Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Amazon rankings

The Amazon rank for the paperback, and the ebook have fluctuated quite a bit, but I think yesterday was its highest yet. Fire Season has fallen back down the rankings now but this, last night, made my day:

Amazon Rankings - Top 100 lists.

That's two positions on Amazon Top 100 lists: #72 in Men's Adventure and #97 in Lad's Lit.

And now I should go back to my current work-in-progress. I have too many things intruding on my time right now, and trying to get time to write is tricky. It doesn't help when the planned 1,500 word short story is now 4,000 and still going.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Fire Season on Kindle - 99p

For Easter, and to celebrate the launch of the Kindle Edition, Fire Season on Kindle is now 99p, down from £2.97. For readers overseas it is also available from and at a similar discount.

Following the interest in the book after the Sample Sunday extract, I'm using this post to answer a few questions.

For people looking for the discount rates the book is available from:
And as far as I am aware, the offer will be on until end of May.

If you want a sample of the book, the Sample Sunday post is an extract. Alternative the free e-book Arrival can give you a longer sample of my writing style.

Here's the publisher's press release:

--Press release --

For Easter, Fire Season by VH Folland is now 99p on Kindle. (For US and German readers, it has been similarly reduced on and

"Thought provoking, emotional and compassionate, this is a book I could read again. A recommended read." Clover Hill Book Reviews

The story of a remote airstrip in Fire Season, the novel has been well received. Following the busy paperback launch at ExCel, the Kindle edition is now following suit with this promotion which marks Ragged Angel Ltd's first venture into e-books outside their Principia Malefex game line.

"It was a wonderful book about a community in action, a great vacation book." EK Family Reviews

For the duration of the offer, the reduced rate is available in the UK from, or from the or for international readers.

"...hidden twists and turns paving Folland's well-laid path of adventure all the way to a thrilling conclusion." J. McAlpine CR5 Magazine

--end pr--

I think that covers the main points raised in my inbox. If not, then please let me know.

If it always gets this much interest, I might do sample sunday again, hopefully with a sample of my current WIP which I am aiming to finish by next weekend.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


SampleSunday is a twitter hashtag. You post an extract of your novel on blog or website, and then tweet a link with the #Samplesunday tag.

I haven't tried Sample Sunday before, but I thought I'd give it a go. It turns out that the hardest thing about it is trying to format the extract for this blog! Anyway, here's one of the opening incidents from Fire Season, right before it all kicks off. There's more on the author interview at Indie ebooks.

The Sample

“What happened?” Jim asked, worried. He put a hand on his brother’s shoulder, and Jake straightened, shaking him off.

“Stupid blasted kids. Mind if I grab a chair?” Without waiting for an answer he walked across, a little more slowly than usual, and took the seat that Matt gestured to. Pouring himself a mug of strong black coffee he downed most of it and paused, obviously collecting his thoughts. The others did not press him, and once he had recovered slightly he began.

“Nick’s refugees. The kids got bored and decided to amuse themselves.” He took a breath, obviously struggling to keep his tone level. “Starting fires with a magnifying glass on that field out the back. Don’t worry, Nick caught them early and between his hose and my tender we’ve put everything out and soaked the field down.”

“No.” Rose shook her head in disbelief. In this climate the sheer stupidity of the action was hard to believe.

“Yep. They were lighting bits of paper to watch them burn. Of course when the wind took them they didn’t bother to chase them down. I’ve just spent the last two hours walking round Nick’s field making sure the fire they started is out, and nothing’s quietly smoldering. Even with Nick’s help that’s a big job.”

“I’ve some whisky in the house,” Matt volunteered, but Jake shook his head.

“I’d rather keep my head clear until they’re gone. Just in case they do it again.”

“Nick must be livid,” Jill remarked, looking across the valley to the field.

“Absolutely furious. They’ve been politely invited to get their stuff and leave, refugees or no.”

“I’m surprised he’s not pressing charges.” Rose shook her head again, still stunned that anyone would light a fire in the middle of a fire ban.

“If he doesn’t, and they don’t leave, I will. One way or another I want them out. You’ve got me to mind the whole valley on my own, and those kids just became a fire risk.” Jake had calmed down slightly. “Their parents were appalled, so they were relieved when I gave them the option to get out instead of pressing charges. They’ll be gone as soon as they’re packed.”

As Jake finished Jill pushed a plate of sandwiches at him and he grabbed one. It was gone in two bites.

“Help yourself to the rest. I‘m afraid you missed dinner.”

Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter Holiday Offer - Fire Season 99p on Kindle

A short announcement, because this is some good news I was not expecting.

For the Easter holidays, Ragged Angel have discounted Fire Season to 99p (and a similar discount for readers on .com and .de). Apparently this was arranged yesterday but has spent today working through the Amazon's systems, hence the announcement on the bank holiday.

While the offer is on, you can get the discounted price from Amazon here:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

An Author Interview

My first author interview is up, conducted by the new Indie e-books blog. I'd like to say thanks to them for the opportunity, and I wish them all the best with their new blog (which has certainly introduced me to a few e-books I hadn't known were out there!)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Back from launch, and very tired

I'm back from the book launch and very tired. I'll post a better update once I clear my head. We ran out of the Arrival pamphlet and Fire Season cards. A number of copies went, but none signed, which I am told is unusual. Unfortunately I did back away from the chance of a video interview, which would have been good publicity, but by that point my voice had gone and I felt like a zombie so how it turned out would have been random chance.

It was also a chance to talk to the Vulcan to the Sky team members present, about restoring the Vulcan and this year's display schedule. Mentioning XH558, the charity offer from the publisher is still on. Buy the book from either of the links below and the profit goes to Vulcan to the Sky.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


Fire Season (Kindle Edition - XH558 offer)

Meanwhile once I have recovered, I need to get back to writing. I think today might be one for quiet reflection - and catching up on sleep.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Coming up to launch

With less than two days to go until the launch, a few things have happened I wanted to mention.

First, now has the paperback in stock. Only two copies, but there are apparently more on the way so hopefully that distribution issue has been sorted. Even if not, the book is now up on Kindle so it can be purchased as an ebook and Amazon have successfully linked the books.

I've just received copies of some of my items for the launch, including giveaway pens, and small booklets containing Arrival. I'm a little surprised about the latter as I'd never intended Arrival to go into print in that form.

There's also a charity offer on for the launch, where if you buy the Kindle or paperback version through a dedicated link all profits go to XH558, to find her display season. (See for details)

On the writing front, I've half finished a new short story, which has given me two problems to deal with: an unlikeable protagonist and one that's not that bright. Presented in the right way it is intriguing, but done in the wrong way a reader will just put the story down so it's requiring a bit of careful handling. I just hope the muse doesn't strike while I'm on the stand, or I'll be frantically scribbling notes instead of talking about the book!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Publishing v. Self publishing v Small press part II.

I am honestly too nervous about the book launch on Saturday to come up with anything interesting to say, so I'm going to push on with a terms clarification about the different types of publishing.

Publishing: These are the huge publishing houses like Hodder and Stoughton, who do offset printruns in the thousands, and probably release as many promo copies as a small press expects to sell in total. This is what most peple think of when they mention "Published". Some people also refer to this as "traditional publishing".

Self publishing: You personally own the ISBN, or have set up a company purely to publish your own works. Nowadays this usually involves lulu or createspace, to make the books available through POD, or using Smashwords or Amazon to publish as e-books. Unfortunately with no quality checks, while most authors deliver very good work, it also possible to take an unedited unformatted word file and release it in exactly the same way. For readers it can be difficult to tell the quality of the book, which is why reviews are important and why self-publishing has a questionable reputation.

Small press: May use a small offset run or POD (sometimes the same providers as the self-publishers) but have staff who can do cover designs, editing, typesetting etc, like the larger ones. Many university presses fall into this category. There are also an increasing number of e-book only small presses. Often these will focus on one area or special interest such as poetry. They don't pay as much as the larger houses, but as they can choose their manuscripts they do offer readers an assurance of quality which is missing from debut self-published works. Small Presses are often called "Indie presses", although that term has been co-opted by people who fall into the group above.

Vanity Press These are companies that allow an author to pay for their book to be published. Don't confuse these with printers, as they normally sell publishing packages. Some are reputable, some less so. Some provide good service, others don't. Recent spins on this are "subsidy publishing" where the author contributes to the cost, or "reverse vanity" where they buy your book, but then charge for formatting, layout etc. or commit the author to buying copies. As with any service, if you intend to go this route, you need to research it carefully, and authors who use it are rarely considered "published" by the trade.

For self-published books and vanity published books, there is rarely a quality check: if an author has the money they can publish. This unfortunately means that some very bad books get published as well as some very good ones and results in readers being somewhat wary. Also, because the manuscript did not go through the peer-review of small press or mainstream publishers, authors going this route have much higher odds to overcome before they are considered published - often when a mainstream house offers them a deal.

Regarding Fire Season, Ragged Angel Ltd publishes several other authors, and has commissioned work for hire before. The Principia Malefex RPG line is already in print from them, and has been available since 1996. Fire Season was launched largely through those channels in the same way an RPG would be. By mainstream print standards it is a very small press. It is also the first Kindle title for this publisher, and the first mainstream fiction title.

The fact that Ragged Angel are a games publisher first however, brings me back to Salute and the fact Fire Season is getting launched at a very large games convention in less than a week. A fact I am trying not to think about.

If you will excuse me, I'm off to the pub to drown my nerves!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Japanese Earthquake

This is a complete break from the normal focus of the blog. This morning, on Twitter, this comment made my day:
"from DirectRelief: @VHFolland @CloviasLawn - thanks for all your help raising awareness and funds for the need in Japan."
Then just now the BBC reported another earthquake, 7.1 on the Richter scale.

This request won't be particularly well written, but sometimes even writers run out of words.

Pennies for JapanWrite for Japan Anthology

Please help if you can. The Pennies For Japan campaign is ongoing, selling a collector's set of elongated pennies, or individual ones as necklaces. There is also the Write for Japan anthology, a set of short stories available as an e-book or print book. Both of these raise funds directly for the Red Cross.

If you can't donate, please visit one of the lenses below and click on a link or an ad. It all raises funds for who are supplying relief efforts on the ground:

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

New Review

A new review of the book has just gone up, and it's also appeared on for the Kindle edition A review within a day of it going live was unexpected.

The review, from E & K Family Books, is also available on their blog (here).

"The characters are rich and their interactions natural and unforced. I loved the multi layered personalities each character brought forward."

E & K Family Book Review

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Fire Season on Kindle Part Two

While I'm not overly obsessive, for an author whose book just came out in another format worldwide, I did just want to put the official press release in below.

While nice to read, and flattering it has also reminded me that the launch event is in less than two weeks. If you will excuse me, I'm off to the pub to soothe my nerves. What happened to the days when all authors had to do was write?

--- Press Release ---

Due to the success of the short story prequel Arrival, downloaded over eight thousand times, the e-book release of Fire Season was moved up to 2nd April 2011. Fire Season is now available for download internationally, from both and, and priced in the UK at £2.97.

A gripping flight adventure, Fire Season is the debut novel by British author VH Folland, which is due for national release on 16th April. Given a limited release before Christmas, the paperback edition of the book has already been receiving good reviews:

"...hidden twists and turns paving Folland's well-laid path of adventure all the way to a thrilling conclusion."
James McAlpine, CR5 Magazine.

"Thought provoking, emotional and compassionate, this is a book I could read again. A recommended read."
Clover Hill Book Reviews

Copies of the e-book will be available at the paperback's national launch event on 16th April at Salute 2011, held in Excel, London, UK.

For more information, see:
---End Press Release---