Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The People’s Book Prize

Bokassa’s Last Apostle has been entered for ‘The People’s Book Prize’ This is a competition in which the readers vote for the winner. It was set up to find work which hasn’t been backed by the publishing industry machine, but which people simply wanted to read. True to this aim, most of the entrants to date have been from small independent publishers. The organisers say that books have to be entered by a publisher, rather than by the author in an apparent attempt to rule out self-publishers, although a close reading of the entries suggests a number have got through any net which might have been held out to catch them. They hold quarterly contests, the current one ending on 30 November. There are three categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s books. Each publisher is allowed one entry per category, although they can enter books from their backlist. Five ‘finalists’ per quarter are announced based solely on how many votes each book has received and then an overall winner in each category is awarded each year. It is unclear how they weight the votes from each quarter to take account of the total number of votes cast, if at all.

An obvious difficulty arises from the need for the users of their website to have read the books in question. I would neither want nor be able to buy each of the 483 fiction titles in the current competition! There IS a sample online, strictly limited to the first two chapters. (A salutory reminder of the often-repeated advice to get the reader hooked early on in the story!) And readers of this blog will know that there is a longer sample available here. But, to ensure that as many people as possible can read my story to the end I have slashed the price of the e-book by half to £2.74 for the duration of the competition. So if you are among the 400+ odd people reading the sample of my book online per month and want to know what happens next, now is the time to get your hands on a cheap copy of the kindle! Or, if you have read the sample and liked it, why not go to the People’s Book Prize website, create an account and vote for it!

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