Yes, I know. Pope’s aren’t supposed to have sons. But in history they did. So there.
As promised last week, today we’re publishing a new ebook, Anselmo e l’omicidio di Giovanni Borgia, the pope’s son in question.
This one’s level C1/2, so quite hard. Do check out the free sample chapter (.pdf) BEFORE you buy it.
So… sometimes I forget, and people who know me might be surprised to hear, but when I was a kid, and later as a young man, I was really, really into books.
OK, so it was mostly trashy novels, detective fiction, scifi, spies, that sort of stuff. But also tales of adventure, war memoirs – anything really, as long as the authors were skilled at getting me turning the pages.
Of course, that excluded most of the worthier stuff, the ‘literature’. But trashy diet or not, I was a READER and never happier than when in the middle of a book, ideally with a stack of others waiting to be consumed when this one has been devoured.
I got supplies from libraries, of course, but also from what we used to call ‘jumble sales’, which were a little like the American ‘yard sales’, but organised by some community group, revenues from the sale of unwanted household bits and pieces going to fund a worthy cause, such as the Scouts.
In the maelstrom of a Saturday-afternoon jumble sale – imagine a church hall packed with trestle tables piled high with second hand clothes and children’s toys – I’d slip through the crowds of sharp-elbowed women to the book stall, usually in some far corner, and begin to scan their stock for anything good.
How to tell a ‘find’? How to know when something was worth grabbing and shelling out a few pence for?
The title, of course, and the author’s name, if it was familiar.
But also other features such as the font, the cover design, whether the book was new and shiny or old and dusty, there were lots of ways to tell that this one was a reject while THAT one was a nugget.
Once I’d spied something that merited a better look, I’d pick it out and turn to the back cover for the publisher’s blurb, or if there was nothing there (frustrating!), I’d search inside the front and rear dust jacket, keen to know more about the book’s contents.
Oh happy memories!
These days I read less and write more. Novels, trashy or otherwise, interest me less than they used to.
But STORIES and the making of them, still fascinate me.
Marketing is basically telling stories. What you’re reading right now is a story. And though writing marketing texts is much less esteemed than writing fiction, it helps keep wine in the author’s glass all the same.
Funny, but for the life of me I never thought I’d end up writing the sort of blurb that I depended on to guide my reading as a child.
Ebooks don’t have back covers or dust jackets, but people still need to know what they’re about, so the modern equivalent is the ecommerce product page.
When we’re getting ready to publish an ebook, we fire up the ‘content management system’ (basically a web page that produces other web pages) and fill in the various sections: the title, the author, the format, the cover image, the price, the category, keywords to be found when people are searching, and so on.
Not to mention the blurb. But unlike for the other items, for that someone has to have read the ebook…
So there you go. Forty-odd years have passed since my jumble sale days and the wheel has come full circle.
Now I’m the guy who reads the story and writes text that tells you whether this particular story is going to ring your bell, or otherwise.
I hope it will.
Meet Anselmo the apothecary, one of the few educated men of his day. And it’s because of his learning that he’s occasionially called upon by the powerful when they need help resolving their problems.
This time, the apothecary’s task is to discover who was behind the killing of the Pope’s son. Certainly a learned man should be able to figure it out! An important political alliance depends on his answer, not least the unity of the Borgias themselves, a powerful ruling family who are famous for their power struggles and indfidelities.
As Anselmo soon learns, though, it appears to be in nobody’s interest for him to actually find the truth. And in an age in which only power really matters, he’s playing a dangerous game…
(Volume 2 and 3 of the Anselmo trilogy will be published in successive weeks.)
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate or advanced levels
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
Your ebook will be emailed to you within 24 hours of purchase.
And so to the hard sell!
Anselmo e l’omicidio di Giovanni Borgia, is on offer this week only, at just £5.99.
Buy a copy while it’s on offer and you’ll save £2 compared to our usual easy reader ebook price of £7.99.
Or maybe this one’s way above your current reading level in Italian?
For the moment…
Then start with something easier, and work your way up gradually to murdered pope’s sons.
There’s loads to choose from in our Catalog, and it’s all organised by type and level, with links to the free sample chapters, so you can quickly and easily get the feel of an ebook before you buy it.
Just like in a jumble sale! (But more organised, and less dusty.)
A mercoledì, allora.