Sunday, 17 April 2016

A writer's worst nightmare?

What if you find book you wrote for sale on the shelves of a charity shop?

As a writer, this is something I have often pondered. As it happens, I've yet to see a copy of my prose adorning dusty shelves at the back of such a shop. I live in hope. I think.

This question is a double edged sword.

Edge one. Whilst having bought a copy of my book, the someone, didn't feel like hanging on to it for a second read. Ego bruising.

Edge two. My book getting resold in a second hand shop, means, no royalties. Which is a bugger.

Like any writer I need to earn money for my efforts.

Libraries aren't that much better at bunging cash my way. Okay – I get paid once from the library for the privilege of letting them lend my book out, time and time again, but then that's it. No more moolar, no matter how many times my labour of love gets read.

I digress. Back to the charity shop.

As a not particularly well known writer you are bound to have no money, it's why you are in the charity shop in the first place, there on the same shelf as dozens of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, is your book.

The reason Fifty Shades of Grey is gracing the same establishment as your tome? It's crap, having bought it, the owner realises their mistake, and dumps it, on an organisation that needs the money more than the anti-kudos of selling the thing. Or not selling it. I've seen lots of copies waiting in the forlorn hope of being sold, never to get the chance. I read of a charity shop that had so many copies they made a fort out of them.

Don't take my word for it. Here's the link ---

Sorry – I'm digressing again. Note to self. Must stop digressing.

You have a check list as why someone should want to part with your wonderful work.

Does the book look well thumbed or is it in the same new condition as when the obviously deranged person who parted with your book, bought it.

This is an important point. Did they finish the book? If the book was bought from Amazon, did they review the book? Was it a good review? Hopefully not a crappy one.

Was the book stolen by a crazed charity shop donator? Perhaps the original owner is devastated by its' loss? Perhaps they don't give a shit? You scrub that last thought. Of course they cared. They bought it from a book shop. Didn't they? Depression filling your boots, you wonder if your book is on it's second visit to the charity shop.

The hardest question of all to answer.

Why? Why would anyone want to give, your lovely, yet to make your fortune, book away.

Stealthily, making sure the shop assistant doesn't see your smiling picture on the back cover, you buy the book and gently place it in your re-cycled carrier bag.

Clutching your novel as tightly as a mother holds her newborn baby you take your masterpiece home, placing it in proud unison with all the other copies you have rescued.

Of course, all this is made impossible, if your novel, is an e-book. Maybe I should stick to e-books, then I will never feel the hurting shame of the discarded writer, but then I'd never feel the pride of seeing my work alongside some of the greats, like P.D. James. Danielle Steel. Lee Child, James Patterson. Stephen King. And I'd never get the chance to feel that one day, another writer will sneak their book off a shelf, wishing they were as well known as me.

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The Riotous Writer

My latest novel – a black comedy, about sexual infidelity, greed and a brothel for mature ladies.

 Link -

More of my books – through my American publisher.

The Warlock's Woman

When a boy ghost meets a girl human in a hot-tub. Romance - Yes. Sex - Definitely.

UK Link

Half Blood

Vampires - not the undead - aliens from another galaxy. 

book picture courtesy of

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