Thursday, 14 November 2013

ORIGIN - Foreign editions


It's now been over a year since the publication of ORIGIN, and so far the book has also been published in Japan, Germany (as ALPHA) and Russia.
It has been very exciting to receive copies of each foreign edition, as they all have different covers in-keeping with what is popular and desirable in that country.

I am looking forward to see the other editions too, which should be published within 24 months of the UK publication.

Also pleasing is the fact that ORIGIN has been doing rather well overseas, according to the feedback I have received.

For instance, in Japan -  where the book has been released in two volumes - the first print of 30,000 (15,000 of each volume) went within two weeks, so the publishing house needed to reprint it!

I am absolutely thrilled, and with five more foreign translations to go, I hope that it will be equally - or even more! - successful in other places. Fingers crossed!






Monday, 28 October 2013

EXTINCTION - The Art Work


Finally here! The cover for my new book. I think it's really great. I am always really impressed with the design team at HEADLINE. They manage to capture the essence of the book perfectly!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Here is the new novel description:

 An extraordinary discovery in the Sahara desert will turn history on its head...


A series of unexplained phenomena create shockwaves across the globe - a huge religious statue moves its arm, and there's a spate of floods and earthquakes. Many think it's the end of the world...


Investigative journalist Alyssa Durham receives a call from an old friend claiming that these phenomena may not be entirely natural, but when he is assassinated in front of her, she finds herself on the run for her life. 


Alyssa teams up with Jack Murray, a scientist from a secretive government research laboratory, to uncover the truth. But who wants them dead, and what are they trying to protect?


As chaos descends, Alyssa and Jack are drawn into a battle against an unknown enemy with the highest possible stakes, because one thing they've learnt is that nothing is safe from extinction...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Books - More Fun Please!

I read The Bookseller today and felt inspired to share my thoughts!

In the current edition, e-book vs paperback fiction is mentioned. It's expected that e-books are going to overtake paperbacks next year in sales volume, but it is predicted that sales revenues will still drop, due to the lower price of e-books.

This caused me to think about books in general, and why people are not buying new books. When I decided to write, I really wanted to write for the average person, who just wants to have fun reading. I personally think that most books are too serious. For people who've read my biography, you will know my wide experience in different jobs, and that is exactly what inspired me to NOT write 'realistic' stories. Life is wonderful but it's also sad, harsh and boring. 

Let me give you an example. Being a doorman doesn't involve constant fighting, stopping brawls and so on - actually 95% of the time you'll be standing in the doorway freezing cold, with 10 layers of clothing on, thinking about a warm bed, but you still have to be aware of everything that's going on around you, just in case. Likewise, being in the army doesn't involve people going on missions and fighting all the time. There is a lot of boot polishing, keeping things tidy, marching and - once again -being cold!

Anyway, my point is that realistic books are not always FUN - and there is nothing wrong with a bit of fun!

In my opinion, the average person wants to be entertained. We all have problems and I don't thing that after a hard day most of us want to read about more problems. I think most of us would prefer an 'easy' read. Most of the books coming out in recent years are a bit too serious for the average person, and that definitely includes me! Where has the fun gone? When did everyone become so serious? 

The Young Adult genre is generally a bit more over the top, with a lot more fun - and strangely enough, research has shown that these are predominantly read by adults and not teens:

More than half the consumers of books classed as for Young Adults are over 18, according to research drawn from data on US readers by Bowker.
Fifty-five per cent of buyers of YA books, designated by publishers as works for young adults aged 12 to 17, are 18 or older, according to the Bowker Market Research survey, the biannual "Understanding the Children's Book Consumer in the Digital Age" report.
The largest segment were aged 30 to 44, accounting for 28 % of sales, with the adults responding that 78% of the time they are buying their books for their own reading.
Source: The Bookseller
Why is this? Is it just that we all want to read entertaining books but are afraid to admit it because we shouldn't be associated with 'that' sort of book?

In conclusion, I think that unless the book industry starts to recognize the desires of the average reader, book sales will carry on falling!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bestseller

Recent events surrounding J.K. Rowling's pseudonymous novel 'The Cuckoo's Calling' has stirred up loads of talking.

J.K. Rowling's new book received very good reviews, had a good cover etc, but this still didn't do anything for the sales figures.

'Nielsen BookScan data reveals 17,662 copies of the hardback were sold in the seven-day period ending 20th July—up from just 43 copies the previous week—putting Rowling in third place in the chart. It sold fewer than 500 copies in its three–month period on sale before the Sunday Times' sensational exposé' - The Bookseller

That brings me to the conclusion - and it reinforces what I've been writing about previously- that the reviews, the artwork and so on don't really make a big difference in sales. Books being in the shops do.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2013

Well, this year's event was the biggest one so far. Over 14,000 tickets sold! Although it didn't feel overly packed, as it is so well organized.

On Thursday my wife and I attended the opening party. It was unusually warm for Yorkshire, with a beautiful evening setting over Harrogate town, and the arrival of so many amazing authors to one location made it particularly exciting!

The new addition of wigwam tents outside the hotel was a very good idea, especially locating the book shop there was superb! I think that WHSmith did a marvelous job! I also want to thank the lovely staff at WHSmith for donating a ticket for the opening ceremony to my wife.

We met up with my editor Ali, my publicist Ben, and many other members of Headline Publishing and together we waited the nail biting moments to hear the announcement of the winner. This year we had a deserved case of deja vu - Denise Mina! Congratulations!

Over the next 3 days we had great fun and met a lot of people - Chris Carter, Lyndsey Faye, Julia Crouch, Tom Wood, Simon Kernick, Colette McBeth, Claire McGowan, Stav Sherez and Elly Griffiths, to name just a few!

I highly recommend the event to all crime and thriller fans. It's predominantly crime but you can meet thriller writers too!

The only thing I wanted to say it's such a shame that there isn't anything like this purely for the thriller genre, like ThrillerFest in the US (http://www.thrillerfest.com/). So here's a thought - lets not forget thrillers, and try to get a thriller festival going on here in the UK too!

What do you all think?



Saturday, 27 April 2013

ORIGIN - Thriller of the month!

It gets really quiet for a few months after book publication, so there haven't been a lot of things to write about, thus my inactivity on the blog. However, I've recently finished writing the first draft of my next novel for Headline, which I'm really pleased with, and am already moving on to plan the next one.


Also, the 2013 London Book Fair has just taken place, so I'm crossing my fingers and 'holding my thumbs' (trzymam kciuki) as Polish people say, for more foreign sales!

My editor Ali is going to be in touch shortly to talk book covers and so on. So far the title for the new novel will be 'EXTINCTION'. I like it, and it's a good counterpoint for ORIGIN.

As not a lot has been going on in the writing world for me recently, I've been doing various other interesting things! For instance, my wife and I have just completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge - 25 miles over 1600m of ascent in 12 hours, to raise money for our niece (go to www.justgiving.com/JTBrannan for more details). It was a fun, but very tiring event!

We're also off to a Salsa Night soon, which is an event raising money for cancer research. In October I will also co-host with another author - Frances Brody - a dinner event for the same cause.

I'm also already looking forward to Harrogate's Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in July and meeting up with fellow authors, reviewers and Headliners. We always have great time at this event.

I've also just heard that ORIGIN has been picked as the 'Thriller of the Month' on e-thriller.com - go to http://www.e-thriller.com/?page_id=6  to read the review!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Cover Artwork for the German Edition!

First of all, apologies for not getting these blogs out as regularly as normal - I'm writing my second (as yet untitled!) action thriller for Headline Publishing, and am spending all my time working on the first draft. It will be out in February 2014, so watch this space for further details!

I got a very exciting email the other day though, from the German publisher of ORIGIN, Bastei Luebbe. It was the final cover artwork for the German edition, which will be known as ALPHA. Here it is, what do you think?

 

 
I love it, as it evokes many of the elements of the novel, including both the Nazca Lines in Peru, and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
 
 
Bastei Luebbe are one of the best publishing houses in Germany (they are also publishing Dan Brown's INFERNO in May), and I can't wait to see how it does there! It will be out in December this year - just in time for Christmas!
 
 
It also makes me very excited about seeing all the other covers for foreign editions - coming up over the next eighteen months or so, there will be Japan, China, France, Russia, Brazil, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. I can't wait to see all the different versions!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Advice for Aspiring Authors!

Well, it's been nearly a year since my book was sold to Headline Publishing, and what a year it has been!

I've learnt more about the industry and how it all works. I've learnt a lot, and I thought that I should share it! So here goes . . .

Before I even sent the manuscript to an agent I read a lot of books about the publishing industry, which were very useful indeed.

One of the first things I discovered was how difficult it is to get an agent in the first place - they take on about one tenth of one percent of the manuscripts they receive each year. To increase your odds, you must spend a lot of time reserching who is going to be the right one to approach. All too often, people send manuscripts to agents who deal with different subjects than their books, and the slew of rejections that follow can often put them off from submitting again.

So the second thing is therefore do not get put off! Everyone likes different things, and that's what makes us special.

Another thing is, of course, deciding what you want to write; but you also have to be flexible about this. Agents and editors know what sells, and like 'safe' projects, i.e. guaranteed sales. If you are unwilling to edit your book according to professional advice, don't be surprised if nobody wants to work with you!

Let's move on to the sales process. You've got an agent, and a project ready for submission - now it's out of your hands! Your agent will try to sell it really hard and get the best possible price, because agents work on commission, and it is therefore in their interests to get the highest price. The result of the price it is sold for is as follows - generally, the bigger advance you get, the more effort the publishing house will put into promoting the product. This is simple economics really, as the publishing house will need to recoup their initial investment.

There are only handful of books which become a phenomenon through word of mouth only.  Generally, a book becomes a major bestseller because:
- It's picked by a famous book club or TV show (in the UK, the Richard and Judy Book Club, for example)
- It wins a major literary prize
- It has enough money behind it for marketing and promotion
- The right person happens to read it and champion it (in other words, luck!)

So, you've managed to sell your book for a decent advance. You're thrilled. There is all the build-up before publication. Your book cover is great. You get your proofs in the post. The day comes and...

The facts:
Being published with a major publishing house doesn't guarantee being on the bookshelves in the bookshops! The publishing house's sales team has to sell it in to individiual places. This still doesn't guarantee that it will appear on the actual bookshelves though - copies might remain at central distribution hubs only, or (as in some reported instances from supermarkets), the books might not actually be taken out of their boxes and put it on the shelves even if they have been widely distributed.

So how do books get sold? The publishing house has to buy shelf space! As well as space in the charts. If they don't, your book can still be found on Amazon, but who will even know it exists?!

Let's talk marketing. Your book will be submitted for review to different bloggers, newspapers, magazines and so on. But in general, unless you're one of the 'lucky' ones with big cash behind you, then your expectations should be suitably modest - most of the marketing for the book will have to be done by you.

Big day - PUBLICATION of your debut has arrived! And then it has passed, as most of people don't even get a launch party (unless you organise it yourself)!

Your book is in the shops! But you have to hope that people buy it quickly, because in only three to four months, the stock will change and unless you have achieved very high sales by this time, your book will be taken out of the shops and become a 'back list' title.

So you want to check how your book is doing - be prepared to pursue this yourself, as publishing houses are not know for their timely communications! If you what to know anything, you have to ask - they do not typically supply it of their own accord.

I'm not telling you these things to moan or complain - rather, the more you know about the process, the better equipped you will be to deal with things when they happen. For instance, I had always assumed that novels published with the big houses would automatically be in every book shop in the country, and would stay there indefinitely. It was a big (and unpleasant!) surprise to find out that this is not how it works, but shows my ignorance of the industry rather than anything else! Forewarned is forearmed, and I hope you find the information useful.

Despite my lack of knowledge of how the business end of the industry works, I have to say that all the people I've met (agents, editors, booksellers, readers) are genuinely lovely, and I would definitely never want to do anything else than be a writer!

Good luck to aspiring authors - and remember to buy new authors' books! It might be you next time trying to get noticed.

May the odds be ever in your favour! :)

Friday, 18 January 2013

STOP AT NOTHING Kindle Exclusive - FREE!!!

My Kindle Exclusive action thriller STOP AT NOTHING will be available from midnight tonight (Saturday 19th January) absolutely FREE for 24 hours!

This full-length novel is all-out action, and is guaranteed to leave you breathless!

To whet your appetite, here's a review posted on Amazon:

When I heard that JT Brannan had another book out so soon after Origin I knew I needed to read it, my TBR pile is somewhat short of thrillers right now.

Where Origin is OTT action adventure thrills, and encompasses every conspiracy and myth going. Stop at Nothing is more of a world stage political conspiracy.

Mark Cole is Bond's US cousin mixed with the balls out action and killing edge of Jason Bourne. The books plot highlights the state of the world, terrorism, international anti terror agencies working in tandem and just how they could be abused. The whole idea, scary and the plot frenetic as hell.

Characters a little OTT but that's the bond / Bourne thing. His wife a great counter point to the story. I particularly loved the many escapes from safe houses and malls etc.

I enjoyed this book immensely and needed a great fast paced thriller like this... bring on the next one.
5 Stars

Why not try it out?

Follow the link below, and remember - it's FREE for tomorrow only!!!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stop-At-Nothing-ebook/dp/B00A3Q5K3I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358546329&sr=8-1

p.s I'm not sure if it will be free in the US, but just in case, here is the US link:

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-At-Nothing-ebook/dp/B00A3Q5K3I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358546705&sr=8-3&keywords=stop+at+nothing

I hope you enjoy it!!!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Second Book!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! And thank you for the huge amout of messages sent to my website and via social media about how much everyone is enjoying Origin - it really makes me happy when people enjoy my work, it makes me think I'm in the right business!

I've spent the last three weeks with my wife's family in Poland for the festive season, which was fantastic - tried ice skating and skiing for the first time, and I'm still alive to tell the tale!

But I didn't avoid work entirely - as I mentioned in my last post, Headline Publishing bought the rights to my next novel last month, and so I have been completing the 'planning phase'.

At the moment, the novel is unwritten - it was a three-page synopsis that was sold, and I will describe some of that nerve-wracking process here!

Some time ago, my editor Alexander Hope and I sat down and started to discuss what would be next after Origin. I explained that my personal preference - although I have ideas for two direct follow-up stories to Origin that would create an interesting trilogy - was to write something completely new for my second novel.

I know that a large number of readers like series of novels, where writers always use the same characters, but this is not something I've ever had a personal interest in. I guess I get bored easily, and want to keep trying different things!

Luckily for me, my editor listened to my request and said he would consider reading proposals about other, unconnected stories. I immediately set about jotting down several ideas I'd got brewing, and sent them off to Alexander, as well as my agent, Luigi Bonomi.

It turned out that although Headline were happy to have a different story, from a business perspective they wanted it to be on the same sort of lines as Origin - an action conspiracy thriller which crosses genres and has an unsual twist.

I had to go back to the drawing board with a couple of the ideas, before getting it cracked (or so I thought!). My editor liked it, and started to discuss it with other people at Headline (sales and marketing, international rights, other editors, etc). The feedback was that the story was great, but still didn't quite have that little extra twist that Origin had. There was nothing specific required as such - just something a little more.

After struggling for some time, my mind too full of ideas to seperate one from another, my wife and I decided to repeat the scientific method that had led to the background story of Origin - relax the mind with a liberal dose of wine and then discuss things until the early hours of the morning!

I'm not saying that drinking is always the answer, but in this case it certainly worked! All of a sudden, I saw the story from an entirely new angle, and I worked the new ideas in immediately.

Alexander and Luigi both loved the new version, and it was taken to the next stage at Headline - the acquisitions meeting. After this it was several days of frayed nerves as I waited for the answer, and then it was joy (and relief!) when I got the email from Luigi saying that Headline had agreed to buy it.

I have therefore spent the past four weeks on research, and have now planned the novel in depth - sequence by sequence, and scene by scene. Now I just need to write it! Publication is slated for October this year, which gives me roughly two to three months for the first draft to be completed.

So I'd better get cracking!