Category Archives: Da Book

Self Promotion

Di you know that both my books are still available in shops and on Amazon?

Blood, Sweat and Tea

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea.

But did you also know you can download them for free for pretty much every platform under the sun. (And here for the sequel)

They are also now on the Apple iBook store, also for free, so if you have an iPhone or iPad you can read them on that platform as well. (And it has been downloaded quite a lot from there – a few more and I might make the top twenty free downloads chart). For some reason you can't like directly to an iBook store page. Which is a bit daft – do try and fix that Apple.

And finally – 'Blood, Sweat and Tea' is now available as an audiobook. Huzzah!

iTunes link

Amazon link to CDs.


Feel free to download the free editions, and then, if you like it, buy a physical copy for your loved ones (from the emails I get, it would appear that mothers really like them). That way both my publishers and I get some lovely, lovely money.

OK, self-pimpage over.

In Much Happier News

'More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea', is about to be released in what is called 'Mass Market' edition. This is a cheaper and smaller format of the book – hopefully it'll mean a bump in sales, and therefore a bump in royalties coming to me.

It's the same book, just a handier size.

It is released on April the first (yes, yes, I know…) and if I may dare to be so bold, would make a lovely gift for your loved ones, neighbours, acquaintances and random people in the street.

It's being stocked by Waterstones and Smiths and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a supermarket or two might pick it up.

The last time I pimped my book here it shot to the #1 slot in the pre-order charts and it gave my ego a much needed massage, as well as giving my publisher a smile (which I think he needed, after all he has to put up with me).

You can pre-order it from Amazon, or if you prefer, from Waterstones.

And of course, you can download it for nothing from this fine site.

(OK, pimping done – back to the more usual whinging).

For those that are interested in how the publishing industry works – can I point you to a series of blog posts by Charlie Stross, collected for your delectation on my ebook site

Amazon, Apple, Macmillan and Me.

For those people who are interested in ebooks and the technology market the past few days have been 'interesting' to say the least.

It started when Amazon pulled all the ebooks published by Macmillan from their Kindle store.

Speculation ran rife – it eventually seems to have boiled down to Macmillan wanting to set the price of their ebooks and adopt an 'agency' model while Amazon wants to keep the status quo.

I shall leave it to the wonderful John Scalzi and Charlie Stross to explain.

Do I think Macmillan (or anyone else) will be able to sell $15 ebooks? They could; after all, they sell $25 hardcovers (and similar amounts for ebooks, depending on the retailer). Now, some people won’t spend that much for a book, so they pick up the book later when it’s an $8 paperback. That’s fine, too.

Likewise, I think it’s fine to attempt to charge $15 (or more) for an ebook for a brand-spankin’ new release to service the folks who just can’t wait, drop it to a lower price point (say, $10) later on in the run, and then drop it again to $8 or so when the paperback hits.

That’s how I would do it, in any event. Would it work? Hell if I know. But that’s not to say it (or some other pricing scheme) is not in a publisher’s interest to try. And to be blunt about it, it’s in my interest as an author as well, because, you know what? My royalty is a percentage of the sale price. I have a mortgage, I have a kid to send to college, I have an addiction to games that allow me to shoot zombies in the head. I’d like money for those, please.

It’s not unreasonable to test the market and see what it will bear.

John Scalzi

This whole mess is basically about duelling supply chain models. Publishing is made out of pipes. Traditionally the supply chain ran: author -> publisher -> wholesaler -> bookstore -> consumer. Then the internet came along, a communications medium the main effect of which is to disintermediate indirect relationships, for example by collapsing supply chains with lots of middle-men.

From the point of view of the public, to whom they sell, Amazon is a bookstore. From the point of view of the publishers, from whom they buy, Amazon is a wholesaler. From the point of view of Jeff Bezos' bank account, Amazon is the entire supply chain and should take that share of the cake that formerly went to both wholesalers and booksellers. They do this by buying wholesale and selling retail, taking up to a 70% discount from the publishers and selling for whatever they can get.

Their stalking horse for this is the Kindle publishing platform; they're trying to in-source the publisher by asserting contractual terms that mean the publisher isn't merely selling them books wholesale, but is sublicencing the works to be republished via the Kindle publishing platform. Publishers sublicensing rights is SOP in the industry, but not normally handled this way — and it allows Amazon to grab another chunk of the supply chain if they get away with it, turning the traditional publishers into vestigial editing/marketing appendages.

Charlie Stross

I suggest that you read both blog posts (and the comments) to get a full handle of the situation.


I have two things to add to this, one is where I see Apple in all this, and another about my experience with Amazon.

Firstly, I suspect that this has a lot to do with the Apple iPad, while it's not confirmed I suspect that Apple are going to follow a similar pricing systems with ebooks as it's App Store. This is the 'Agency' model where the owner of the book lets Apple list it on their store and then the money is split 70%/30%, Apple getting the 30% for the running of the store.

The important part of this is that the publisher sets the price. If they want to charge £25 for an ebook and the market supports that then that is what they will do – if they want to sell the same book for £2.99 then that may end up making more money for the publisher (and ultimately the author).

It's all about the free market and finding what price the market will bear.

Take, for example, the successful experiment by my publishers The Friday Project. They sold 65 times the number of ebooks at £2.99 rather than at the RRP. And didn't cannibalise physical book sales either.

There are good arguments that ebooks shouldn't cost as much as physical books – but allowing publishers to set their own prices ultimately lets the market, by which I mean 'people who buy ebooks', affect the price.

(I don't intend to get into 'windowing' at the moment – while important it is somewhat tangental to my above discussion)

If Apple don't follow this model for their EPUB book store, then people will continue to make their books into standalone apps that do sell under this model…


How does this affect me?

Well, as I think that Amazon are seeking to monopolise the ebook market and protect practices that are unfair and anti-competitive, I shall simple stop buying from them. I have a Sony Reader (well, I have two) and while the back catalog of books for that device is smaller, I suspect that this might change. I suspect that publishers will stop looking at the proprietary Amazon format as a good deal and will instead move to the more open EPUB format that can be read on more devices (including the Sony Reader the Cool-ER and the iPad).

What is interesting is that Amazon are opening up the Kindle to it's own 'App store' – I would be very surprised if one of the first applications isn't something that allows you to read EPUB files on the Kindle, something that is impossible at present.

It also wouldn't surprise me to see Amazon ban such an application*.

Because of this anti-competitive, protectionist and downright icky behaviour, I shall no longer be linking to, or affiliating myself with Amazon. Rest assured that they will be quaking in their boots at the thought of the pennies that they will be losing from me.

Well, they won't – but at least I'll feel better.


As an aside – I note that Amazon are selling my two ebooks on their Kindle store without the permission of me, or my publisher. My publisher has already asked for them to be taken down (when the book was launched), as of Sunday the 31st of January this has not happened.

I know I can be bloody minded – but if I were my publisher I'd be phoning the lawyers on Monday morning…

My books, as always, are available for free download in multiple formats (including Kindle) from

Blood, Sweat and Tea

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea

Please don't buy them from Amazon for $12 (or whatever the cost)

As I said – interesting times, and it'll be even more interesting to see how this all shakes out. After all, who would have thought that Apple would be the one supporting a free market?


*The problem is that the DRM that Amazon uses is not allowed to be used on devices that can use other DRM formats – which may lead to new and interesting legal battles.

UPDATE: Slight edit to make it explicit that Amazon shouldn't be selling my ebook, they are fully able to sell the physical edition of my books.

Self Promotion

I've been off promoting myself on behalf of my second book. For those that are interested here is my, short, appearance on Sky News.

As I'm speaking I'm sitting in a dark room with two spotlights on me staring at some little red lights and trying not to drool or just sit there with my mouth wide open.

I really wish that I hadn't used the word 'sexy' in relation to trauma…

Also, can I just say that there is something about TV that makes my teeth look like they are arguing with one another, I'm sure they aren't that bad in real life.

I was also in Sunday's Observer.

Looking at Cross
I was interviewed sitting in a park in Whitechapel, and while the text of the interview is online, only one of the photographs is there. Having my photograph taken by a splendid team made me feel like a rock star.

“Let's try to be charitable,” says Reynolds, when I meet him in Whitechapel, where we sit in a park past which he drives on almost every shift (the Royal London Hospital is just down the road). “There are two worlds, really,” he says. “There's the world that a lot of people are part of: the world that you are part of. And then there's the world of people who are isolated, socially and financially. How many crack houses have you been in? How many functioning alcoholics do you know? No, the two worlds don't overlap very much, do they?”

Only one small mistake in the article (understandable considering the noise of the park) and that is that Emergency Care Practitioners are the highest trained road staff.
I think that's all the promotion I'm doing at the moment. At least I can't see anything else in my calendar at the moment.
Now I'm working my normal job for pretty much the rest of my week – which makes me happy as it's something that I understand.

Something For The Weekend

Seeing as I'm working nights this weekend and blogging will be light I thought I'd leave you with something to read while I'm either chasing drunks down the street or snoring in my bed.

In the first of, hopefully many, formats to download, The Friday Project have put my book up on Issuu – and it really does look lovely, and is best in fullscreen mode. The license that 'More Blood, More Sweat And Another Cup Of Tea' is published under lets you embed the book in your own blog, read it from any site, or download it to read on your own machine. Feel free to forward it to anyone who might be interested.

I'd love to see it on as many blogs and sites as possible. The more eyes it gets in front of the better. You can download the .PDF from the Issuu website.

Next week I'll explain exactly why almost everything that I create is licensed under a Creative Commons License, and by then I can probably get back to writing about ambulances rather than pimping my book.


Once the plain text version is ready we'll see about getting it into as many formats as possible.

More On The Warning

So, as well as having book two released, book one has been given a fresh cover. The blue cover is my original, first book, and has nothing new in it – if you have the black and yellow cover book then you don't need to buy the blue cover.

The new book is a bit bigger and has the red cover, and of course a different name, but it's similar enough that people might make a mistake and pick up the wrong book.

Here they both are so you can compare them.


So – original book on the left, new book on the right. I just want people to know so that they don't get the wrong one by mistake.


So, my second book is out in the shops. Amazon have also been delivering their copies (and it's now back in stock in their store). Over the weekend I've been getting messages through my twitter account and the odd email.

I've even noticed one of the better MPs ordering a copy. Hopefully, once he's finished with it he'll pass it to Phil Hope, the minister for Social Care as Phil's predecessor Ivan Lewis didn't think that ambulances had anything to do with social care.

I'm actually yet to see a copy myself – there is one sitting at my local post office that I shall pop down and get once I've finished posting this.

What I would like to do is ask a favour.

I have a tiny ego, it sits somewhere just above my spleen and is a fragile and dirty little thing – it seldom gets any chance to be polished.

What I ask is that if you read/buy/see my book I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts on it (even if you think it's bad). Some of the ways you can let me know about your thoughts on the book are this.

  • Twitter – You can either Direct Message or '@Reynolds' me.
  • Blogs – If you can stick a review up on your own blog I'd be extremely grateful – I have a Google alert for the book title, but if you'd like to leave a link to your post in one of my comments you can be sure that I don't miss it.
  • Flickr – I'd love to see what shops my book gets to. I'd like to see where it ends up, especially people who are saving it to read while on holiday – if you tag your photos 'BST2' I'll be able to find them.
  • Email – My normal email that hides behind the spam shield of 'How to contact me' on the sidebar on the right.
  • Delicious – Again, if you use the tag 'BST2' I'll be able to find it.

  • Amazon – If you would be so kind, I'd love you to leave a review on the Amazon page. I think it'll help me sell more books, which will make my publishers (and me) happy.

UPDATE: A quick warning – the first book has a new, blue, cover – the new one is a bit bigger and has a red cover, I'd hate it if someone bought the wrong one by mistake.


The free, complete and fully open for remixes downloadable edition will be along soon. The reason for the short delay is that Harper are making sure that it really shines – from what I hear it sounds like it's going to be something lovely. As soon as I know something I'll pop it up here. Remember that the original can be found here at

More on that when it appears.

Blue Lights And Long Nights

I consider myself very lucky. Since starting this blog I've had a couple of people send me books to review, something I'm more than happy to do.

The latest book that I was given (and I have another one on the review pile) is Blue Lights and Long Nights by Les Pringle.
Les is an ambulance man through and through, he joined the Birmingham Ambulance Service in the early 1970's. This book is the story of his first eighteen months in the job.
I was immediately struck by Les' writing, full of humour, wit and self examination it reminded me of all the thoughts and feelings I had when starting the job. Even including the worlds crappiest van for the driving test.
It's a very easy read and I read it in one sitting. He tells a number of stories and gives you all the interesting details without ever leaving you thinking that the story has gone on too long.
What is shouting out from almost every page is that the job hasn't changed since the 70's – sure, we have better equipment and more drugs to play with, but the messroom culture, the sorts of patients we go to and the problems with management are all the same as they are now. One story from more recent times its told, and it is only the 'insider' in me that had me noticing the small difference between the past and present.
Les' writing is so good that, even though I know the material inside out, I was still drawn to read more – he's a very engaging a writer. If you like this blog, then you will also like this book and I cannot recommend it enough.


You also might want to buy mine at the same time – More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea. It should be in all good shops (and some dodgy ones I guess) by the weekend. As soon as I've the details for the download version I'll throw them up here. Also, for those interested I did a scrap of radio yesterday – you can listen to it via iPlayer here for the next week, my bit starts around the 17 minute mark (and thanks to @jamrock for pointing that out, thereby making my life easier).
Disclaimer: All my Amazon links make me a bit of money from stuff that is bought from them.

Day One

Back to work with a nice little (twelve hour) late shift. Late enough to lay in bed, but not late enough that you feel like dying at 4am that morning.

As I'm back to work after a long absence I'm being 'third manned', another ambulance person is on the truck with me in case I freak out and go mad or something. It's a good way to ease you back into work should you need it – something I didn't really need so my 'third man' had a lovely easy shift.

As for the patients, well it seemed that I went to most of the stereotypical jobs during the night, missing only the 'elderly person on the floor', 'urine infection' and 'demented nursing home patient'. We missed an 'assault' just by virtue of the police getting there first.

What was surprising was that we needed to 'blue light' four patient's straight into the resuscitation room – but at least it means we earned our pay.

Our first job of the shift was a very pleasant gentleman who had a problem with his heart – we took him into hospital and, unlike most of my other patient's I got to talk to him the next day when he walked up to me in the hospital and shook my hand and thanked me. It doesn't often happen and so I think that this handshake will stay with me for some time.

The rest of the shift was fine, with lots of nice patients and nice relatives – the only exception was a drunk in a pub who'd injured themselves, we had to scoop him up off the floor while making sure we didn't aggravate his twenty friends who were all around half a pint away from falling over themselves all while trying to prove that they liked him the most. It had something to do with football is all I know.

So it was a good shift, if busy and when some time passes I'll no doubt write more about some of those patients.


I've just heard from my publisher that “More, Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup Of Tea” is back from the printers and that it should be in shops for the weekend.