Still on hiatus. Throwing out dozens of weaker ideas so that only the best imaginary books are delivered to your eyes.

A merry Christmas to all our readers!

New ‘books’ coming soon…

terriblerealestateagentphotos asked: What an irritatingly brilliant idea for a blog. Give it up so I can do it instead.

What a terribly kind thing to say. Thank you.

57: Steve Guttenberg’s Bible

It has come to my attention that the best-selling book of all time was written, for the most part, during the Bronze Age. It strikes me as a major indictment of today’s literary world that no author, not even me, can get near The Bible in terms of units sold.

We don’t live in the Bronze Age any more. I challenge you to find anything in your house that’s made of bronze. We don’t even live in the Iron Age. Who irons anything in a world of near-ubiquitous sportswear?

We’re not even, really, in the Computer Age any more. The technology is disappearing into the fabric of things to the extent that it’s becoming invisible. We’re beyond mere materials. For future historians the most visible signature of our time will be that funny-looking lass off TOWIE.

We live in the Age Of Trivial Celebrity. Your book, or TV show, or diet, or prosthetic limb, doesn’t mean bupkus in the media unless you’ve got a celebrity endorsement attached.

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56: The Stable Boy Did It Because He Was Really Lord Ruthermore’s Daughter All Along

Never let it be said that I don’t respond to market trends. Remember how I told you that the books about Sex and Hitler were my biggest hits so far? Well now it’s time to face the less glamorous side of internet traffic analysis. My biggest failures.

The weakest performer of my 100 books so far is a murder mystery. And I think I know why. 

Back in the era of the Bakelite radio and the tweed trouser, murder mysteries were the absolute Tabasco. Punters couldn’t get enough of Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham  and the other lass whose name is hard to remember and even harder to spell.

But today, with text messages and emails and tweets and Facebook thingies assaulting our attention constantly, we no longer have the attention span for solving complicated crimes in country houses. We barely have time to deduce who it was that chewed the wife’s good handbag even when there’s only one realistic suspect.

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55: The 1000 Sex Tips You Wanted To Hear

If I’ve learned anything in my long writing career, and the best evidence that we currently have suggests that I haven’t, it’s that people really don’t like new ideas. What they want, more than anything else, is to be told that the ideas that they’ve had all along are exactly right.

That’s why there are newspapers for Conservatives, and newspapers for Socialists., and newspapers for people who are perennially surprised and pleased to learn that women have breasts.

The other notion that I seem to have grasped is that people can’t get enough of reading about sex. The sexier books in my catalogue so far (Numbers 1, 12 and 42 if you’re keeping score at home) have attracted more readers than all the others put together. Apart from the ones about Hitler, obviously.

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