Thursday, 29 December 2011


As of January 1, 2012, BeWrite Books is an ‘Ebook-First’ publisher ... lavishing the same precision, experienced and talented editorial, design and technical care on its digital editions as it has on its print books since the turn of our new millennium.

In a nut shell, print is now a by-product of our ebook editions rather than vice-versa.

This innovative shift of emphasis is not made lightly. Not by a long chalk. Not by a looong-looooong chalk, folks. We’ve been carefully and diligently preparing for its inevitability. It is also encouraged by our authors and readers.

It comes after impressively successful ebook-only field trials on some BB publications (our biggest seller in a decade is one of these recent ebook-only productions) and with a huge and independent digital distribution base we’ve painstakingly built, store-by-store, according to complex and strict individual technical requirements and legally nit-picking third-party retail contracts, over the past two years.

And it is backed by heavy financial investment in specialized technology, new and vital company registrations, retained professional services ... and sheer hard work and research by the BB team since we focused on this course in 2010.

Make no mistake; BeWrite Books is a serious and progressive house. We've always kept at least one step ahead of the game.

The result is that a whopping 98% of our readers voted with their credit cards and PayPal payments in 2011 to tell us they prefer to buy BeWrite Books in ebook formats than in paper editions.

And sales are going up, up and away. They're greater than ever and getting greater still by the month.

We won’t be pulling out of print immediately or entirely, and Ingram the biggest book distributor on the planet will continue to deal with our print editions, although we now find we have higher market penetration than even the mighty Ingram when dealing independently with digital.

When readers loudly send us such a clear message, we have to listen ... and our authors have to listen. We expect the public to read what we offer, so we must extend to them the courtesy of hearing and digesting what they have to say in return. Authors and readers should think of themselves as partners whenever a book is opened. Each *collaborator* merits a fair hearing. And the publisher must quickly adjust accordingly. Agreed?

So we’ve moved the goalposts. A new BeWrite Books author’s title must now prove its literary worth in ebook sales to the general reading public before we will publish a printed edition under the BB logo.

We’re putting the reader in the driver’s seat ... right where s/he belongs.

Our publishing house is now among the first – if not THE first – to retain the Old School values of what’s lately become known as ‘traditional’ publishing, but to initially apply them to ebook production.

We don't blush with embarrassment at the inexperienced self-publisher’s disparaging description of established publishing houses and their expert editors as ‘gatekeepers’. We strongly believe that rigorous selection of submissions is key and that perfect editorial and design treatment of accepted and ultimately published work is the reader’s due. We are proud to be the ‘gatekeepers’ who read and work so hard and long to filter the slush pile for quality rather than leaving that tedious job entirely to the reader, who is otherwise bewildered by tens of thousands of raw manuscripts randomly posted with the tap of a key or two at sales websites purely on the whim of their arrogant ‘authors’. Absolutely unregulated instant ‘publication’ benefits nobody.

(It must be honestly said with humility and all due honor that a very few renowned self-publishers – overwhelmingly those who have built their reputations through large and established publishers and who have the nous to expensively contract pro editors, designers and technicians – must not be written off lightly.)

We also believe that a good book is a good book, whether read on paper or on a handy, pocket- and purse-sized ebook-dedicated reading device or tablet.

Existing BeWrite Books authors and those newcomers to whom we’ve already made informal promises are not necessarily affected by our new digital-first policy and may choose which model they wish applied to their works. But if 2012’s entirely new authors don’t achieve an ebooks sales target within a year of their ebook editions release (or if existing BeWriters prefer the new deal) their print rights will be fully restored and they will be FREELY offered perfectly prepared (covered, edited, proofed and designed), ready-for-print files to use as they will as we continue to distribute and plug e-editions for the remainder of the agreement period.

We don't know of  ANY other publisher offering such a clean and generous agreement. You?

Either way, authors win through much higher royalty payments under the new deal and help BB by unburdening us of loss-making print editions (only two percent of our sales, remember, and very costly to produce and maintain where many more that a hundred titles are involved at any given time), whilst taking advantage of returned print rights and freely provided print-ready files to use elsewhere. We can also effectively and freely cross-promote digital and available print.

We firmly believe that any BeWrite author will agree that we sometimes must play hard-ball before a book is ready to run ... but we ALWAYS play fair. 

As of January 1, you'll find the same. That's when we re-open to new and unsolicited submissions, and you can access the detailed warts-n-all information you need at and – for some time to come – still at (Should the website appear at all like the old maroon-colored one and without the new, grey-background banner heading similar to that you now see on this blog, please simply refresh your browser. Any hitch; just drop us a line and we’ll talk you through. You all know we're just an email away,)

We think you’ll find our new bookstore section’s presentation particularly stunning, but please do take time to read and understand the other sections, and especially the new submissions and conditions details, now incorporated in a simple, downloadable and shareable e-booklet of 8,000 words of fine detail and advice. We make no apologies for the length of this section you NEED to understand us and up-to-the-minute industry trends before trusting your valuable work to BB.

Also please note our new and free mini-ebooks to help browsers choose and authors to help us promote their work at the click of the button. Each of these small productions carries full color cover, book notes, conditions, reviews, author biography and picture and a free extract. Promo-to-go at the tap of a key. We’re about 70% of the way through the existing catalog and all titles will be covered by their own mini-ebooks by the end of January.

By the way, the new BeWrite Books website can now read your mind ... well, at least it will identify the device you’re reading on and adjust its presentation accordingly. The fancy clockwork is hidden behind the scenes. Our efforts are largely out of sight, to let the website and not the browser do the work.

Also, we’re producing a free ebook very soon to help authors help us in the major job of getting themselves and their books noticed. Obscurity is the author’s Public Enemy Number One. Please take this fact very, very seriously and join us in getting your name and your work out into the bright light of day.

And let’s hope your readers respond with satisfaction, glowing reviews, and maybe even interact by dropping a private line to their favorite BB authors. If they do PLEASE respond to their thoughtfulness and kindness with a personal note,

So here’s to a Happ-E New Year, folks.
Best Wishes for the best of years. Neil, Tony, Hugh, Sam

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


BeWrite Books’ team, authors and readers are of all ages, colours, nationalities and creeds. But, unlike the ‘outside’ world, we get along like one big, happy clan.

Maybe it’s our shared passion for books and the fascinatingly different characters populating them, the places and eras we're transported to, the previously unexplored possibilities and visions, that promotes such understanding and mutual respect ...

And that makes life such a wonder-filled trip for us all.

Books sans frontiers!

You’re never alone with a book. It’s a pact between you and an author and his or her support group of editors, designers and technicians.

Reading is a shared experience, an exchange of views and stories, dreams and – sometimes – nightmares. Laughs and tears come with the partnership package as in any close friendship.

When did you last close a book, then not sit and think again about the rainbow of life?

Thanks for making 2011 such a busy and interesting year for BB, folks.

In return, we’ll be presenting you with a spanking new website – chock full of surprises – early in January, and with an increased release schedule of sparkling new titles from some of the most gifted authors on the planet over the coming twelve months.

Have a wonderful holiday time with your nearest and dearest – never forgetting the lonely neighbor down the road and those millions of earth-born companions and fellow mortals to whom the next two weeks will be no more than part of a continual struggle against hunger, poverty, despair and fear.

Love, luck and very best wishes to everyone. We’ll be raising our glasses to all points of the compass when the Hogmanay bells ring in New Year in whatever time zones we find ourselves.
Neil, Tony, Hugh and Sam

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Author Alan Lewis is wrapping the parcels and preparing a traditional merry Christmas for his children. But he has an altogether different Santa story to tell the rest of us … and it doesn’t ring with jingling sleigh bells and cheerful ho-ho-hos.

BeWrite Books today (December 2) releases – in paperback and all ebook formats – Alan’s debut novel, The Blood in Snowflake Garden; the garden is the park and murder scene at the heart of a bitterly chilling North Pole where nightmares, rather than dreams, come true. Only blood stains its virgin snow.

The Claymore Dagger finalist asked himself the question all authors must: What if? And Alan, who hails from Tennessee’s Chattanooga, chew-chewed over the puzzle; what if Santa was real in another world, what if he wasn’t the kindly, roly-poly, fun-loving and generous character kids believe him to be, what if his elves were little more than slaves, what if flying reindeer were whipped to work … what if … what if?

Back cover text to The Blood in Snowflake Garden tells you what:

In an alternative universe, Santa’s North Pole City is no mere myth.

But the reality has little to do with the jolly image promoted to the rest of the world. The North Pole is a grim industrial complex where worker elves and flying reindeer rarely live happy and long lives … and where Santa Claus is a booze-sodden wreck.

Detective Max Sneed is dragged out of retirement when Vlad Volsky, Premier of gun-free North Pole City, is mysteriously shot to death in Snowflake Garden.

Prime suspect is Santa himself, suffering alcoholic depression after McCarthy anti-communist witch-hunts in his universe ban him from US airspace.

During the six months’ long polar night, Max is assisted in his investigation by visiting English journalist, Robert Watson, who struggles to resist the advances of Mrs Claus’s pot-induced horniness and is bemused by the complex social interplay between humans and elves.

Within this universe echo the events of our own turbulent sixties when the winding murder investigation becomes tangled with cold war politics, corporate espionage, bitter worker revolt and a powerful civil rights movement that threatens to destroy the fragile tinsel myth.

Author Alan Lewis
Lewis brings us a North Pole struggling to retain its image in the midst of labor disputes, volatile human-elf relations, a discredited Santa, and now the murder of Santa’s right-hand man. With a little grit and a lot of charm, 'The Blood in Snowflake Garden' is a perfect mix of mystery, mayhem and magic. Jaden Terrell, Executive Director of the Killer Nashville Crime Literature Conference and author of the Jared McKean mysteries

Fans of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ will feel at home in Lewis’s ‘The Blood in Snowflake Garden’. Poet and author Sam Smith

Alan Lewis now lives in Nashville with his children. He authored technical guides and manuals for over twenty years but branched out into fiction. In 2006, he took the reins of a writer’s workshop where he has been striving to teach and aid aspiring authors. He also has several published short stories under his belt and other exciting projects in the works. 

His debut novel, The Blood in Snowflake Garden, was a finalist for the 2010 Claymore Dagger Award presented to the best unpublished murder mystery manuscript. It is no longer unpublished.

As of today it is available in paperback and all ebook formats for all electronic reading platforms from all major online stores, many smaller retails and direct from BEWRITE BOOKS.

Author: Alan Lewis. Editor: Hugh McCracken. Cover, text design and technical preparation: Tony Szmuk. Additional input: The BeWrite Books team. Print distribution: Ingram. Digital distribution: BeWrite Books, Canada and BeWrite Books LLC, USA.

And a personal note from Neil Marr: I wondered over this past week just how far away Alan’s ‘alternative universe’ is from our own. Maybe no more than a cat's whisker.

We’ve just witnessed a Black Friday where riots broke out and pepper spray was used by those battling for Christmas bargains in US stores. As stocking-fillers, many bought loss-leader electronic goods churned out by slave-wage Chinese workers in dismal and dangerous conditions that would shame a captain of industry during the gruesome Victorian Industrial Revolution. Credit cards were maxed out, courtesy of 'Santa the Banka' ... and the whole world now knows the cynicism behind a banker’s ho-ho-ho.

Alan’s answer to the ‘what if?’ question is pretty close to home these days, I reckon.

Find out for yourself by reading The Blood in Snowflake Garden. When you’re bursting at the seams with turkey and Christmas pud, there’s still room to feast on food for thought.

Happy weekend and best wishes. Neil et al at BeWrite Books.