A blog from Tonto Books, featuring musings from the publishing world and some occasional special guest appearances.

Friday, March 27, 2009


LAZY SUNDAY AFTERNOON is at Borders Team Valley this weekend - Sunday 29 March, 1pm. It is being held upstairs in Starbucks... a relaxed atmosphere where you can have yourself a cuppa and a muffin and be entertained by readings from Roz Wyllie, Nik Jones, Stephen Shieber and Sarah Shaw.

They will be reading from their recently-published debut works and will be answering any questions you have afterwards. There will also be a chance to buy their books and get them signed!
What could be better?

Borders. Team Valley. Sunday. 1pm.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I'm currently looking for editors to take on freelance work on a book-by-book basis. With some interesting non-fiction and a couple of fiction projects in the pipeline, I'm looking to assign editors who'd best be suited to each title.

Payment would be on an agreed fee prior to taking the work on. If you are interested in applying, please send me a CV and let me know of your experience and suitability to fiction or non-fiction.

And feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested.

Fan Q!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the vampires have wings, and are half-breed angels

Couldn't resist nicking that line as the title to this blog.

I've ranted about how not to approach publishers too many times. Or not near enough, I'd probably argue (that's one hell of a mood if I argue about ranting, isn't it?)

There was an ace feature in the Bookseller recently, read all about it here. Basically, a few lit agents in the US of A had been posting Twitter feeds with the worst openers to submissions. For example: "My book is about a friendship based upon mutual vomiting practices in high school".

And there's been a bit of author backlash about it being cruel. It doesn't name and shame though and it would be great if everyone took it all with a pinch of salt, had a little chuckle, remembered their own embarrassing submissions/query letters and moved on.

A publisher friend of mine always says that publishing would be great if he didn't have to deal with authors. Sometimes he's serious, but he'd not be in business without them - same as the agents in the story.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It's not easy being a dyslexic publisher. That's why I tried to get out of the 'writing game'. It always makes for some comedy moments though.

As I've struggled to and from sick bay recently, I've answered and sent a few emails here and there... nothing too stressful and nothing that can't be helped along by a bit of chicken soup and Lucozade.

Two words that always seem to get past me are 'consultant' and 'area'. I usually quadruple-check them, commission an editor and then spellcheck again before sending. Until t'other day:

A few email replies to distributor enquiries needed swift responses. Where is Ryton? It was in the north east - in the Newcastle area - if describing to Johnny Southerner. Not anymore. It's now in the north east arse. I also once posted an arse on a true crime forum I watch regularly. Oh, the shame. I couldn't go back for yonks.

I've also worked as a conslutant. My CV says so.

As posted the other day, 9987 e-books will be mailed out soon. Once I have the energy to switch on the other PC, they'll be sent. One step at a time, eh?

Remember - SPELLCHECK!

Monday, March 09, 2009


What is it? Where does it come from? Why is it worse for us than it is for women?

I dunno. I'm just getting over a bout of it. My tale of woe started on Wednesday night at my true crime talk at Borders. By the time I got home I was about to phone for th'ambulance. It was touch 'n' go. Probably the worst case of 'flu' ever recorded.

Anywho. A weekend of doing as little as possible always helps. This is my way of saying that 9987 PDF mailouts will be happening later in the week when I'm properly out of sick bay.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Another night, another launch. Nik Jones rocked Gateshead with a Borders Team Valley 9987 event on 3 March. Sheila Quigley hosted the event - a joint 'do' for Nik and Sandra Rowell.

It was great to meet everyone there and was a splendid night for networking. Tomorrow, I'm back at Borders to talk true crime in the shape of notorious underworld bosses, the Krays.

Also coming this week, I'll be posting up an interview with Caroline Smailes.

More news:

PDF e-book requests for 9987 will be sent out tomorrow.

Winner of the weekend giveaway was Ross in Liverpool. A copy of 'More Tonto Short Stories' is on its way to you. Ross wanted the book as he'd read the first one, had his story rejected for MTSS and hadn't bought it out of 'evil spite'. His grudge has passed now and he wants to make friends and develop more work for when Tonto runs another competition.

Thanks Ross... it's always better to have friends than enemies. Feel free to review the book on amazon.

Monday, March 02, 2009


9987 - the Nik Jones debut novel will be launched/relaunched tomorrow night. Borders Team Valley is the place to be all this week from 6.30pm... make sure you get along to one of the events, even if it's just to heckle us and drink all the wine.

Nik is also featured in the current edition of the Journal Culture mag on p38/39.

See you tomorrow!!

Sunday, March 01, 2009



9987 by Nik Jones is the winner!
The novel received the most votes and will be made available FOR FREE in pdf format throughout March. All you need to do is email me at Tonto with your request.

9987 will also be HALF PRICE THROUGHOUT MARCH! That's right - HALF PRICE!!

All you need to do is email me with your order and I will send you a paypal invoice for the amount.

Each copy of 9987 will be priced at £3.99 with 99p postage, total price: £4.98. Bargain!

Other news:

Today sees the official announcement that I'll be doing the Chicago Marathon in October this year. Yes, you read correctly and no, I'm not drunk.
In October, Tonto will be publishing the biography of Charlie Walduck, the UK's record-breaking slimmer and an inspiration to millions around the world. Charlie lost over 30 stones in weight thanks to Dr Chris Steele and 'This Morning' show.

In an article published in today's Sunday Sun, there is our call for sponsorship. Charlie and I will be running the marathon for charity, but in order to get there, we're looking for corporate sponsorship. In exchange for this, companies will be offered advertising space on us as we run, mentions in all interviews - TV and print media - newspaper follow-ups, a mention in the book and in the documentary being shot to mark our progress.

Read all about it here.

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