A professionally reviewed book – gulp!

Undoubtedly there are many people out there who are well versed in the demons to be found within the publishing world and their experience is probably vastly superior to any that I will ever have. For this first-timer, the expectation / dread of an independent analysis of my book has been a scary thought.

So when I found my first truly detailed and professional review I opened it with a great deal of trepidation, as if I were back at school bracing myself for another assassination by my consistent, if less than encouraging, English teacher. In short, I was expecting it to be slammed for grammatical errors and general ineptitude.

However, having read it and digested both the positives and negatives written by Alex Roddie at UKHillwalking, all I can say is….Bang On…. much appreciated Alex!UKH-logo_400x400“….this tremendously fun book about one man’s 5,000-mile trek around the British coastline……it’s a glossy coffee-table book, lavishly illustrated with dozens of photographs, including some really good double-page shots. ….. this is very much a book to dip in and out of as well as read cover to cover.”

On the negatives, he certainly hits the spot in sussing that I was struggling to edit the book and find a narrative beyond the original blog that worked. I really could have used his professional skills in identifying where I could trim out the excess prose and be a little more finite. However, if you know me, you will know that I can ramble on (‘scuse the pun) a bit and that maybe I needed to shrink the dull bits, even if I believed that they were just as important – if only to demonstrate the full flavour of the walk.

“……despite its many good qualities, the book does tend to become a little repetitive in places. Let’s face it, the day-to-day routine of walking around the coast isn’t that engaging to read about even if you’re the most committed outdoor enthusiast…..”

On the positives. All I can say is thank you Alex. It really is lovely to know that he saw through my facade to appreciate that I don’t like taking life or myself too seriously.

“The narrative is unfailingly positive and light-hearted, with a good sprinkling of humour and plenty of commentary on the landscapes he’s walking through…………The book has a cheerful sense of fun and I think it takes itself less seriously than many outdoor tomes.”

“……this book grew on me and I found myself enthralled by the gradual process of life on the trail supplanting normal life, becoming ordinary in itself, so that the inevitable return home became the next big adventure.” 

So genuinely – thanks again Alex. You can clearly express yourself far more succinctly than I ever could.

Read the full review here.

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#KMF2016

Well…..I wasn’t quite as high up on the bill as Scouting for Girls and Toploader at the Keswick Mountain Festival, but I did get a decent audience. A big thanks to those of you who came and listened to my ramblings in the adventure tipi, I hope you enjoyed my brief talk. It seems the bars and music emptied most of the festival goers of their cash by Sunday morning and book sales were …..errr tough. I think I might have spent a tad more cash than I took….ho dee hum!DSCF6880For all you outdoorsy types – I can certainly recommend KMF. Whether you are a lycra clad fitness fanatic who the enjoys the masochistic pleasures of participating in a 50km trail race or you prefer queuing for the bar and some live music (that’s much more my category) – then there is something for everyone. I think this could be on my calendar for next year. Either way – you can always enjoy people watching and looking out for all the expensive outdoor clothing logos amidst a sea of waterproofs and woolly hats.DSCF6935THANK YOU… AND GOODNIGHT #KMF2016!!

 

Talking not walking

After a highly depressing weekend in the Peak District, where I can confirm that my fitness has now returned to a rather pathetic, flabby level – I have instead taken to “flogging a dead horse” and giving a few talks about my coast walk whilst attempting to flog a few books.  I have a few dates coming up, but the first one is next weekend (11:30am, 22nd May) at the Keswick Mountain Festival. It sounds as if it is cracking weekend for any outdoorsy types, with live music, exhibitors, races, loads of land and water based activities, some top notch speakers and me. So if you are coming along, please pop in and say hi and maybe let me persuade you to part with your hard earned cash for a copy of my book / door stop.

Click on the pictures below for more info.

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Keswick Mountain Festival

 

 

More Junk Mail?

Like the vast majority of us, many emails hit my spam mailbox every single day and most of them are complete and utter junk. Beyond the usual array of phishing rubbish, irritating PPI warriors and offers from any shop I may have once used in the last ten years, this one turned up last night.Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 10.49.25

Considering I haven’t bought or sold anything on eBay for a few years it’s arrival has generated a few questions. For info: An email promoting pre-planned funerals sat a little disturbingly below this one.

  1. How do they know?
  2. Who the hell is selling a copy on eBay?
  3. And at what price?

Further investigation reassuringly revealed that it wasn’t another cut price bookseller taking a huge wedge from my cover price and selling it at £1.99. I know it’s unlikely to make any best seller list, but for me it’s nice to get it out there and attempt to recover a few of my costs.

If you haven’t bought it already, why not buy it direct from me or my publisher. Please visit MY BOOK page for details on how you can get it.

P.S. For the curious types reading this far down any of my blatantly promotional and slightly self-indulgent posts….my spam mail no longer attracts junk advertising viagra or male appendage enlargement products. Strangely I am little disappointed. I must be beyond the point of no return!

I forgot to mention the title…doh!

Well – for you die hard types who still have some vague interest, I had to get out of bed at silly o’clock yesterday for a brief appearance on the most listened to radio show in….errr….my house this weekend.  A welcome cup of tea and a quick chat with Monica Winfield at BBC Radio Leicester again and there I was attempting to plug my book whilst  pathetically failing to mention the title of it throughout the entire interview….hmmm! However, if you know me at all, you will know that getting anything more than a monosyllabic “ugg” out of me at that time of day is a minor miracle. Feel free to have a listen at 1:43:11 into the program (with an embarrassing gushing preview at 0:17:29) and if you want to order your book direct from me or any of the usual retailers, go on – order one, two or twenty copies – they make great door stops. And if you do buy it direct from me, you will help me get the boxes out of the house before the floor gives way.

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At Last!

 

Yes! You’ve seen the website, you’ve maybe worn the T-shirt. Now you can own the book too!

You can order it directly from me via Paypal with free UK wide P&P or for friends I would happily give bank account details to allow a direct transfer or even an old fashioned cheque. Clearly I would much prefer to sell it to you direct as it avoids the middle man and I will gladly sign it if you ask – but I doubt whether my scrawl will improve the value.

If you can’t settle by Paypal or bank transfer – you can buy it hot off the press from Vertebrate Publishing or from a number of other well known online retailers. It is also available to purchase via Waterstones and Foyles plus any independent book store where it can be ordered if not in stock. ISBN: 978-1-909461-51-2

(Note: charges for delivery beyond the UK will be made at cost – ask for a quote)
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CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ORDER

If you do buy it elsewhere please leave a nice review – I’m not an experienced author expecting great literary acclaim for my latest masterpiece. It’s gently written as a journal, adapted directly from my blog, illustrated with 300 photographs and supplemented with a few tongue in cheek driver’s comments. And yes it was proof read, god knows how many times …..and I’ve still found a couple of errors….grrrr. If you buy enough, I promise to make it perfect for any reprint and your 1st edition will thus become a valuable rarity….ehem….cough cough.

On clicking the cover image the you will be directed to my contact page. Please complete your details and I will forward you a Paypal invoice when I see the email. On payment I will then dispatch the book as soon as I can get myself to the nearest Post Office – which is now 8 miles away…sigh! Delivery will be 2nd Class via Royal Mail.

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Another Walker …and more.

You hear nothing from me and my website for ages and then I get all active again. Well why not….after all there are a few things happening:

FIRSTLY: Watch out, there is another walker about! Natalia Spencer set off from Durdle Door on 14th February and is trying to follow my clockwise route. She is raising money for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal (The Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity) and is doing the walk in memory of her 5yr old daughter, Elizabeth, who she sadly lost following a short illness last December. You can follow her progress and buddy beacon via the link below and please give her a little of your support if you can.

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SECONDLY: I have now added a new page with a summary of ‘Other Walkers’ who have completed the walk around Britain without stopping. Taking much of the information from David Cotton’s excellent website, I have updated the links and added a bit more info where I could find it. Hopefully you can use it as a resource for coastal walking or for general interest if you like that sort of thing. There are links to all the other books I have found about walking the coast – though some of them are no longer in print.

THIRDLY: My book is due out imminently…whahay! Watch this space for news over the coming days. Don’t expect a literary masterpiece. But I do hope you will find it a nice gentle read adapted directly from my blog – only now you don’t have to read it in reverse order. Corrected for typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical nightmares (though I have frustratingly found a couple more in the final print), with added drivers’ diary comments and 300 photos – I’m actually chuffed that it looks OK. I hope that you will enjoy it too.