Monday, 29 March 2010


Guess who's among the very first publishers to have its entire catalogue on offer at Apple's iPad bookstore for the groundbreaking new iPad tablet computer/ebook reader ... yep, BeWrite Books.

Through our partnership with in the USA, all BB titles will be uploaded to Apple on Wednesday (about the same time I'm in surgery for a far less welcome operation) and will start to show very soon.

Up to that date, only the 'Big Six' had been invited for the launch of the new enterprise: Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin, Random House and Simon & Schuster. They all eagerly signed up with the exception of Random House, which has a case of the jitters over the financial implications of Apple's new 'agency model' to replace traditional retail commissions.

Back with you all very soon, I hope. While I'm away, try to rustle up some more followers for this blog -- contributors, too (just email me your input). The next blog post will be as soon as I come round from the surgery and get internet access.

Love and luck. Neil

PS: As promised here's another book-related video. This one's for those of you who still think ebooks won't stand the test of time:

Friday, 26 March 2010


It couldn't have happened at a worse time because BeWrite Books is going through the businest period I've known in ten years, but I've got to bow out for a wee while.

I just had the last in a string of medical tests and examinations and it's been sprung on me that I must check into a clinic in Monaco on Tuesday for some hefty April Fools' Day surgery -- an old vascular problem that's come back to haunt me.

After the operation, I'll have to stay in for a week to ten days before I can escape back to my desk. With luck, I might be able to get an internet connection and do at least some work on a netbook from my bed. If not, I'll be constructively occupied off line with a stack of editing work, and I have a couple of ARCs to proof read in hard copy.

Meantime, you can reach Tony at And my son, Alex (Sandy), will also be helping out. Hugh and Sam, of course, are in place as always.

Over the weekend and on Monday, I'll be trying to clear the decks as much as possible, so there should be no undue delay in Tony getting your brand new website up and running in my absence. You can actually visit now, but there's still a lot of hard and complex work to do in the bookstore part of the site.

You can try me any time after Thursday via my netbook: (imaginative, eh?) Looking forward to joining you again very soon. Maybe you can get a few more pals to sign up to the BeWrite Blog while I'm out of circulation. We really do need as many followers as we can round up.

Love and luck to you all. Hoots. Neil

PS: Remember I promised you an interesting and/or fun book-related video at the foot of every post from now on? Catch this. It's without a doubt the most original book trailer I've ever seen. The imagination, skill and time that went into it is mind-boggling:

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Tony's been working hard for weeks -- often with behind-the-scenes help from Alex -- on the new BeWrite Books website. And just for BB blog followers, he's posted a link here so that you can see how it's shaping up (click on the open book to the right of this message).

The main elements are in place but he still has a heap of painstaking work ahead before we're properly ready to go live and start to promote the site. Although the BeWrite Books book shop front window is looking great, for instance, there's a lot of tidying up to do inside the shop itself ...

All titles must be listed under all genres to which they apply; new merchant software means that the untidy old system of posting two entries for each title -- one for paperback and the other ebook -- can be replaced by a single cover with options to buy paperback, PDF or any of nine other digital formnts; prices will soon be in US dollars with instant conversion to your own currency at that day's rate of exchange and PayPal will become a payment option; links to book extracts, video trailers, author bios, etc will be placed under the title's listing ... etc, etc ...

Many of the new features are made possible because of sophistocated new software we've installed. But most of the credit for the look, feel and sheer efficiency of the new BB site must go to Tony with his artist's eye to design, impressive technical know-how, boundless energy and imagination -- and his utter inability to say, "that can't be done."

Hope you like what you see. But -- as always -- we rely on you for honest assessment and, of course, sound suggestions.

Best wishes. Neil

PS: From here on, I'm going to add a PS to my bog posts, linking to a short on-topic video that will be interesting or fun or both. Here's one that could best be described as 'clever'. Cheering, though, even if the message applies to only some youngsters out there:

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Read an Ebook Week officially ended at midnight US Pacific time today, breakfast time in Europe and when most well-fed Australians were dozing off Sunday Lunch.

BeWrite Books was happy to see over 600 downloads from its publishers' page at Smashwords.

We'd offered twenty-five titles from our catalogue on a pay-what-you-like (or nothing at all), basis so most folks, of course, chose the free option. We did raise a couple of hundred dollars from those who voluntarily paid something, though, (some generous souls actually stumped up MORE than normal cover price) and that will be sent to the Red Cross to go toward their effort in Haiti. Now if only one in ten of those who downloaded our ebooks would offer a few lines of review ...

We'll be dropping our Smashwords ebook prices across the board as of today, by the way, and there will  also be some free offers every day (free titles changing by the week or fortnight), so keep tabs on BeWrite Books ebooks at Smashwords

Many thanks to any friends here at the blog who took an interest and downloaded an ebook or two.
Hoots. Neil

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Eight years ago tomorrow (March 12, 2002), BeWrite Books released its very first title, the hilarious Sweet Molly Maguire by Terry Houston, set in the unbelievably crazy world of Scottish national newspapers in the '70s when Terry and I worked together in Glasgow.

The book was launched at Glasgow Press Club where the first one hundred copies were snatched up by journalists who knew that only the names had been changed for the novel and wanted to prepare excuses for their bosses ... and their spouses.

In the two-year build-up to BeWrite Books, hosted what became a hugely popular non-commercial site and forums for developing authors and with 3,000 members at its peak. The second title we released was Chill, an anthology of horror stories from forum BeWriters. Key authors in the collection were our very first two members (close friends ever since), Peter Lee and Terri Nixon (back then Terri Pine).

Team members back then:

Heather Grace (now Heather Grace-Stewart) who handed over the reins as poetry editor to Heather Bryant (both lovely women and good friends). Heather Bryant in turn handed over to current poetry editor, the talented and renowned Sam Smith, who we'd known for years and who had published several superb fiction titles with BB.

On admin was Cait Myers who continued in that roll until last summer when she left for new adventures -- starting with a year-long tour of the world.

On the technical side was my son, Alex Marr (Sandy), who gave up his well-paid IT job for an entire year to help get BB up and runnning. He is currently working behind the scenes to help BB with what is a virtual re-launch.

And on the fiction editing side there was, as there still is, my old pal, writing partner and brilliant co-editor Hugh McCracken, and me.

More recently the utterly amazing Tony Szmuk came aboard. He worked behind the BB scenes for six months, admirably showing his mettle as a professional, energetic and experienced technical expert as well as a gifted designer. He officially became BB's Design and Technical Director and titular Publisher in January.  Tony's unbounded enthusiasm has re-kindled that of everyone else on the team and those authors he's already made contact with.

With the help of a pro accountant to handle the bi-annual royalties, Tony and I will be sharing the administrative work until we can find and sign up a new recruit for pen-pushing and bean-counting duties, tasks which ain't really our bailiwick.

Since March 12 2002, BB has released 130 exclusive new titles in paperback and ebook. And when the new site launches early next week (thanks to Tony and Alex) and we re-open to submissions, we are hoping to increase output if we can still ensure top quality.

So keep tabs on  this BB blog over the next few days because you'll be the first to know when the site's up ... and there'll be prizes of free paperback and ebooks on offer to celebrate and to thank the few blog members we have so far for their friendship and loyalty to BB and its team over the years.

Best wishes. Neil

Monday, 8 March 2010


BeWrite Books is NUMBER ONE on the list of Smashwords most viewed top100 publishers in the history of the massive site ... and we uploaded our catalogue there only two months ago! Not bad, eh. Cheers. Neil


More than two hundred BeWrite Books ebooks were downloaded in the first twenty-four hours of Read an Ebook Week. All income goes to the Red Cross effort in Haiti, as will anything else we raise over the next six days. Cheers. Neil

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Read an Ebook Week has just officially started in Europe, the US has to catch up, Australia's well into the first day of the event.

So you now have another six days to download any or all of twenty-five BB ebooks in whatever digital format you choose and for reading on everything from a PC or laptop to a dedicated device or mobile phone.

Pay nothing at all or pay what you like. All income will go toward the Red Cross effort in Haiti.

Just click on this link and scroll down through the catalogue to find the You-Set-the-Price offers. 

Saturday, 6 March 2010


There's a fascinating story and interview by Smashwords CEO Mark Coker in today's Huffington Post on Rita Toews, founder of Read an Ebook Week.

BeWrite Books has always supported the event, but this year ... well, what a heck of a week for the website to be down for reconstruction!

Thankfully, -- one of our leading ebook outlets -- has allowed us to get around this by using our publisher's page there to offer, this year, 'BeWrite Books for Haiti'.

From March 7-13 just visit our Smashwords profile  and scroll down through our catalogue for twenty-five Pay-What-You-Want titles. All income will go to the Red Cross effort on the earthquake-devastated island.

Cheers. Neil

Friday, 5 March 2010


March 7 thru March 13 is international Read an Ebook Week. So starting on Sunday and for the duration, BeWrite Books is offering TWENTY-FIVE of its eighty-plus Smashwords Edition ebook titles (usually $9.00) on a pay-what-you-like basis.

This means you don’t have to lay out a red cent to download your chosen ebook/s in any of nine digital formats.

But if you can afford even as little as a single dollar, a pound or a Euro, please do stump up … because every penny BeWrite Books raises from this offer will be sent to the International Red Cross to help out with their work in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Simply visit the the BeWrite Books bookstore at

Cheers. Neil

Thursday, 4 March 2010


Read an Ebook Week starts on Sunday, March 7. Usually we join in the fun and games of promoting ebook reading in general and BB authors' books in particular with give-aways and special deals. This year, though, there's a hitch because the site is temporarily down for major construction and we can't fix anything from our own store.

So we had a wee idea ...

A whole bunch of generous authors at our admirable retail partners in the US have clubbed their time and work together to compile a shorts anthology called 'One Hundred Stories for Haiti'. The ebook's been put together in record time (an excellent job, too) and is on sale everywhere with all proceeds to help in Haiti, where everything but pain, misery, hunger and devastating loss is in short supply.

What we at BeWrite Books thought was this: We have more than eighty titles so far running at $9.00 a pop with Smashwords, but there is a promotional facility in the Smashwords store to offer books either free or on a 'pay-what-you-like' basis. Raise your hand any BB author who'd object if we applied the 'pay-what-you-like' principle to some of our Smashwords edition ebooks for five days with anything paid by buyers going straight into Smashwords' Red Cross fund to help those whose lives are in turmoil after the quake?

Ah ... just as I thought. Not a single hand raised against the idea. Because we know you all personally, we had a feeling this would be something you'd support.

Watch this space and we'll let you know how it turns out.

Thanks, gang. Neil, Tony, Alex, Hugh and Sam

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Sorry the website will be down for a little while. Tony and Alex have migrated all the original site material and Tony will now work on completely re-structuring with some pretty nifty bells and whistles. Please bear with us -- and watch this space for when all's up and running. We have also this week changed our email server, so please forgive us any hiccups over the next day or two while we sort things out. Thanks for your patience. Hoots. Neil

Monday, 1 March 2010


BeWrite Books has just had official confirmation that we've been accepted by the giant Scribd organisation as one of their very first non-US publishing partners. Scribd is the largest and most prestigious social publishing company in the world. All's a go-go here right now.

By the way, apologies to anyone who might have had problems with the website over the weekend. It's an unfortunate side-effect of major reconstruction work in hand by Tony, Alex and our technician at MIVA. The new supersite should be up and running very soon.

Read An Ebook Week is coming up again in a few days, so watch this space for freebies and generous deals on BB titles in all digital formats to celebrate the recent explosion in the popularity of ebook reading ... ten years after BeWrite predicted the digital revolution.

Hoots. Neil