Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

TWO-WAY SPLIT: Killing With Kindleness

Good news and bad news, folks – the good news is that Allan Guthrie’s terrific TWO-WAY SPLIT is available in yet another format, the Kindle, which means it’s likely to knock the socks off a whole new audience. Better still, it’ll cost you the princely sum of $1.25! Huzzah!
  For that all-essential Crime Always Pays take on TWO-WAY SPLIT, clickety-click here … but be warned – those of you with an aversion to purple prose should resist the temptation to click thru, the better to avoid lines like, “The result is a gut-knotting finale that unfurls with the inevitability of all great tragedy and the best nasty sex – it’ll leave you devastated, hollowed out, aching to cry and craving more.”
  The bad news? Well, it’s a kick in the nuts to see the likes of TWO-WAY SPLIT being offered at $1.25. I mean, the novel won the Theakston’s Old Peculier, and it’s a wonderful novel, noir or otherwise. How’s a man supposed to earn a living when his best work is on sale at the knock-down, low-low, bargain basement price of $1.25? Eh?
  I should probably declare a variety of interests here, before I go any further: Allan Guthrie is my agent; I’m planning on uploading a novel to Kindle in the very near future; I haven’t had any great tragedy or nasty sex recently; and I am, in fact – mwah-hah-hah!!! – Allan Guthrie.
  Seriously, though – I’ll earn more this month from freelance writing (reviews of movies, theatre and books, mostly, with some features and interviews tossed in) than I’ve earned in the last 18 months from writing fiction. And this month isn’t a particularly terrific month, it’s average enough. So you tell me – with a baby girl in the house needing food, nappies, clothes and new shoes (the girl loves her shoes!), what’s the point in trying to write fiction? Or, let me rephrase that – What’s the point in writing terrific fiction (which I do, modesty and all aside) and trying to sell it, and very probably winding up selling it for $1.25 a pop, which works out – given the outrageous cost of living in Ireland – at roughly three nappies per copy?
  The answer: None, unless you’re insane.
  Anyway, if you have a Kindle, go buy Allan Guthrie’s brilliant TWO-WAY SPLIT. Apparently he’s going to cut me in for 0.000015 cents per copy, as commission, and if he sells a million copies this week, my baby girl gets to eat.
  You know it makes sense.


Al Guthrie said...

Ah, Mr Burke, thanks indeed for those most kind words. I would suggest that you leave the sums to your agent, though (which is a scary thought, actually, given his school marks in mathematics). The retail price is the wrong way to be looking at how many nappies an author can buy. You want to be looking at the royalties. For example: for each copy sold of my mass market edition of Kiss Her Goodbye at $6.99, I earn 42 cents. For each copy of the Kindle version of Two-Way Split sold at $1.25, I'll earn 38 cents. Not a lot of difference...

Josh Schrank said...

Dec, a bit of grim self-assessment? If it is any help, most great artists never saw fame and fortune. It was only after their deaths that they were appreciated for whom they were. Not that we're telling you to drop dead or anything so harsh, mind you.

Declan Burke said...

Ta, Al. As agent pep talks go, it's not quite "Show. Me. Da. MO-NAY!" But it's heartening all the same.

Josh, squire - it ain't about fame or fortune. It's about a working wage, or even a decent supplement to a working wage, and not having to jump through hoops of fire just to sell a few books. I mean, I don't know if you know Seth Harwood ... the guy'll probably end up a huge success, but he'll flog himself to death in the process. And lest we forget, the whole point of becoming a writer is that it's the laziest possible way to earn a decent living, in theory at least. Right?

Cheers, Dec

Gerard Brennan said...

"...the whole point of becoming a writer is that it's the laziest possible way to earn a decent living, in theory at least. Right?"

That's what I signed up to. Thing is, I've never worked harder at anything else in my life. I was conned and I'm fecking raging about it!


Josh Schrank said...

Auch, you have my sympathies, guys. Of course, you could just do what I did; marry into it...

Gerard Brennan said...

I like the cut of your jib, Josh!


Peter Rozovsky said...

Declan: It looks like Mr. Guthrie is winning praise in all kinds of influential circles.

Allan: Thanks for the insight into authors' earnings in various formats.

Josh: Does your wife have any sisters?
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

Fiona said...


Lilyput should be reward enough.
Judging from her prose, she's only wearing nappies to keep you lulled into a false sense of security. You need to have a long talk about her mascara invoices though.


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