From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#102, 27 August 2007

First, an administrative issue regarding SPAM. As you might suspect, when you post your email address on an oft-travelled website like BookThink, it's inevitable that your mailbox will be continuously awash in spam. And it seems that the situation has gotten significantly worse in the past few months. My spam filter is fairly effective in snagging most of it; the problem is that it occasionally routes a genuine email to my bulk folder too. I do check for these maverick emails, but there have been occasions when I've missed things, and I apologize if I haven't replied to something you've sent. Until I'm able to resolve this issue, don't for a moment think I'm ignoring you. If you haven't received a reply to an email within 48 hours, please re-send it, let me know it's a second attempt, and I'll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for your understanding.

It's product test time at BookThink. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to test drive a PDA/scanner marketed by ASellerTool. Of course, most of you have heard of these things - several other vendors, including some of our sponsors, market them as well - but just as likely most of you haven't tried one out yet. Well, if you haven't, here's your chance to learn something about them, share my experience with one, and get a recommendation for purchase. Or not. As always, profits hang in the balance.

Also on board today is UK Contributing Editor Claire Main with the skinny on Tunnels (aka The Highfield Mole) and its authors, Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. If you don't live in the UK (or do live there and have been vacationing on Mars for the last few years), you may not have heard of these guys. Too bad, if so. Major bookselling profits have passed you by. You see, Gordon and Williams have a winner on their hands, and Tunnels, now a bestselling fantasy children's book, was originally self-published as The Highfield Mole in - you guessed it - limited numbers.

After The Highfield Mole hit the streets, Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham (who also discovered Rowling's The Philosopher's Stone after 12 publishers rejected it) got wind of it and published it as Tunnels under his imprint. 50,000 copies later, it's now in its 7th printing and counting, and film rights have been purchased. There's no US edition out there yet, but do look for first printings when it happens. Firsts of The Highfield Mole now command prices in 4 figures, and even special editions of Tunnels make 3 figures all day long.

Next, Claire delivers another one of her trademark chocolate-covered interviews with none other than these very same authors. The pace is predictably breezy with several stops on, of all things, William S. Burroughs "Ave."

Some breaking news: Earlier today (Sunday, August 26) Claire launched an eBay item of interest - a special charity auction for a Highfield Mole Colony Edition (only 10 copies exist worldwide) and a paperback on eBay UK. The auction number is 200144770734. Alternatively, this item may also be searched via her eBay ID, Doodledbooksltd. This is a 7-day auction, and proceeds will go to NCH, one of England's leading children's charities. More NCH details here.

Gordon and Williams are scheduled to appear on BBC Radio several hours before the auction closes on September 2 and will likely mention it - so put in a hefty snipe bid if you want it!

One more news item from Claire: Panama Oxridge, author of Justin Thyme, has signed with super-agent Simon Trewin of PFD Literary Agency, who also counts Conn Iggulden, John Boyne and Steven Hall in his stable of writers. Look for a Justin Thyme deal with a major publisher soon. Also, if you took Claire's advice and invested in a few of the self-published copies before they sold out recently, look for values to climb even more as a result. More information here.

Finally, I neglected to mention last week that item numbers for all featured "BookThink's Top 10 on eBay" books are available by free subscription. The numbers are emailed to subscribers shortly after the BookThinker launches on Sunday evenings. If you'd like to get on the list, email me at

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