked around the outside of the ship, and noticed the outer airlock hatch unlatch and begin to open. They clearly hadn’t fully depressurized it first, because a thin spray of air and water vapour spewed out into space.

Followed by three bodies.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 2091. Party time at the Heavenly Retreat habitat, The Sleaziest Place In The Solar SystemTM.

Although his instincts tell him it’s a scam, Brother Thomas hopes he has an easy job, collecting an exotic experience recording for the Abbot. But when he steps out of the monastery into the World, his blood-soaked past returns to haunt him.

Peter Kaine thinks he’s found an easy job, tidying up after a messy divorce. But the unwritten rule of bounty hunting is that your second client is never as easy as the first.

The crew of the space freighter Big Momma think they’ve found an easy job, carrying cargo from the Heavenly Retreat to the backwater asteroid of Petrina. But life is never easy around the kind of passengers willing to pay for a cabin on their ship.

Libreoffice Formatting

For future reference, when you’ve updated your Libreoffice document so everything uses paragraph and character styles and there should be no direct formatting, and you think, ‘OK, now I’m going to use Clear Direct Formatting to remove any remaining formatting and I’ll fix it up if I missed any’…


Clear Direct Formatting doesn’t just clear formatting, it also removes all your page breaks between chapters. So then you have to go back and put them all in again.

Because that’s just such an obvious side-effect of selecting it.

It also seems to have changed some of the text into a different style, for good measure. What a pain.