Peter Jones. Novelist.

Things have moved on somewhat since I wrote this post.
Find out how, here

Regular followers of my this blog might remember that I’ve made several attempts at claiming the novel I’ve been fiddling about with for  – gulp! – ten years was ‘finished’, or ‘almost finished’.

Here I am in 2011 for instance. And here. And, oh dear, here too. But the truth is I knew I could never claim it was actually finished until it was out there, in print, so back at the start of this year I set myself the following goal:

My novel
(The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl)
is AVAILABLE in two formats.
Easter 2014

Well I’m sure you know what happened next.

Easter came and went and the novel was nowhere to be seen.

People asked me where was it, and I told them that

  • it was with my agent, or
  • another publisher was taking a look at it

And whilst all those things were true, it wasn’t quite the whole truth, because I actually could have made the Easter deadline. If I’d put my mind to it. If I’d really wanted to. But I didn’t.

Why?

Because I was scared.

This novel has been a long time in the making. It was a journey that Kate set me off on just after we’d met. She believed in me. She believed in the story. She thought the book would do really really well. Basically there’s an entire decade of hopes and dreams wrapped up in those words.

But if I publish it…

  • maybe no one will buy it?
  • maybe people will buy it but maybe they won’t like it!
  • maybe they will like it, but not that much.
  • maybe this will be the first and last novel I ever write!!
  • maybe this will be the last book I ever write.
  • maybe this will herald the end of my writing career.

People often think that I left credit card banking because my first book, How To Do Everything And Be Happy, took off. That wasn’t the reason at all.  I left a well paid career behind because I realised, yet again, that life’s too short to be doing things that don’t make you happy!

I had a half finished novel on my desk, a half finished self help book, some money in the bank, and dreams of what life could be like – if I put some effort in – I took it all and made the most crazy decision of my life. In short I took a leap of faith.

I only realised recently that I was still mid-leap. I was still terrified to see it through.

But not any more!

I’m delighted to announce that The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl is FINALLY here. In two formats. And if you happen to be reading this before the 19th of September 2014 then it’s currently less than a quid for your kindle enabled tablet or smart phone! That’s got to be worth a punt, surely. Click here to visit your favourite online bookseller.

What’s it about?

It’s basically a romantic comedy – similar I suppose to Bridget Jones’s Diary or High Fidelity. If you’re a fan of Nick Hornby, or Mike Gayle, you might like this. Here’s the blurb:

Boxing Day, 1997: Jason Smith, 29, and self-confessed ‘good guy’, is single again. And now that he is, it seems all the single girls – the “Melanie Jacksons” of this world – are in short supply. Or are they? Has Jason stumbled on a foolproof way to find the girl of his dreams?

Both aided and hindered by his beer-drinking best buddy and reluctant father-to-be Alex, and his ever-wise, ever-sarcastic colleague Sian, “The Good Guy’s Guide to Getting The Girl” follows Jason on a voyage of self-discovery as he experiences the highs and lows of trying to meet one’s soul mate at the turn of the millennium.

And if all that hasn’t convinced you to run along to your nearest (online) book store, then you can find out more here.

I’m still terrified of course. I have no idea what people are going to make of it. I have no idea whether I’ve lived up to the high expectations Kate had of me. And I have absolutely no idea whether this will herald the start of my career as a novelist, or the end of my career as an author. But at least now – I’ll get to find out!

If you’ve been through a similar experience or have any words of wisdom to share with me, feel free to post a comment below.

Book Signing 10th Feb! Help me celebrate the re-launch of 'How To Do Everything And Be Happy'

smiley-hatSo, the new paperback version of How To Do Everything And Be Happy has been out for a good couple of weeks now and if you missed the flurry of activity on facebook, twitter, various radio stations up and down the country and, oddly, Spain – where have you been!??!

Needless to say, I’m pleased as punch, and for the first time in my short writing career I suddenly feel the need to celebrate with all those people who helped me get to this point. In other words, YOU. How does the afternoon of Sunday the 10th of February sound? From 1pm. Here in sunny Southend on Sea, at Waterstones Bookshop. Put that in your diary.

There’s no need to feel compelled to buy a new copy of the book if you’re an existing reader – I’ll sign whatever copy you have – but most of all I’d like to shake you firmly by the hand and thank you for your support.

As well as handshakes I can say with reasonable certainty that there’ll be FREE pens, badges, lollies, and glasses of fizz! Possibly with alcohol in them! And if none of that’s enough to entice you then there’s always the official How To Do Everything and Be Happy Balloon Hat! With his big smiley face and out-stretched arms, your smiley-balloon-hat will either communicate love for your fellow man, or stand in for you should you be feeling a little light in the love-giving department. And when you’re finished with him, just pop with a pin and pretend like it never happened. Definitely recommended for kids of all ages.

bookshopObviously feel free to just ‘rock up’ if you find yourself walking past the store that Sunday afternoon – though it would be mildly useful to get a feel for the number of people likely to show. You know, just so that I have enough bottles of fizz. Use the comments below or click here to let me know on facebook. Oh, and bring your friends.

Waterstones Southend is opposite Marks & Spencers at 49-51 High Street, SS1 1HZ. Map below.


Happy Club – this Thursday!

ny2013

Happy New Year!

So how’s it going so far? Is it all lovely and exciting? Or is it pretty much like last year? Perhaps even a little bit dull? Would you say that, aside from joining hands with friends and family on the stroke of midnight and mumbling the words to a song you only sing once a year, it’s actually quite difficult to know where 2012 came to an end, and 2013 began?

I know how you feel.

Which is why, in a few days time, I will be hosting the first of this years Happy Clubs, here in Southend-on-Sea.

Happy Club – starts Thursday 24th January 2013

If you’re a long time visitor to this blog you’ll know that this year I’ve run numerous How To Do Everything And Be Happy workshops in various parts of Essex.

I think it’s safe to say that the workshops went down a storm, and I’m delighted to announce that using the invaluable feedback I received, Southend’s Therapy Life Centre and I will be running a series of monthly Happiness workshops – starting next Thursday, on the 24th January – to coincide with the recent re-launch of the paperback.

What’s covered?

Each month we’ll spend the first hour looking at a different idea from the book How To Do Everything and Be Happy and how to implement it into your life, whether that be Boxing Day, Wish List, Now Lists, Focus, Trophy Boards, or Diaries. Then after a short tea-break (biscuits provided – probably, if I remember) we’re back, looking at your Goals, how far you’ve got with them and how you can take the next step towards achieving them.

This Thursday we’ll be concentrating on how to eliminate unhappiness, and working out exactly what we want for the coming months. It’ll be fun! I can definitely promise you that. But I have a feeling it’s also going to be the start of something special.

Is it a workshop? Or a course? It’s a “club”.

Technically it’s a series of six stand-alone, related, repeating, workshops (when we get to workshop number six we’ll start afresh the following month). You can come along to just one, a series of six, or every month, it’s totally your choice.

The evening will have more of a club-feel to it making the whole experience less “rushed”, more intensive, and introducing a strong focus on helping you achieve your goals as the months roll by.

It’s a fun way to get motivated and fired up about making changes in your life, whilst being practical, realistic and keeping your feet firmly on the floor.

How much does it cost?

The cost is just £60 for six sessions (if you pay in advance – see below), or £12 per session if you pay on the night.

Where and when?

The club starts on January 24th 2013
Subsequent clubs are on the last Thursday of each month and last two hours (including a ten minute break around half time).
We start promptly at 8pm (so maybe get there about 7:45? Put that in your diary).

We meet at The Therapy Life Centre, in Southend On Sea, Essex. (the old driving test centre) – there is reasonable parking.
The address is 11 Prittlewell Chase, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 0RX
The nearest station is Prittlewell (just fifteen minutes walk away) which is on the Liverpool Street – Southend Victoria line.

Map

View Larger Map

Sign Up and Pay!

The cost is just £60 for six sessions (if you pay in advance), or £12 per session if you pay on the night.

There are three ways to pay in advance

  1. In person at the Therapy Life Centre. Click here for opening hours. 
  2. Over the phone with a credit or debit card. Call 01702 433959. Click here for opening hours. 
  3. Pay here via credit / debit card and/or paypal!

Refunds & General Terms

  • Workshop credits can be carried forward – you do not have to attend six concurrent workshops
  • If you wish to transfer your credits to another person please let us know first
  • Payments via the internet will appear as “soundhaven” on your statement
  • Refunds will not be issued at a workshop and must be requested in the manner the original payment was made (ie. in person, over the phone, or via this website)
  • We reserve the right to charge a £2 admin fee to cover the cost of processing refunds
  • In the event that you cannot make six workshops we reserve the right to retain £12 per workshop you’ve attended, and refund the balance
  • We require five working days notice (via the contact form on this website) process a paypal refund

Any questions?

Drop me a line via the contact page if you have any questions. Operators are standing by.


Visit the Therapy Life Centre’s website
More about the Therapy Life Centre

ePublishing Course – Bournemouth 1st December

Essex Chronicle

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog then you’ll know that I originally self-published How To Do Everything and Be Happy, as an ebook, and then a paperback, and that the sales went so well that the second edition was snapped up by audible.com (the audio book people) and re-published by Harper Collins (new paperback version available to pre-order now on amazon or download as an e-bookblah blah blah) .

A spin off of all this self-publishing malarkey was being asked if I’d like to run a two part mini-course on “e-publishing” as part of the Swanwick Summer Writer’s School. I did, and it was a blast! So much so that I’m doing it again, in Bournemouth, on the 1st of December! I humbly present to you…

ePublishing – (self) Publishing & Publicity in the digital age

Course Content

Whether you want to publish a print book, an e-book, or even an audio book, this one day course will ensure that your first steps in the world of e-publishing are in the right direction.

In the morning we’ll be covering the different options available to the modern e-publisher, how to get started, and pitfalls to avoid. In the afternoon we cover the real work of e-publishing – publicity – with a whistle stop tour of websites, blogging, facebook, twitter, reviews, competitions, give-aways, and pricing.

Is the Course for you?

This course is aimed at those who think they might want to self-publish a work of fiction or non-fiction that is mainly, or completely, text. It may also be of interest to established self-published authors who are struggling with book-marketing, or who aren’t seeing the book sales they would like.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the day you’ll know everything you need to know about ePublishing, the skills required, the costs involved, whether it’s for you, and how to get started.

You’ll also have a step-by-step marketing plan tailored to your own personal skills, abilities and time constraints.

Time and Cost

Saturday 1st December 2012

10.00 am (prompt)
to 4.00 pm (not-so-prompt)

A mere £35.00. Payable in advance (no payment on the day please).
Places are limited so please book early. Hey, why not do it now!

Book your online, via credit card or paypal. Just click here

Venue

PelhamsPark, Millhams Road, Kinson,Bournemouth, BH10 7LH

Queries?

Drop me a line via the Stay In Touch page.

How To Do Everything and Be Happy – The Second Edition – is finally here!

Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.
To read something a tad more current, click here 

TEN THOUSAND sales after its initial release,  the long awaited Second edition of How To Do Everything and Be Happy is now available in ebook and audio format

New Stuff

The new edition has a numerous updates throughout, including some great reader feedback, and the following new sections:

  • Potential Boxing Day Problems‘ (revised and updated)
  • Advanced Boxing Day
  • Potential Now List Day Problems
  • Determining Your Next Action
  • Advanced Diary Tips

But, for me, the most exciting part of this re-launch is the fact that it’ll be available in an entirely new format!

Now Available in Audio!

From TODAY you can also download the second edition of the book from audible (.co.uk | .com), an amazon company and the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word audio entertainment, and listen to the book “read by the author” (in other words, me)!

Happy reading 🙂

Peter

Ten thousand sales later…

Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.
To read something a tad more current, click here 

Fifteen months and 10,000 sales after its initial release,  the second edition of How To Do Everything and Be Happy will be officially available (in two formats) from this Friday (8th of June, 2012 ). To say I’m pleased, is something of an understatement…

Who’d have thunk it. It’s probably a little under two years since I first penned the opening chapter to what became How To Do Everything and Be Happy. And now, all these months later, a revised an updated version of the book, featuring new sections and reader feedback, will be coming out on Friday.

For me, the most exciting part of this re-launch is the fact that it’ll be available in an entirely new format – audio!

Click here to search audible and see if the book's available!

The audio version is part of a three-book deal that I signed with audible – the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word audio entertainment – back in February. This was a very exciting moment for me, not least because I myself have been a long time member of audible and many of the books that I’ve “read” over the years have actually been read to me whilst I’ve driven to and from various places of work. Some authors don’t feel fully-published unless they can pull their book from a shelf and riffle through the pages. Bizarre though it may sound I feel the pretty much the same about what my mother describes as “talking books”. Having my book available in all three formats feels like a significant achievement.

So, from this Friday you’ll be able to download the second edition of How To Do Everything and Be Happy from audible (.co.uk | .com),  and hear the book “read by the author” (in other words, me)!

Before you do that however…

Any Questions?

If you have any comments, questions, glowing endorsements, please feel free to drop me a line via the contact page or the comments box below.

In the meantime, Happy Reading – here’s to the next ten thousand sales 🙂

Peter

Essex Book Festival (Come and meet me at Debden Library,13th March 2012, 7pm)

ebf-front-cover

Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.

To read something a tad more current, click here 

It’s that time of year again – the run up to the annual Essex Book Festival; a month and a bit chock full of book related events featuring authors from all over the country at numerous venues in and around the county.

I’ve been to a number of events over the years, last year I went to see Sara Paretsky, and David Baddiel – both excellent – but this year will be especially interesting because at one event,n Tuesday the 13th March, I won’t be amongst the audience – I’ll be the one at the front!

Yes, you heard it here first, I’m one of the authors in this years festival talking about How To Do Everything and Be Happy. What better way to celebrate over 5,000 sales?

I’ll be honest with you, this feels a little weird. I’m still shocked when someone emails me to tell me they’ve read the book, or when I discover another review on amazon. A part of me is utterly convinced that the only people at Debden Libray on the 13th of March will be me, the head librarian, and some poor soul who’s been coerced into doing the refreshments. This being the case I’d like to extend a warm and very genuine (some might say slightly desperate) invitation to come along – it really would be absolutely lovely to see you. And your friend. If you can’t do it for me, do it for the tea lady.

The way these things normally work is the author chats for a bit, then answers questions. This being the case let me just say that I’d be happy to answer anything – whether that be about the ideas in the book, writing & publishing, or my love of flapjacks. If you’ve read the book bring it along and I’ll scribble in the front for you. If you haven’t read the book, come anyway, there’ll be copies to buy on the night and did I mention there would be refreshments?

Title: Peter Jones talks about his book How to do Everything and Be Happy
Part of:
Essex Book Festival
When: 7pm, Tues 13th March 2012
Venue: Debden Library, c/o Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA
(click here for a map)
Tickets: £4, or £3 for concessions (under 18s, full-time students, registered unemployed and older people in receipt of state benefits)

HOW TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS

Bookings can be made through the Mercury Theatre Box Office on 01206 573948 which is open Monday to Saturday 10am -8pm.

There are no booking charges made by the Mercury although there will be a charge for postage of £1 unless tickets are collected from the Mercury Theatre.

Please advise the Box Office if you have any access requirements when making a booking. Visitors with a disability are offered a free ticket for a companion. If you require a BLS interpreter, please advise the Box Office.
Refunds – The Festival cannot refund money or exchange tickets except if an event is cancelled, in which case return your tickets to the Box Office within 30 days for a full refund.

If you have a query about access or a general enquiry about the event please email hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk or ring 01245 347456.


Fancy more of the same?

secondedition

Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.

To read something a tad more current, click here 

So how ya been? Sorry I haven’t been around but life’s been… interesting.

For starters, if you follow me on twitter or you’ve ‘liked’ the facebook page you’ll know that I’m in the process of striking a three book deal. And that’s about as much as I’m prepared to say on the subject right now because – being the superstitious sod that I am – I’m terrified that if I say much more it’ll jinx everything. That probably sounds very paranoid, and maybe it is, but consider this – just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you! Hmmmm. Not feeling so smug now are we.

SO ANYWAY… what I will tell you is that one of the titles in the deal is my current book How To Do Everything and Be Happy. Yes, almost a year after it was first released in ebook form, the book that I wrote on a whim is going to be republished. And not just republished, but updated and revised! Since Christmas much of my time has been spent working on a second edition.

I’ve never written a second edition before. Heck, I’m still getting my head around the fact that I wrote the first edition (which, can I just point out, recently celebrated it’s 6,000th sale), I certainly never expected to be updating the thing less than a year after it first came out.

The plan is to release the revised version in ebook form as soon as I can, and follow it up with a print version in June-ish. The dates are a little flexible right now because of other secret reasons which I am bursting to tell you about.. but can’t (see second paragraph). There are also a couple of other ideas I’m toying with – for instance I’d like to be able to give a free electronic copy of the revised version to anyone who shelled out on the first edition (be that electronic or paper), and anyone who’s supported me in any way (my way of saying thank you to all those people who left nice reviews, posted a comment somewhere, came to a workshop or talk, or just told someone about it – the list goes on and on). Quite how I’m going to do that I’ve yet to work out but it might be a good idea to stay subscribed to either this blog (use the box in the top right hand corner), the book’s blog, the facebook page, my facebook profle, or follow me on twitter, to ensure you don’t miss out.

The second edition will contain plenty of new material – some of which has been suggested by readers. If you like to make a suggestion feel free to drop me a line, but there’ll be more about that in a day or two over at the How To Do Everything and be Happy website – but in the meantime here’s to an ‘interesting’ life.