Monthly Archives: January 2017

…superb blogger, Allan Hudson, lets me onto his blog today…

…follow Allan’s THE SCRIBBLER,  on

Guest Author Seumas Gallacher of Abu Dhabi

Seumas G.SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance seven years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.

As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’, his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 30,000 direct contacts.

His ‘Jack Calder’ crime thriller series, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, SAVAGE PAYBACK and KILLER CITY have blown his mind with more than 90,000 e-link downloads to date. His fifth, DEADLY IMPASSE was launched in late 2016.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog three years ago, never having heard of a ‘blog’ prior to that, was voted ‘Blogger of the Year 2013’ and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his ‘Author’s Voice’, while the blog carries his ‘Author’s Brand’. And he’s LUVVIN IT!


Links are listed below.

…the loneliness of the long-distance scribbler…

aaaaaa…even the shyest of people need company from time to time… hermits, real hermits, measure less than 0.00000648 percent of the WURLD’s population… cloistered monks and sisters of the cloth in their monkeries and sisteries at least have the presence of their own ilk round them on a constant basis… the brooding G. Garbo and H. Hughes had lots of M. Money around them to alleviate their solitary exclusion of the rest of the planet… which makes it apparent to me, Mabel, it is abnormal to ‘want to be alone’… yet, hundreds of thousands of quill-scraper Lads and Lassies of Blog Land choose just such a devoted pathway… yes, yeez can point to the Web, and all its SOSYAL NETWURKIN trappings… where at the click of yer mouse, yeez can be in touch with twenty-five trillion people simultaneously… but, and it’s a big ‘but’... it’s not the same as being with people in the flesh… the myriad virtual candlelit garrets wherein the scribing successes of the future literary generation reside hold their own special importance… being a writer is lonely… no-one else can sculpt the characters, plots, nuances of yer own story-telling… it’s unique to each and every one of yeez… I know I bang on occasionally here about the real WURK starting after yeez’ve finished yer masterpiece, in getting it accepted in the Big Bad WURLD out there… that doesn’t detract from the beauty and the adrenaline rush of actually typing ‘THE END’… yeez can try to share that feeling with others … but it’s impossible for them to feel what yeez feel yerself at that precise moment of conclusion… and all the heartache, all the pain, all the angst, all the suffered loneliness of the long-distance Author, all the alls… are worth every nano-second of this peculiar labour of love… and then, fools that yeez are (me included), what do yeez do then?… yeez start another one!… here’s a wee bit of this ol’ Scots Jurassic’s journey on that solitary trail… eight years ago in Abu bb
Dhabi, where I was living and working, it struck me that it was just ‘time for that book we all have in us’ to emerge from what’s left of my wee grey cells… and of course I had a full story and narrative ready to leap onto virgin pages, right?… wrong!… not a hint of it!… I decided to go walking for an hour and a half, ten evenings in succession, along the water’s edge of the Corniche in that excellent city, thinking of what kinda masterpiece I should produce… after the first couple of nights, an ending crystallized… it gave me a target toward which to write… and that’s how I’ve done all of my books since… the expected route to that ending changed several times as, first, a main plot theme, and then a secondary, and a tertiary began to interweave and push themselves into the frame… being the oldest self-confessed computer Jurassic on the planet, I purchased my first ever laptop at the age of sixty (my age, not the laptop’s), and perfected the one-finger-from-each-hand typing technique… it hardly encourages smoke trails from the keyboard at that speed, but hey, it does give me time to mull what I’m typing as I go along… positivity in everything, Mabel!… in a few months, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY was ready to breach birth into the heady universe of publishing… in due expectation of a million-dollar contract by return post, I packed off forty solicitations to agents in the UK, and sat back, envisioning the Ferrari salesmen, and Caribbean vacations that this soon-to-be iconic author would have to indulge…


…however, with that twisted sense of humour and perfect balance that the Literary Gods seem to possess, back came precisely forty rejection slips… it mattered not a jot to my ego… because by that time, the second book, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was marching its way across the laptop… around the same time, a friend suggested as a self-publishing option, I should consider the Amazon Kindle channel… I instantly responded, ‘Great… but, what’s Kindle?’… I hadn’t a clue… but learned very quickly the how and what of becoming an indie author… and for emb’dy reading this who’s just starting on this wunnerful mystery tour, let me tell yeez, if this ol’ fella can do it, emb’dy can… go for it… as it happened, by the time the second novel was ready to launch, the first baby already had attracted 8,000 downloads… and that just blew my mind… now, how did that happen?… by the best coincidence, I was following then nouveau indie authoress Rachel 

bAbbott’s blog in which she advised to treat the writing as a ‘business’… recognizing the scribbling as the comparatively easy part… the rest of the ‘business’ entailed marketing and promotion, budgeting time and whatever money yeez wanted to invest in it, cover art, proofreading, editing, and the whole nine yards… as a businessman, all of that made superb sense to me, and I embraced the philosophy with both hands… I began to ‘build the platform’ of relationships to support the ‘business’… being present on the SOSYAL NETWURKS is mandatory for modern authors in my not-so-‘umble opinion… but harvesting such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ ‘followers ‘ and ‘friends’ who relate to the writing, reading and related publishing fields… and not just acquiring these links for the sake of numbers… my links totalled a mere 400 when I started to develop that ‘platform’… they now exceed 30,000… the next epiphany was the value of having a blog… I write a regular blog which was basically the mumbled sharings of a new writer, bumbling and stumbling his way into the industry… it branched out to cover other light-hearted elements… I’ve found that the blog posts of others which I enjoy are those which entertain, educate, enlighten and often empathize with me… I loosely modelled my own blog after those… and here’s the real beauty of that… all of my blog posts are automatically linked to every one of my SOSYAL NETWURKS, meaning that each post is sent out to more than 30,000 potential readers… the blog is also a marvelous way of inviting Guest Blog Posts from others, be they writers, or otherwise… and an absolute tenet is to help other authors wherever I can… giving back some of the unbelievable support and love that has been unconditionally shown to me… so, in that sense, mingling, even in the Webosphere, offsets the solitary trudge of most of we penspeople… however the creative Muse operates best for me in that isolated environment of my own virtual candlelit garret… pass me my candelabrum, Mabel, I’ve my next masterpiece to write … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Please drop by Seumas’ website here 

The links where you can purchase Seumas’ novels;






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Thank you Seumas for being our guest this week.

…thanks for letting me loose on here, that man… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ!



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…art covers for Authors?…there was a time, a time there was…



…it seems not such an age ago that my frequency of trips from where I live in the Middle East to London was dictated by the need to stock up with physical copy books from Waterstones in Piccadilly… cover-for-violin-manI was what’s prob’ly known as a ‘weight purchaser’vwb-cover…I bought books by the kilo… of course, like most of us, I have my favourite writers, but their offerings weren’t the only tomes to occupy the sales basket… getting ‘lost’ in a huge bookstore is an indulgence… and one that I savour… notwithstanding my attraction to the Kindle products too, which I’ve also come to know and LUV… but back to the sorties in deepest Waterstones country… much gets bandied about as to ‘yeez can’t tell a book by its cover’front-view-spthat may well be the case in some instances, but here I have to partially disagree, on at least two points… killercitywebI have often been dissuaded from even picking up a book if the cover didn’t at least say, ‘here, have a look at me’… and many of my purchases DID lead directly from excellent cover presentations… the same thing holds even on Auntie Amazon’s Kindle Pagesdeadly_impasse-02-revart work is important… it’s the author’s silent calling card to potential readers… I write crime fiction… hard stuff… bad criminal stuff… no room for fancy Sunday School covers… and my front covers are designed precisely to that end… shoppers and browsers in the mighty Waterstones Piccadilly palace and equally in the labyrinth that is the Amazon eBooks universe have nano-seconds exposure to the books that flit past their ken… so, art covers for Authors?…there was a time, a time there was… when yeez threw yer books out there and maybe good folks would pick them up… much has changed since then, dear fellow scribes… I highly recommend yeez invest as much in a good c0ver artist as any other part of yer marketing and promotional spend… I’m fortunate to have the services of a brilliant commercial artist in the Philippines, Edward Lu, who has dressed all my novels to date, much better than ever I had proposed in outline to him originally… give it some thought… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…I think my Author pals’ll understand… it’s ‘time’ to write ‘that OTHER book’…


…as Swiss cuckoo clock makers, horologists, watch-craftsmen, calendar creators and dateline experts will tell yeez – it’s all about timing… just under a decade or so ago, this ol’ Jurassic decided that it was just ‘time to write that book’ we all supposedly have in us… and the first of the Jack Calder crime thriller series was born… the reading public has been generous in its support of the books ever since, and I’m overwhelmingly grateful… but let me share with yeez sum’thing that’s been bubbling away in my head almost from that first day of scribbling all those years back… there’s ANOTHER book I really have been itching to write… a tome in a completely different JONGRR to Jack and his International Security Partners action stuff… I believe the posh term is ‘literary fiction’… isn’t every book ‘literary’, Mabel?… well, apparently my education broadens by the second as I looked up the meaning of ‘literary fiction’... thus : ‘Literary fiction comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition. … Literary fiction is usually contrasted with popular, commercial, or genre fiction’… I wonder how many of yeez were as much in the dark as I was about that?… so, now that I have the definitive meaning, I’m more than ever possessed of an urge to get into it… and last night I typed the first bit of the thing… see what yeez think :

The Sand Whisperer 

“Go alone into the desert as evening falls, my son. Sit quietly on the sand. Let your mind be still. Your thoughts will speak to the silence. The silence will speak to the silence. Then the silence will speak to you.”

Abdulla Faisal Malouf, father of Ahmed Salman Malouf

…and I’ve realized that my reluctance to start on this one involved a concern that writing such a completely different type of book from the crime thrillers would risk (a) cannibalising my existing healthy Jack Calder crime fiction market, (b) confuse readers as to ‘what the heck is he writing now?’ (c)  NUTHIN else…


…let me share sum’thing else that has swung the cerebral vote in favour of grasping the alternative nettle now… all these years ago, after I’d completed the first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, I sent the manuscript to a highly recommended ‘appraiser’ in England… then I journeyed from the Middle East all the way to Derbyshire to meet the lady… our discussion moved from Jack to my idea and content of the ‘literary novel’… she told me at the end of our chat that the sparkle in my eye and the excitement in my voice when I spoke about the latter, told her I should go for the novel I really felt so powerfully about writing… it has taken over eight years eventually to trigger it… emb’dy else ever felt these things?… I think my Author pals’ll understand… it’s ‘time’ to write ‘that OTHER book’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…Master of all the good stuff like what he writes… Andrew Peters spills the gen on his recent foray into Amazon promos…

Master Andrew Peters, keeper of Iberian cats, player of left-handed guitars (even Master P. McCartney never had a pink six-stringer), successful literary pensperson and purloiner of yer pocket money in exchange for his smashin’ crime fiction like what he writes… recently delved into the Amazon promo maze… here he shares the results of that odyssey… and darn interesting reading it makes… Master Gallacher, here, has been banging on recently about the efficacy (‘worth, Mabel, worth’) of the KINDLE UNLIMITED program… it would appear that it also WURKED for the Welsh Mickey Spillane… viz:


I have 10 books and 3 shorts on Amazon and 11 of them were free over a total period of 15 days. I only used FB to publicise it and spent £24 on “boosts” from my page. I have about 20% of the FB friends I had in my writing days, I lost a lot when I left FB for a year for this and that. I got approx 4000 free downloads, 50/50 UK/USA (a handful elsewhwere) Almost all the UK ones (1600) were
1THE BARRY ISLAND MURDERS…though only 70 in the US where 3SUBTRACTION, THE BLUES DETECTIVE & A SHOT FOR THE BLUES DETECTIVE got about 400 each. I actually sold 67 Kindle books and 6 paperbacks (normal per month is 3-4 and maybe 1) 56/all 6 of them in the UK. 26 of the downloadss and all the paperbacks were 2THE BARRY ISLAND etc…and only 3 sales of the 2 books which were never free…though perhaps that may improve as they were sequels. 4The new thing for me was the Kindle Library thing, where over 8000 pages were read, almost all in in UK, almost all The Barry etc. Since it’s 170 “pages” long that translates to around 47 extra “books” It wasn’t intended as a sales boost…just a giveaway of stuff that was doing nothing…but perhaps the figures are interesting…I appreciate that most people are not in a position to give away so much redundant product…but someone with greater “reach” might do even better.
…fascinating results, that man, Andrew... more power to your quill…
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

The Return of the Jurassic

…m’Lady, Ailsa Abraham kindly invited me over to her Bingergread House… despite that totally misunderstood incident the last time with the sausages… a note from my trick-cyclist smoothed THAT one over quite nicely…


The Bingergread Cottage

aaaaComing back for what is becoming his annual visit, is Seumas Gallacher. In case you missed last year’s chat you can read it here

I hope you found the magic warmth cloak I put on the carpet or you’d have frozen to death. Welcome, Seumas. Lovely to have you back. Get you into the kitchen and keep cozy. No, Cameron isn’t here, so don’t jump like that when the door opens.

Now keep us up to date on your books – how many now? How are they doing?

Well, like that Ol’ Man River, they just keep rollin’ along – five Jack Calder Crime thrillers already on Auntie Amazon, and the sixth, NO IMPUNITY, is a WURK-in-Progress, albeit in-Progress at its own good speed… I continually say I’m happy to see even one single sale from time to time for any of my wee literary babies, but recently, a really…

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…where have all the bank services gone?… long time passing…

…’fess up time… in a different life, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler was once a banker… a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe… I skulked around as a manager of treasury departments and headed foreign exchange dealing rooms for a coupla decades and threw in some service for another coupla decades as a customer-facing senior executive as well… however, it seems so loooooong ago, now, Mabel… and sadly, as most of us have also experienced, things ain’t what they used to be… I don’t wanna sound like the old generation ‘we did it so much better’ kinda thing, but let’s consider a few issues here: first up, there’s a permanent place in a burning hell awaiting the genius who devised the ‘customer call centre’ concept, where yer first response is a mechanical voice menu that takes yeez on a ten-minute (minimum) merry-go-round, waiting to talk to a ‘real’ person… the limbo message is usually of the order of ‘your call is important to us’please hang on, all our agents are busy chatting with much more important people than you, but we’ll try to get to you before you lose the will to live… second issue, when yeez give an online instruction to remit funds to another bank… they debit your account IMMEDIATELY, but the funds get credited into the beneficiary account days afterward… so who’s getting the benefit of the float?… and thirdly, as for the fees and charges… for a simple internet click yeez can pay anywhere up to US$4o equivalent, ‘handling charge’...who did the handling?… yerself!


…and fourthly, just try to deposit any amount to yer account more than the cost of a sandwich and they ply yeez with an anti-money laundering inquisition about yer source of funds… I kinda doubt that hundreds of millions of we customers are secretly international drug barons and money-launderers… and fifthly, the wonderful ‘annual service charge’ for having yer own money sitting with them… if only the WURD ‘service’ meant sum’thing real… I’m driven to consider keeping all my bank stash in the old-fashioned Scots bank… the mattress… if any of yeez wanna deposit in there with me, my service charges schedule is available upon request… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…Authoress mate, Carol J. Hedges, she of the coruscating hairstyle, hosts me today on her blog…


…one of my special scribbling pals, Authoress, Carol J. Hedges, writes the superbly entertaining Stride and Scully detective novels, set in Victorian London… if yeez haven’t treated yerselves to a copy of her books, my first recommendation for 2017 is to download her WURK immediately… besides that, she demonstrates immense trepidity by permitting literary itinerant rapscallions such myself to invade her splendid blog, THE PINK SOFA… yeez can follow her on


Carol and I have each individually trodden the self-publishing/house-publishing/back-to-self-publishing trail… here’s my intrusion over there today which speaks to some of that issue…

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The PINK SOFA welcomes Seumas Gallacher

Having seen out 2016 in a blaze of glory which was almost just a blaze owing to some dodgy Christmas lights and a sparkler, the PINK SOFA welcomes its first guest of 2017. Debonair, urbane wit, writer and man about town, Seumas Gallacher pens the sort of fast-paced crime thrillers that keep you turning the pages from the first to the last. He has graced the PINK SOFA on a couple of occasions in the past, so it is a delight to welcome him back, with some sound advice for writers, to start off the year.

…self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for…

…as a scribbler of crime fiction, NUTHIN would please me more than to have one, and preferably more, of my wee literary babies become record-shattering bestsellers… when I began this incredible writing journey over eight years ago, my initial objective was to acquire one of those elusive mystical beings… a large international publishing house to carry my WURK to a grateful, anticipative, universal readership, who in turn would drool over every bon mot I produced… reality wasn’t long in pushing its nose in the way, and rubbing my nose into the mud of unrequited Nobelesque Prize aspirations… in turn, I have been a self-publishing author, then a ‘housed’ member of a good, modest-sized, literary stable, and now reverted to being my original persona, an ‘indie’ pensperson… and along the way, the dawning of a few reality-check-type home truths has settled in my brain… there are millions (yes, Mabel, millions) of titles on offer on Auntie Amazon alone… those whose tomes reach the pinnacles of the New York Bestseller lists et al are a miniscule fragment of the legions who reach for the Kindle skies… I’m told, however reliably or otherwise, that sales amounting to just 500 copies of a title constitutes ‘best seller’… most books don’t sell more than 50 copies… nowt wrong with that, of course, as many, many people write for their own pleasure and the real joy of having ‘written my book’… but back to those of us who do have dreams of ‘one of my books in every household’… allow me to share my experience in this… my sales/downloads (aggregated of all my titles) are somewhere in the region of 100,000… made me a millionaire, right?… wrong!… I’ll break it down for yeez… about half of these are ‘promo’ sales on various Amazon programs over these intervening eight years… Amazon counts free promo downloads as ‘sales’… I’ve no problem in letting freebies into the market, as I believe they generate real cash sales… however, and here’s a point to note… the resultant royalties spread over those years, while contributing somewhat to the rent, doesn’t put a Ferrari in the garage, or anything approaching it… as it is, self-publishing gives me much more than I was able to generate through a publisher, and in the event a major house came calling, I would have to think very carefully before I’d surrender my sales destiny to them… why?…  a few things… first of all, control would disappear… even the checking of my sales figures on a regular daily or weekly basis would be taken from me… the publisher sees them, not the author… regardless of whether or not yeez have a publisher, the writer still has the lion’s share of the promotional and marketing burden to manage… a publisher is more likely to be on yer case to produce the next blockbuster, and the next, and the next… the artWURK choice passes to sumb’dy other than yerself… more loss of control… payments are done usually semi-annually, and yeez would have the devil’s own job to audit and check if the figures are correct… with self-publishing on Amazon, it’s every-month payments straight to yer account… and oh, yes, the size of royalty per copy is normally peanuts when sold via yer publisher… and yer books can take up to a year and more to be published after yeez give it over to yer publisher… more control loss… one more wee issue before I leave yeez… consider this… when yeez look after yer own ‘business of writing’ only ONE author is being 100% looked after… yerself… with ANY publisher, let’s say with 99 other writers in their stable, the law of averages says yeez’ll receive at best 1% of their focus…  still wanna be ‘house-published’?… self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for, yeez might get it… meantime, I’m off to Guest Speak to another gathering of potential loyal readers of my books… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Find Seumas :


Twitter: @seumasgallacher




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